My Article about Reducing Health Care Costs

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My Article about Reducing Health Care Costs

Post by Scott » October 21st, 2009, 8:11 pm

If you haven't already, please check out my new philosophy of politics article, Ways to Lower Health Care Costs.

In it, I explain 5 general suggestions that I support for lowering health care costs. In the article, there is a link to a thread for each suggestion where that specific one can be discussed.

You can use this thread to comment on the article as a whole and to post other ideas for how to reduce health care costs.

Please note, as explained in the article, the issue is not who to make pay for health care costs but rather how to lower health care costs.

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Post by Belinda » October 22nd, 2009, 6:57 am

I agree Scott.Your proposals sound like the British National Health Service with the exception of this one:
Nonetheless, let's charge for example a higher insurance premium to someone who voluntarily chooses to smoke cigarettes and a lower premium to someone who does not. The same goes for engaging in overeating, criminal violence, recklessness, drug use, alcohol consumption, consuming carcinogens, not getting medical checkups, etc. (Discuss the idea of basing premiums on habits.)

I am far from saying that the NHS is foolproof. It need continual tweaking into line financially and practically. But then so do any other institutions.
I can see two difficulties about basing premiums on habits.
1. e.g. overeating. This is a psychological and genetic defect in a society in which fattening food is easily got, and cheap to buy. Because it's not a free choice to eat too much over-eaters and obese people need more preventive psychological care with regard to eating healthily.This care costs money from the common pool however preventive care is cheaper than remedial care for those who are already obese and will benefit society that funds the common pool.Much the same may be said about alcoholism, criminal violence, undue risk taking, and so on.Improved education and improved leisure facilities can work towards reducing overall health costs.

E.g. alcoholism. Again , preventive measures such as making it a lot more expensive to buy, and adequately policing outlets with regard to drunks and under age drinkers.

2. The other difficulty about basing premiums on habits is the possible difficulty in administrating the rules. Are people to self report to the insurers? If so how can the insurers investigate whether or not the insured are honest, or balanced in their estimates? Anti-social behaviours with regard to personal health are so various and intricate that I dont see how they can be insured against accurately.The effects on near relatives such as mothers wives husbands and children of anti social persons with regard to personal health also impinge on community health care costs. The varieties of carers, of for instance over eaters,or alcoholics, or schizophrenics who refuse medication, is one of the costs that have to be met somehow from the public purse.I don't see how all this could be self assessed for insurance purposes.

Not that the British NHS has no problems! The governments here do public awareness raising by television etc. Dietary, alcohol, car driving, sports etc.This as you may guess has mixed effects. But there is nothing better available except ploughing money into improvements in education and healthy leisure facilities.Curricula now have to have so many hours of physical exercise per week , for instance.Doctors and their subsidairy staff such as qualified nurses have specialist sessions on diabetic care, dietary advice, asthma, smoker- stopping and so on.
Other than education, heath and safety regulations, and leisure facilities at work and other general preventive measures I think there is no alternative to remedial care for all on demand filtered through the family medic.

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Post by whitetrshsoldier » October 22nd, 2009, 2:41 pm


Why can't we discuss WHO will pay for these things, when your proposals inherantly demand that the money must come at the expense of CERTAIN PEOPLE? Who is to decide who deserves what and when? Does it matter how expensive health care is when we think that we, as a "society" can determine who is more deserving of health care than the individual who seeks care himself?

And Belinda,

Do you think that anybody is responsible for themselves or their conditions? So the drug addict is just a victim of their psychological state, as is the food addict, and the depressed sedentary obese person. How about the violent sociopath? I'm sure that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao only killed people because their brain chemistry was off a bit, right? And I'm only railing against them because I'm deluded. And anybody who does anything that you consider socially unacceptable is only doing so because they were inproperly "conditioned", right?

So maybe we should just happily indoctrinate everybody to act according to the dictates we feel appropriate? Sounds great! Call George Orwell! 1984 Has arrived!!!
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