Health Reform via Super Bowl

October 25, 2014

Health Reform via Super Bowl

My article as originally published in American Thinker:  

My wife is brilliant. She just figured out an ingenious way to illustrate one of the major problems with our health care system and stumbled on a solution to boot. The solution would be to just have the Super Bowl on a daily basis. Now, wait a minute and hear me out.

My wife made an appointment for our daughter to see the doctor this morning because the latter appeared (now confirmed) to have an ear infection. Usually it’s a little busy on Sundays because fewer facilities are open, but today it wasn’t quite as busy.

My wife made an interesting observation in human behavior (no, not that husbands hadn’t begun beating their wives yet due to the game not having started): the lack of busyness was due to it being Super Bowl Sunday. She theorized that fewer people would show up for minor issues because of the Super Bowl and that only the truly sick or injured would come in for treatment. And she appears to have been correct.

With no real reason to control spending, people tend to spend frivolously, but in this case, the prospect of missing the Super Bowl was incentive enough to stay home. Why is there usually so little incentive to control spending under current health care plans? This Heritage piece helps to explain:

 

One reason is the disconnection between patients’ wallets and their health care bills.

Most Americans get health insurance through their employers. They neither witness nor control the flow of their dollars from employer to insurer to health care provider. Yes, those health care dollars are their compensation, just like wages. But with no visible “skin in the game,” they have little incentive to limit spending.

 

Unfortunately, Obamacare places an even larger disconnect between patients and their health care bills. If it isn’t overturned, we can expect health care costs to rise significantly. Heritage has some good free-market alternatives to Obamacare that would actually work.

As for me, I should listen to my wife more often.

 

Comments

  1. You’re right, it doesn’t take a whole lot for people to decide to heal themselves the old-fashioned way (or even let nature take its course). Just a relatively small co-pay causes me to question whether I’m feeling badly enough to see a doctor. Often, the decision I make is to go to bed and see how I feel in the morning.

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