Is Obamacare Turning Health Care into a Luxury?
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  • ojfl

    This is the result of these “progressive” proposals. The approach proposed in the article is precisely the approach that the GOP favored in the run up to Obamacare but they did not get the light of day or the media attention.

  • Andrew Allison

    “As a result, consumers are seeking less care to save themselves some money. Hence the slowdown.” I’m shocked, shocked to learn that the fact that they didn’t have to pay for it caused people to seek unnecessary care! Please note the word unnecessary (as opposed to needed).
    This is, of course, part the problem with health insurance. Co-pays and deductibles should be means-tested. Outrageous, but necessary.

  • It is estimated that 80-85% of patients visits to primary care physicians are for self-limiting problems — which will go away without any intervention. On these grounds alone any policy that encourages people to make better judgments about when they need health care and when they don’t will reduce office visits, lower spending, and free up physician time for more serious problems.

    David Taylor, MD

  • lhfry

    It would be nice if Medicare offered a high deductible “true” insurance option. It’s hard to find a gp who will take a new Medicare patient, and unless you are sick and/or visit a doctor frequently, you are often looking for a new gp every year for your annual physical.

  • Lorenz Gude

    When you start with the US health care costing about twice as much as it should as a percentage of GDP trying to add universal health care on top of the existing system is unsustainable. This article is about some minor adjustments and actual further increases in how much people are bing charged. The US spends 16% of GDP now (Australia 8.5% of GDP) and the ACA caps that to 16.5% or 17% by 2017. It should be 10% by 2020. I believe it will take a collapse to fix it.

  • Hospitals are one of the few luxury environments poor people have access to. Over the decades I’ve watched hospitals morph from spare, utilitarian structures with green painted walls — remember wards? — to plush, gleaming structures with single-rooms for all. It’s at least partly explained by hospital competition for patients combined with cost-plus insurance reimbursements — which the insurance companies like too because their profits are based on a percentage of gross premiums.

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