When patients pay for care with their own money, doctors and hospitals tend to vigorously compete on the basis of cost, quality and access to care. But when medical bills are paid by third-parties (insurance companies, employers and government), providers will tend to deliver care in the way that gets the most money out of the bureaucratic payment formulas.
You would think that this fact would be prima facie obvious. Yet every once in a while we get a new government report that expresses surprise that the provider community acts in its own financial self-interest.
|John C. Goodman is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, President of the Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research, and author of the widely acclaimed Independent books, A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America, and the award-winning, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the Father of Health Savings Accounts.|
Obamacare remains highly controversial and faces ongoing legal and political challenges. Polls show that by a large margin Americans remain opposed to the healthcare law and seek to repeal and replace it. However, the question is: Replace it with what?