Health Insurance

Think it could at least be better if we were to subsidize medical places all across the board and set reasonable price ceilings on certain things, helping provide (with tax money) any relief a medical place might need from the price ceiling?

What this should do is make health insurance purchase unnecessary for most people. Also, it would eliminate unnecessary complexity in the system.

Unlike many things, health emergencies can’t really be prepared for with raw cost, so we should have a non-capitalist approach to it.

One problem people talk about is cost for insurance. But what about open enrollment dictating when you’re even allowed to purchase major health insurance? I should be able to get it because I just graduated and am going to another school, but the hurdle even being there felt very threatening to me.

This is a nice thought, but there are a ton of issues with it. I do think we can do more to help people who can’t afford more expensive healthcare, but it’s not that simple.

For example, what’s a “reasonable price ceiling?” Who decides it? What things are covered under subsidized medical care? For instance, a million-dollar experimental chemotherapy regimen that makes you go from a 2% chance of surviving a rare cancer to a 2.5% chance?

I also don’t agree with the dichotomy that subsidized healthcare and capitalism are fundamentally at odds. There can absolutely be capitalist subsidized healthcare, and there can be non-subsidized healthcare that isn’t capitalist. I’d argue the current system in America is not even a functioning capitalist system, because there’s effectively no free market. People tend to get the health insurance their employer gives them (no option to walk away, hence no free market), or can’t afford it in the first place (also no free market). And I’d argue without a free market, a capitalist system doesn’t really function like it’s supposed to. Which is why I think it’s important for people to be able to be in control of their health insurance so if what they’re given isn’t meeting their needs, they’re free to go elsewhere, forcing insurance companies to adapt to compete.

That said, I think regardless of one’s views regarding boots and the strapping thereof, it’s in everyone’s interest for basic, preventative care to be subsidized. Even if you are purely selfish, providing even one checkup a year and free basic drugs (which are decades old and dirt cheap) would cost not even a fraction of what it costs hospitals and taxpayers when people end up flooding the ER with easily preventable problems. At my hospital, almost none of our patients pay because almost none of them can. Whenever a patient comes to the ER, it’d be an actual crime to turn them away even if we know for a fact they don’t have money or insurance. And ER care is expensive. So what happens? We treat them, and the hospital (run by the city government) eats the cost. Which it has to recuperate elsewhere, or with taxes. All while the patient is buried under destroyed credit. Who wins in this situation? Nobody.

The government doesn’t have infinite resources to solve everyone’s problems so it’s true that we can’t go all-out with everything, but if something helps people and it saves rather than costs money, what’s there to lose? There’s room to debate how much further than this we should go, but I feel like if people could set aside their gut feelings about government-subsidized things, we could cut costs simply by keeping people out of expensive ERs that drain hospital resources.

I believe that health care is a human right and thus should be available to all. The United States is the only developed country that does not have any kind of universal or single payer health care thanks to the insurance companies making our health a commodity that they can profit from. As a result, ordinary people (like me) have to turn to crowdfunding to pay off ambulance and hospital bills.

If we take those companies out of the equation, the money that would go toward premiums and claims could instead go into a “Medicare for All” system where everybody pays based on their income and everything that’s necessary is covered, including mental health, dentistry, and vision care.

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I agree with Ian that healthcare is a human right. It is baffling that the richest country on the planet provides so little help for its citizens with regards to healthcare. Most of its Western allies have had some form of public healthcare for decades. Even Canada, with its lack of coverage of dental or optometry, at least covers direct hospital costs, medical appointments and subsidizes prescription drugs.

The American healthcare industry isn’t an accident; it’s the result of capitalism in healthcare. Capitalism aims to maximize profit. Health insurance companies have a financial incentive that is completely antithetical to the people they’re covering. Their customers want healthcare coverage; the health insurance companies make money when they don’t have to cover costs. This is not an area of people’s lives that should be governed by a system that aims to make money; this should be an area where the good of the public is prioritized.

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That’s an issue that goes beyond just America’s system, mind you. If the people paying aren’t the same as the people benefitting, there will always be attempts to cut costs whenever possible.

Another issue we have with our system that I don’t think got mentioned is that because insurance companies haggle on the costs so much, it leads to ridiculously-high bills that nobody actually pays, but if you’re not insured, you just get kinda hosed with the huge bill they expect your insurance company to talk down, but you don’t actually have an insurance company to do that. :confused:

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I’d probably agree with Peameal, though I’m a little bias since I’m also Canadian.

A couple of things with. (Apologies if this comes across as really ignorant or rude, these are just my observations as someone who doesn’t live in the States.) To me, this is also a cultural thing. That isn’t to say that Americans are selfish, it’s just more ingrained that individuality and taking care of oneself appears (at least) be to a big thing. Therefore, the thought of any sort of more socialistic system appears to impede this. Perhaps this trickles into the health care system?

Also, I’ve seen these videos where college students are asked about a “free health” care system by YouTubers. Most of them in these videos want free health care, but don’t understand what that means economically (i.e. paying higher taxes). (Personally, most of my mind is made up that these aren’t real and are just for views). That being said, I feel like that ties back into American culture.

Please feel free to correct me :slight_smile:

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It is an issue that is much more prevalent in the American healthcare system, and the worse health of American citizens compared to its industrialized allies is the proof. A public healthcare system in which both the rich and poor have the same access ensures that all citizens have a self-interest in maintaining a high-quality healthcare system. That incentive does not exist in America.

The rich can afford top-tier healthcare; they are fine. It’s everyone else who isn’t. They’re not only at the mercy of their insurance companies, who may not provide comprehensive coverage, who may fight paying something that is covered, who will not pay for out of network healthcare costs, they’re at the mercy of their employers, who likely cover their health insurance, take the costs of the plan out of employee wages and salaries, and can change plans at their discretion. And if you lose your job, you lose healthcare coverage. It’s an awful, inhumane, exploitative system and its first and primary purpose is to make money. It isn’t designed to provide healthcare; it’s designed to make money by gatekeeping healthcare.

And absolutely American hospitals artificially inflate prices to provide insurance companies with deals that the uninsured public can’t get. It’s greed incarnate.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good argument as to why insurance here is tied to employers, other than “that’s how it’s always been done.” There’s no real reason an employer needs to pay for your health insurance rather than, yaknow, not paying for it and instead paying you more so you can pay for your own health insurance. Not only does it give employers extra leverage over employees (“lose health insurance” is a bit harder to remedy than “having to cut into savings until you can find a new job”), it also removes competition between insurance companies because they don’t need to give people better support for their money because most people don’t actually have the option to switch if another insurance company offers better.

And nobody benefits except health insurance companies. It doesn’t save money in taxes. It doesn’t save money for employers. And it definitely doesn’t save money for employees.