Alternatives To Mandating Insurance? Maybe : NPR

My actual health care costs outside of health insurance and dental for the last ten years is around $200. For my adult working life, thirty years, the cost is not much more. It stands to reason that I have been a very, very profitable customer for the insurance companies when they could have me. Considering my medical history the logical course of action for me is to seek out the lowest cost health care  plans. The insurance companies benefit because I am a “good” customer. I financially benefit by pocketing the difference. I also benefit by the knowledge that this scheme will work only if I remain healthy. This is what I call being a savvy health consumer. As a cost efficient consumer I am in a very small way lowering the per capita health care spending in America.

The problem I have with the health insurance company position as expressed below is that the underlying health care cost issue they are looking at is unrelated to my group health insurance requirements. They ceased operation as a health insurance company in the traditional sense and are now acting primarily as an agent collecting taxes to be used for unrelated health care services. An odd result of this philosophy is that by removing financial incentives, it turns me into a passive health consumer. What incentive is there for me to question a health care professional over a drug or treatment if my connection with health care costs becomes so remote? On one hand our health care reform wants the people to become more conscious of their health and the corresponding health care costs. On the other hand they are removing one of the few incentives that are out there for active involvement. I am not sure how we are going to reduce costs with passive health consumers.

Another drawback is that the individual mandate does not appear to have lowered health care costs. At least I have not seen lowered health care costs show up when I compare Massachusetts insurance premiums to Ohio premiums.

Mostly, Court says, states could be given more power to ensure that insurance companies can’t impose premium increases that are unjustifiably large.

"The easiest way to get more people into the health insurance pool is to make health insurance more affordable," he says.

The insurance industry says that’s not a good solution because premiums merely reflect underlying health care costs.

Alternatives To Mandating Insurance? Maybe : NPR