Notice it doesn’t say, “The health insurance policy of the future is easy to see.” That’s because once Big Brother deemed health care a right, he effectively erased the line between health insurance and health care. And he obliterated it so effectively that Bill Copeland, the author of the post, doesn’t even point it out. No need. It’s simply a given now.
Copeland does go on, however, to point out a common-sense plan for health care that includes this, in part:
Members could book their appointment, review ratings posted by other patients and confirm pre-visit requirements and payment options in advance … Alerts – from a request to rate their provider to calendar reminders for follow ups and prescriptions – could all be built into this consumer platform … In this new operating model most health care providers would be responsible for managing their patient’s care needs and ensuring that the best possible outcome is achieved … [while patients would] hold the suppliers of the services accountable for cost, service and quality.
If this looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it before. It used to be called fee for service. Before that, it was called paying your own way. The laughably antiquated notion of paying your own way was based on … oh, geez, what was that called … it’s right on the tip of my … Oh, yeah! Supply and demand. The price of medical care was determined by a combination of the supply and the quality of the services that were available, weighed against consumer demand for those services.
Then Big Brother discovered three things: (1) He could seize control of the pie. (2) He could continue to promise slices to all of us, even after the pie was gone. (3) We’d never fail to believe his promises. So, here we are, trying to find our way back to the future of health care (not not health insurance) before Big Brother owns it all.
But even optimists like Bill Copeland remain skeptical:
I believe one barrier to this future state is that many health care market leaders and regulators are not ready to accept these new marketplace dynamics. But they may need to if they want to keep up. Otherwise someone else might do it for them.
That huge grin you see over in the corner isn’t the Cheshire Cat. It’s Big Brother. And he’s smiling leeringly because — in addition to your parent, your teacher, your banker, and the arbiter of fairness, equality, and social justice — he’s about to appoint himself your doctor.
The health plan of the future is easy to see, indeed. And it’s not pretty.
Image by geralt, courtesy of pixabay.com.