"There's definitely going to be changes in the health care delivery system," said U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Zeeland. "We can't just continue to squeeze providers to say this is how we are going to save money. It's forcing health care providers ... into some very different actions that in most people's opinion is unhealthy."He's right---lots of medical care can be postponed or switched to a DIY system----break a bone? Splint it with a broomstick and duct tape. Cancer? Get a large bottle of vodka and some oxy. Need surgery? Get some steak knives, boil them in a kettle, thread a needle, watch some you tubes on anatomy and procedures and do it yourself. Enlist friends as needed.
Instead, Huizenga says more responsibility needs to shift to the shoulders of patients to reduce costs. One way to do that is having them pay a bigger share of their medical expenses by increasing their insurance deductibles and incentivizing them to use HSAs, health savings accounts, to sock away pre-tax money to pay medical bills.
"At some point or another we have to be responsible or have a part of the responsibility of what is going on," Huizenga said. "Way too often, people pull out their insurance card and they say 'I don't know the difference or cost between an X-ray or an MRI or CT Scan.' I might make a little different decision if I did know (what) some of those costs were and those costs came back to me."
The father of five offered a personal example of how this shift might play out. He says his youngest son fell and injured his arm. Not sure if it was sprained or broken, he and his wife decided to wait until the next morning to take the 10-year-old to the doctor's office, instead of going to the emergency room that night. The arm was broken.
"We took every precaution but decided to go in the next morning (because of) the cost difference," Huizenga said. "If he had been more seriously injured, we would have taken him in. ... When it (comes to) those type of things, do you keep your child home from school and take him the next morning to the doctor because of a cold or a flu, versus take him into the emergency room? If you don't have a cost difference, you'll make different decisions."
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Medical care under the GOP
The not so distant future of health care in the US: