Why Healthcare Costs So Much, Ctd

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

Dustin Chambers wrote:

"Health insurance should not cover basic or routine medical services, but instead should cover major illnesses, surgeries, etc."

Think just a little bit about real-life healthcare choices and you quickly see why Chambers is wrong. You get laid off from your job, so you decide to skip your $20 prescription for high blood pressure meds this month and buy your kids groceries instead, and the next thing you know you've had a stroke, which will make you less productive for life and will cost your catastrophic-only insurer tens of thousands of dollars in immediate costs.

It's obviously better not just for the individual patient-consumer, but for everybody in the insurance pool or everybody in the economy, to spend a little more in routine care and thus avoid catastrophic illness and cost.

This does not mean there's no room for competition. Require all insurers to cover routine care and medications, and let them compete on other factors -- cheaper premiums, better customer service, more extensive provider networks, better-quality doctors (there's a concept), access to specialists without prior approvals, etc.

I'm all for preventative medicine and avoiding catastrophic illness, though the research I've seen says it doesn't save money, so I'm not sure how sound this reader's rationale is.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

Just In