Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yes, our insurance system is an expensive, dysfunctional headache... but...

Marketplace Radio aired an enlightening piece about the burden of our private insurance system: http://is.gd/2coJF (Thanks to twitter.com/garyschwitzer for the alert.)

As I commented on the Marketplace web site...

Yes, our system is weighed down by the inefficiencies of the free-for-all of the fragmented private insurance system. The burden of all those billing people is also matched by the unmeasured burden on patients and families trying to manage payment for their claims.

However... and this is a big 'however'... even if we magically erased the 20% administrative cost... well, that's what my premiums rose just this spring. [As a small business owner I pay 100% of our family's health care premiums and other costs.] And I expect a similar jump next year, just like last year.

Streamlining administration is necessary... but it's a one-time saving. Unless we change how we develop and deploy health care itself, the upward arc will continue.