We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I haven’t been enthusiastic about prior conservative free-market approaches as a solution to healthcare spending's pressure on the economy or individuals. Conservative proposals are, rather, a mitigator of overuse leading to overspending.Through “more skin in the game,” conservative proposals cause users to think twice about how much is really necessary.
The liberal approaches, by contrast, after the application of their best minds, are now proven to go in the opposite direction from cost reduction or improved healthcare.They lead to higher costs and just benefit a fraction of the uninsured, while vastly increasing the power of the government to impose its rationing generalizations upon individual needs – which vary -- while further insulating users from sensible involvement.
Economists have shown that if a good’s price is zero or decreasing, then the demand for this good will likely increase. In 2008, consumers were only directly responsible for 11.9 percent of total national healthcare expenditures, down from 43 percent in 1965, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This means that someone other than consumers pays roughly 88 percent of all healthcare costs, giving consumers little incentive to mind costs and much incentive to over-consume.
Bruce ... I agree with you that "conservative proposals are, rather, a mitigator of overuse leading to overspending." The skin in the game thing is a very real motivator to urge the person involved to use some common sense and sense of proportion in how often he or she goes to the doctor seeking expensive interventions. If it comes out of my pocket, either partially or completely, I might think twice about whether I really needed the expensive antibiotic or other treatment or operation. If there is only so much money in my pocket, and that of the government, perhaps I should think twice before I rush into treatment. And do some thorough research about the "intervention" I'm considering.
What's the old axiom? "It depends on whose ox is gored." Isn't that the one?
Healthcare is a very tricky economic good. There's a wide range of options in food, housing, transportation and many other services. I can live very cheaply on those elements and I've done it.
Healthcare is something that I think very few people use as a luxury. I feel annoyed just getting a physical exam, let alone any serious procedure. I happen to have exceedingly good insurance coverage and low out-of-pocket expenses, but I've only had three significant health events (and two dental) in 13 years.
When someone needs healthcare seriously, the need is usually overwhelming and healthcare is the only thing that will work. If you have a cough with blood, you need to know why and you probably need treatment. If you have a scary diagnosis, you need expensive treatment. What are you going to do instead of surgery and chemo? And even if we are paying out of pocket, the most serious healthcare is going to remain expensive. Chemo agents cost a lot of money. So does the knowledge to employ them.
Surely some people use more healthcare because it's cheap for them and others use less because it's more expensive. I gravely doubt that this area of healthcare is where most of the money goes. Most of it goes to things any reasonable person would want treated at almost any cost.