Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fixing Healthcare

One of the reasons prices are high for health care is because competition is squelched and prices are not transparent. Some who advocate a government owned and run monopoly on health insurance (i.e., national health care) argue that we need to "move beyond the market because the market is not working." I beg to differ, our health care system is not market based. Government has its hands all over it and the way it is structured hides costs -- a true market is predicated on price transparency.

If pricing was transparent and patients could choose what doctor to go to based on price, competition would be introduced into the system. I would love see a kind of Google Health website that has prices for all local doctors and procedures. One could click appendectomy and find which doctors charge what and then have consumer based reviews on which doc does the best job for the price.

A model that makes catastrophic insurance universally affordable and incentivizes people to save money for incidental costs and co-pays combined with transparency and competition is the best solution.

Sigh, it won't happen, because most people want to "feel" like someone else is paying for health care even a system where that ""feeling" is spread is irrational and will continue to drive up prices and consolidate medical monopolies.