Minor Thoughts from me to you

Health care without bureaucrats

Any bureaucracy -- public or private -- is going to make pointless decisions and complicate your life. This applies to health "insurance" as much as it applies to anything else. It's easy to find stories of people who were heartlessly treated by their health bureaucracy. In Britain, the bureaucracy is the government run NHS. In America, it's often a private company. But the end result is often the same.

John Goodman points to a recent story and then offers an alternative.

Is there a better way? Yes. It's called casualty insurance -- similar to the kind of insurance most people have on their homes and automobiles. In the case of a catastrophic illness, the insurer makes a lump sum available -- ideally enough to cover all reasonable care. But when there are differences of opinion, patients can add their own funds to the insurer's payment and buy any type of care from any provider. For Medicaid, additional funds could be provided by private charity (which is what is happening anyway for Dr. Pollard's patients).

This is not a small change from the current system. It is a huge change. It would lead to a real market for catastrophic care in which patients and their families become real, empowered buyers. Providers would compete for patients based on price and, therefore, on quality. Doctors would be free to act as the agents of their patients rather than agents of third-party-payer bureaucracies.

Why would you want to hand control over your health care over to a bureaucracy? And why would you believe that a government bureaucracy would run more smoothly -- and treat you more fairly -- than a private bureaucracy?