Pay $43,000 for an Appendectomy? Or less than $3,000?

Discussion in 'ObamaCare' started by Zander, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. BulletProof
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    BulletProof Silver Member

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    This is an example of why the US has the worst medical system in the white world. The government has created monopoly pricing in medicine, and that's the way shithead Republicans like it.
     
  2. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

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    It goes far beyond partisanship.

    Get out of your little 2 dimensional box and think a little
     
  3. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    If I'm following you correctly, you're arguing for a world in which people do know prices but aren't exposed to them personally. So you may be shopping for a procedure and see:

    Provider AProvider BProvider C
    Procedure Price$250$750$1,500
    Cost to you$0$0$0

    You're arguing people will tend to choose Provider A in this scenario. I see no reason to believe that. In this situation, cost is completely take off the table as a consideration in selecting among the three providers. That leaves other considerations, like convenience, quality ratings (if available), recommendations or word of mouth, reputation, etc.

    Suggesting people will choose Provider A because they think it'll result in premium relief down the line requires people to make an assumption--a leap of faith--about the behavior of everyone else in their insurance pool (if they make the causal link at all). That doesn't strike me as very plausible.
     
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  4. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Consumer psychology doesn't work that way. And it doesn't make sense. From a personal finance standpoint, if you're in one of these group insurance pools, you have every incentive to maximize your "take". You can moralize to group members all day long, explaining to them how choosing the less expensive alternatives will save their insurance company money, and how the insurance companies will directly reduce premiums as a result (and no, the insurance companies wouldn't dare take the savings as windfall profit. They just wouldn't). But when their kid is laying on the table, they're going to pick the best treatment available and not give one rat's ass about saving a buck for the insurance company.

    The reason prices aren't transparent is because no one cares, because they aren't paying their own bills.
     
  5. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

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    I think market pressure works and it can work with medical costs.

    If we use your example then insurance companies might start taking those facilities that charge the highest prices off their coverage or charge higher out of network deductibles.

    If the consumer had to provide estimates for health care as they do for auto insurance claims, the insurance company would also make sure they paid the lowest cost possible
     
  6. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

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    SO you don't care that the collusion between the health care industry and the insurance companies to hide actual costs of medical care are raising both our medical and insurance costs?
     
  7. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    I don't think that's what's raising our medical and insurance costs. Costs are going up because the buyers are spending someone else's money.
     
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  8. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    Well, that's different. When insurers are forced to compete aggressively in premium (e.g., in the exchanges) that is one of the ways they find to offer lower premium options. That way you're pricing network breadth for people upfront in the premium. If they want a plan with the more expensive providers in it, then they can pay for it.

    But that's what I'm talking about. If you want to impact behavior, somehow the price differential between differently priced providers needs to be translated for people in a way that exposes them to the cost of their choice.
     
  9. BulletProof
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    BulletProof Silver Member

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    It's trivial to provide medical tests and drugs for a tiny fraction of what Americans are paying now, but the government won't allow it. The government, and the anti-free market Republican Party, are fully on board with creating monopoly-like pricing in medical care.

    An x-ray is just a camera that uses another light spectrum. Before x-rays were found to be dangerous, you could get real-time x-rays for free.

    Most prescription drugs cost no more to manufacture than a bottle of aspirin.

    Many blood tests can now be done by a monkey who knows absolute nothing about lab work, as long as that monkey knows how to turn on a machine, an automated analyser. If you don't have a machine, you can do most blood tests manually for very little cost, and nearly free marginal cost.

    Thankfully, the Republicans want to give us Health Savings Accounts so we can save up to pay a couple hundred dollars for a monkey to turn on a machine.
     
  10. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

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    YEah and the democrats have done soooo much to lower health care costs

    As I said this goes far beyond your limited 2 dimensional thinking
     

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