A popular opinion in the United States is that the current health care system is broken. Health care in the United States costs more than that of comparable countries but does not provide greater or even equal quality of care when compared to those same countries. Many people and organizations are actively attempting to fix this problem, but without the people’s approval, they cannot effect real change. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the problem or where it stems from. This article should give you a little more understanding of the problem.
The healthcare industry used to be just like any other industry in a free market. People would judge care by its quality while contrasting that to its price. Now, insurance allows people to ignore the price of care by introducing a copay that is much smaller than the actual cost of their care.
Since the price is not of much concern, hospitals no longer need to show their prices in order to get patients. As hospitals improve the quality of their care by upgrading technology and techniques, prices go up. At the same time, patients now are more likely to get unnecessary treatment because they are only expected to pay a small copay.
These two factors contribute to the price of insurance increasing. The increase in insurance price increases both your copay and the amount your employer is expected to contribute. Because employers do not gain from contributing more, cuts have to be made somewhere to maintain profitability, this is usually your pay. Unfortunately, now you cannot afford to opt-out of your employer’s insurance because the cost of healthcare has risen too high.
In addition to these problems raising the cost of healthcare, uninsured people also raise the cost of healthcare for everyone. This is because people who do not have insurance are likely to not seek medical attention until a problem goes from bad to worse to emergency. In these events, prices go up for everyone because the hospital has to make up for their loss.
To further add to the problem, affordable health care legislation can backfire by raising the price of healthcare depending on the provisions within. There are many more factors that play into the cyclical nature of this problem, such as pre-existing conditions, managed care plans, insurer networks, and businesses simply going bankrupt. For more information on this topic and many more related to the health care industry, contact Houston Healthcare Initiative (HHI) today.