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Out of pocket expenditures over time

The Happy Hospitalist reviews figures for out-of-pocket expenses and concludes, “What’s holding this country back isn’t too little insurance, it’s too much insurance.”

The Happy Hospitalist is a board certified internist who works in the hospital and writes regularly on several blogs, including The Happy Hospitalist.

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A reader asked for the graph relating out of pocket expenses as a function of time.  Here it is.  Go here for some other great graphs of health care inflation since the Medicare National Bank was opened up.  Notice the direct correlation (cause and effect?) with rapidly rising costs and decreased out of pocket expenses. The only problem I see with this graph is that we are not really paying less for our care out of pocket. Every $10,000 your employer spends in premiums for you is $10,000 less you take home in salary.  You are paying for it one way or another.

The only way I see fixing the problem is to take the third party out of the equation, whether it’s Medicare/Medicaid or your employer and make the 300 million Americans price with their wallets. The government spends $100 for a surgical screw. Your private insurance spends $2,000 for an MR. I can assure you, the public would not stand for it. Place the word medical on anything technology and the cost sky rockets. Why? Because the Medicare National Bank pays for everything under the sun.

Take away the MNB and make the public accurately price goods and services for what they are worth. That’s how you fix over and under supply.

Take that $10,000 your employer is spending for you and spend it yourself, with contracts of care determined between you and doctors, you and pharmacies, you and hospitals  in a market based bundling system of care.  What’s holding this country back isn’t too little insurance, it’s too much insurance.

When the patient, hospital and physician has skin in the game, it’s WIN-WIN for everyone.

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