Health care costs have skyrocketed in the last 20 years. Over the last 30 years the percentage of Americans covered by insurance has also skyrocketed. What has been lost is any kind of check on the health care system. If insurance covered the test or treatment you probably got the service. If it was not covered then you probably didn’t.
With a true health savings account, you would be responsible for deciding what service you will be given. You will base this decision on the doctor’s recommendation, the quality of life you wish to maintain, and the cost. You will pay for this service with a debit card that draws from your health savings account. You will be backed up with a catastrophic health care plan for serious medical issues.
If you don’t use all the money in your health savings account, it rolls over into a 401K type of savings, or in some cases the excess might be returned to you. Some plans might be a little different, but that is the basic idea.
Insurance companies are not big fans of this idea, but they stand to loose profit. In my mind the plan will bring health care costs to the forefront, and increase competition. You will have consumers shopping for the best buy. You might even have medical providers cutting costs to increase business.
For any of this to happen health savings accounts would have to become widespread. The public would need to be educated on how the system would work. This would not address lower income citizens or illegals so we would still need a safety net.
Lets contrast this idea with the government run health care being talked about in the media. Can you think of a program the government has run well. Will health care costs go up or down if the government runs it? Will competition increase? Will the health care customer matter to the provider? These answers are seem fairly obvious to me.
Many of our elected officials would have us believe there is only one way out. That one way is to be dependent on the government for our health care. That gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. How about you? One look at the VA should give clues about how things would work.
I think the marketplace has solutions to many of our problems. We must be creative and open minded. Health Savings Accounts are a great idea that will bring medical providers closer to the customer not farther away.
Lets not give the government more money and control. Lets keep the money and control for ourselves.