Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Five On Health Care: III - Health Comfort

“Peace of Mind,” has real value, and people are willing to pay for it. Health insurance companies and medical clinics include it specifically in their advertisements. Measurement becomes uncertain here, as at least some of our feeling of safety about health care is an illusion.  No, that’s not quite what I mean.  It’s an exaggeration.  When my son was four, he though fastening our seat belts meant we would not get in an accident. Getting health coverage, though we know this is irrational, includes some element of “Now I’m safe. Now I won’t get sick.”

We believe that at minimum, somebody will be able to do something.

Nor is this entirely unreasonable.  When we have to pay out-of-pocket, we tend to put things off, running the risk that something will worsen unnecessarily, or create lasting damage.  The question becomes, what is the dollar amount we are paying for the unreal part – especially if we are asking others to pick up the tab.


Texan99 said...

People often argue that preventive care decreases overall costs, but every time I've seen a study put the assumption to the test, it's been disproved.

There's always a tricky trade-off between spending and outcome in medicine, particularly when wildly expensive new technologies are available. We're not going to make that trade-off perfect by forcing people to pay up front and therefore, in effect, removing the spending decision from them when they become ill. All we're going to do is take the decision from the patient and hand it to a third party. Experiences tells us that to do so will not decrease costs overall, or even improve medical outcomes.

Donna B. said...

The decisions about health care aren't being made by 4 year olds.

My life experience would lead me to believe that having health insurance leads to illness and accidents.

That's almost as irrational except that some elective procedures/drugs that are covered by most insurance can make you sick.