Health Care Should Be A Right, But The US Doesn’t Have A System

Health Insurance is one of the most important needs in one’s life, generally, it is available through groups and to individuals. Keeping prices opaque is one way medical institutions seek to avoid competition and thereby keep prices up. And they get away with it in part because so few consumers pay directly for their own care—insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid are basically the whole game.\n\nGlobal capitation, a single payment to cover all of a patient’s needs, rewards providers for spending less but not specifically for improving outcomes or value. Between 1970 and 2006, annual Medicare payments to hospitals grew by roughly 3,800 percent, from $5 billion to $192 billion.\n\nIn recent years, health-care costs have actually grown 2 to 3 percent faster than the economy. All are already being implemented to varying degrees in organizations ranging from leading academic medical centers to community safety-net hospitals. The inclusion of pharmacists on teams has resulted in fewer strokes, amputations, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations, and in better performance on other outcomes that matter to patients.\n\nThe government regularly tries to cap costs by limiting the reimbursement rates paid to providers by Medicare and Medicaid, and generally pays much less for each service than private insurers. Finding the best health insurance quotes is as simple as comparing plans.\n\nWhat we have, instead, is a hodgepodge of private and public insurance plans with cracks between them so large that 30 million Americans have fallen through and still have no health insurance. Total annual hospital-care costs for all patients grew from $28 billion to almost $650 billion during that same period.