The essential foundation for an ownership society

The freedom to accumulate property and use it as you wish does more than merely protect economic interests. Economic liberty, of which the rights of private property are the foundation, is a necessary concomitant of personal liberty—the two have almost always marched hand in hand.

Today I am finishing up the paperwork to set up a HSA. The HSA rhetoric also talks about the ownership issue. When my son was born I got very frustrated with the medical and insurance professions. No one knew how much the birth was going to cost and after the birth I started getting miscellanous bills from medical providers. The bills told me almost nothing the service provided so I had to call around to figure who these people were. To top things off the insurance company said I overpaid for some services. Well, thanks alot! Why didn't you tell me how much I should be paying upfront and I would of straightened this out with the doctors before the service had been rendered. I was amazed how incompetent doctors were in running their business.

Now we are looking at the new age of the health care business. Since my son was born the ownership of the responsibility for health care has gradually been transferred from the insurance company to the individual. With this transfer has come an increased scrutiny of the medical providers only the individual can provide. Insurance compaines tried to control the rising costs but they failed. When they tried to pass on the higher costs, they priced themselves out of the business. The individual ended up owning the health care crisis by default. The combination of a HSA with a high deductable, major medical insurance plan provides a great degree of freedom and the opportunity to further encourage steamlining in the medical services business. To make this plan work a portion of the normal insurance premium is being diverted to a HSA. If the individual is willing to do a minor amount of financial planning and shopping around they will benefit from the lower costs for the equivalent medical coverage. As you can see the concepts of financial planning and shopping around were foreign concepts to the health care business as recently as 13 years ago. A side benefit is that by setting up a HSA the pyschology of many people is that they will probably be more inclined to perform the routine exams that can lead to lower overall health costs. I have felt for a long time that the power of the individual is more likely to change health care costs than any government plan. The use of a HSA is not the sole solution to our health care crisis but it is a sharper tool than the others in the shed.