Healthcare, the free market is winning?

Here is some news I guarantee you will not here much about at all this election year. 
Health care costs are stabilizing. 
After sky rocketing for decades, health care costs have been cooling off for about 10 years now.  From the latest post on The health care blog: “…newly released data through 2010 show that health spending over the past several years has been normalizing to the rate of overall inflation rather than outpacing it – or grossly outpacing it – as has been the case, nearly without interruption, since the 1970s.” 
But what could cause such a change?  Obamacare?  The republicans?  Ancient Aliens?  Nope, “slow, steady, cumulative improvements in medical care and, as importantly, by the introduction of marketplace disciplines into the demand for and purchase of that medical care.” 

Wait, there’s more:

What is really behind this economic normalization of health spending? What has occurred during the past decade, absent any government “overhauls” of the system? Three things (1) medicine has slowly, cumulatively been getting better; (2) insurers have been getting smarter about benefit design and consumer behavior; and (3) health care consumers have been watching their once blank-check insurance coverage morph into tough, cost-sharing plans – with economic consequences attached to every choice.

This is an excellent article, I recommend you all read it. 
Why does it matter? 
Because in the next few months, when you hear the politician’s from both sides of the aisle get up and talk about the ever rising cost of health care, now you will know they are lying to you not telling the whole truth.  (don’t want concierge to get mysteriously audited.) 

Do I think a government overhaul of health care is necessary? Maybe.  As someone working in health care, there are some big broken chunks of the system that need fixing, and so far business seems unable to do anything. 

 Do I think you can leave the situation alone and let the free market work?  Maybe.  As someone working in health care, there is already too much red tape and bureaucracy to deal with, and more government intrusion will only make it worse. 

Here’s the important thing: what do you think?  Decide, then vote every chance you get. 
And comment down below.

Thanks,
Cliff

One Response to “Healthcare, the free market is winning?”

  1. Paul Roller, MD April 17, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Cliff,
    I agree that there is stabilization. I also agree that the are some very positive things occurring in the Accountable Care Act which has been dubbed Obamacare. In the end, I think the name will prove to be one of this administrations legacies as the first in a generation who had the fortitude to initiate change, however unpopular. Whatever your political bent, health care in America needs to change and now the cards are on the table and change is occurring. For Medicare patients, the change is good. There will actually be more options for care, better oversight and more money for primary care doctors to care for the elderly. In fact, CMS is throwing money at the system in the form of demonstration projects and new methods of care. We are finally attempting to come up with real solutions for taking care of very frail, elderly people with chronic conditions in a way that does not revolve around multiple trips to the ER or hospital. Our program, Concierge at home is a prime example of this change in mindset. Hopefully, there will be more emphasis on this type of program and a mechanism for reimbursement will be availabale through CMS. Until then, we will continue to push the envelope and learn as much as we can from each client’s unique care situation. Keep up the good work.