Currently those who have health insurance are charged a fee for service that not only covers their health care cost, but contributes to covering the cost of unpaid medical bills, primarily from the uninsured.
This is called cost shifting.
Without the new healthcare legislation, this was expected to worsen. Healthcare costs would have continued to increase to cover these unpaid bills.
Remember, by law hospitals must provide emergency care in the emergency department. Insurance companies would need to raise their rates to cover the higher charges. More folks would have to give up their health insurance because it costs too much.
So, the number of uninsured would continue to increase as the number of payers decrease. This is not a sustainable model and contributes to poor health outcomes.
Employer Based Insurance
Many people get insurance from their employer. As the cost of health insurance continues to rise, businesses must absorb this cost, limiting their ability to hire more workers. The number of businesses offering health care coverage to their employees has decreased over the last decade, contributing to the number of uninsured.
Regular and Preventive Care
Receiving health care in the emergency department is the most expensive way to provide care. Regular check-ups and preventive care is key; especially for folks who may have diabetes or another long-term illness.
Currently these costs are being shifted on to those who have insurance. So we as a nation pay for health care services for the uninsured but at the wrong time.
It makes more sense to provide primary and preventive care and treat all medical conditions right away.
Better Health for Lower Cost should be the goal of any health care system.
The benefits of a health care system based on better health for everyone are:
- Increased number of productive healthy individuals contributing to our economy
- Reduces cost-shifting
- Lower health care spending growth
Perhaps the greatest benefit is the most intangible - the opportunity to enjoy better health for ourselves and our family members.