Saturday, August 8, 2009

A different idea for health care reform

Author Zach Krajacic writing in the Christian Science Monitor:
Imagine how much automobile insurance would cost if it paid for all expenses associated with owning an automobile – oil changes, engine failures, worn-out tires, brakes, rust, and so on. The number of people who couldn't afford car insurance would rise dramatically, and we would have a car insurance crisis in America....

Under the system I am proposing, health insurance would pay for emergencies and urgent care, diagnostic tests and X-rays, medically necessary surgery, hospitalization, therapy, and any other critical services that few people could afford to pay out of their own pockets. Individuals would pay for routine, discretionary, and elective services – such as doctor visits, acupuncture, marriage counseling – on their own....

Insurance is intended to be a pooling of people's money to pay for large, unexpected expenses – not for every expense that is incurred. In other words, it is supposed to be a safety net for catastrophic events.

In essence this would be an attempt to return insurance to what it ought to be: a hedge against a catastrophic event. These days, health insurance premiums are too often thought of as a lay-away plan for treatment of every runny nose and sore throat.

H/T Lakeshore Laments

1 comment:

Dad29 said...

That 'catastrophic' coverage used to be called "hospitalization" in the olden days--about 30 years ago--

Still a useful term, even if the reality has been altered.