Rising health care costs across the country have become a source of concern for many people no matter their socioeconomic class. Currently, debate is raging over health care reform and what can be done about getting a handle on medical care costs that seem to be rising much quicker than the cost of living or inflation, which is worrisome.
There are a great many reasons for why healthcare seems to be so hard to control from a cost-containment perspective. In the first place, citizens have come to expect gold plated all inclusive healthcare services. Unfortunately, scarce resources and high expectations do not normally go well together, and the supply-demand curve is distorted as a result.
Some health-care experts feel that there are three or four relatively easy and immediate fixes that could be implemented to get a handle on rising health care costs across the country. The first of these would entail legislation designed to regulate tort cases brought by plaintiffs with the aid of contingency fee attorneys (better known as trial attorneys).
There are questions as to the ultimate constitutionality of such actions, though. Another recommendation by many health policy experts is that the ability of insurance companies to sell insurance policies across state lines be improved. Currently, all 50 states have their own rules and regulations for the sale of health insurance.
Because of this, supply and demand is also distorted and competition is generally hobbled by artificial constraints put on the ability of these companies to compete against each other to offer the best price and the most appropriate insurance coverage available. Assignment of patients into appropriate risk pools would be a part of any such competition.
Some of the blame for increasing costs can be laid at the feet of state legislators who mandate comprehensive coverage when many prospective customers do not, in fact, need or desire such coverage. If a customer was allowed to pick and choose from among various options — much as an auto insurance customer can do — costs would drop by and appreciable amount.
There are a lot of reasons for rising health care costs across the country, though there also are many solutions for getting a handle on such cost increases. What is for certain is that failing to act in both the near-term and long-term will see the cost of healthcare eating up more and more of a family’s budget over time.
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