dshibb said: Look glxpass, I believe you have the capacity to really think of various solutions and ideas to address this that fit within your own moral scope of the issue. I mean seriously putting aside whatever political bull$hit that everybody else wants to go back and forth over, I actually think you and many other people on here are smart enough to come up with original ideas that better address this problem than what we currently have.
And that problem is how to reconcile these 2 things the best way we can:
1) To make sure that we have a healthcare system where we feel comfortable with moral question of people being able to get treatment
2) For people to act like the money that is being spent to better their health is their own
Because honestly if tomorrow people acted like $300k to extend their life by a couple of months or $10k to see a specialist for a small issue was their money most of the time they would choose something different(and the systemic cost problem would subside), but at the same if it was really important to them they could have the financial capacity to do it if they really wanted it. That is the question right there. And I think your better than most people who would prefer to keep this topic within their own 'political comfort zone' because if I can put aside any sense of my political comfort zone so can you. My side of aisle has a political comfort zone about life not being fair and I tend to agree with that, but I'm willing to set that aside to acknowledge that there is something right about trying to make sure anybody can get care regardless of their means. But you should also rise to the challenge and agree that there is something important about people taking responsibility for finding relative value in the large sums of money that are spent on their behalf. Being sick should not be an excuse to spend other people's money irresponsibly while seeking care.
Now I've engaged in the type of conversation with numerous people and most refuse to rise to the challenge and that has generally speaking left me a little jaded about people's desire to put the bull$hit aside and rise to the challenge. I guess, surprise me!
I appreciate your willingness to step outside of your political comfort zone, and I agree that while we need a healthcare system that provides adequate services to all, unless we can find a way to contain and reduce healthcare costs, we will eventually go bankrupt. One significant component of healthcare cost is unhealthy lifestyle choices. Note that I consider addressing this component as necessary but not sufficient to "get a handle" on healthcare costs. See this white paper fhat discusses reducing annual healthcare costs by $700: http://www.factsforhealthcare.com/whitepaper/HealthcareWaste.pdf
Nevertheless, let's return to the topic of incentivizing healthy lifestyle choices. I agree that everyone must take ownership of their personal health. You and Brody seem to think that said ownership requires at the very least an increase in deductibles, perhaps directly proportional to the cost of whatever medical service us provided. I see flaws in this approach:
1. You are focusing on cost, not value of a healthcare service. Areas of concern are high cost, low value services. High cost, high value services are another matter. Low cost, high value services are ideal, but obviously not always achievable.
2. Increasing the deductible will discourage people from getting health care even when they should. An example (numbers are guesstimates, but probably on the low side): Person X has had two DVTs (one in each calf) over the last 18 months and is now on constant Coumadin therapy. Diagnosis was by ultrasound. The total cost of the ultrasound, including labor, is $1000. One evening, person X notes a pain in the right groin area. it could simply be a pulled muscle, although person X had no recollection of any trauma that might account for this. Could it be another DVT? An ER visit might cost $3000. Should person X's decision about seeking treatment be driven by treatment cost and/or financial situation? No, it shouldn't.
BTW, you'll be happy to learn that person X went to the ER, and despite having taken Coumadin as directed, person X in fact had a DVT, which required hospitalization in the ICU and additional treatment. Total cost: $40,000. it was a good thing that person X didn't have a high-deductible insurance plan whose cost might have made him defer treatment, possibly resulting in a worse outcome, to put it mildly.
3. IMO, although promoting healthy lifestyles should reduce healthcare costs, that's a byproduct, not a rationale.