Some interesting commentary on health care from Tom Woods -
'A close family member recently spent the night in the hospital, where doctors monitored her blood pressure.
The bill, before insurance, came to about $53,000.
It's all right to admit that there's something wrong with American health care. We're not betraying the free market in saying so, since this bureaucratic monstrosity ain't no free market.
And when doctors secede from the system and get closer to a free market in their own practices, costs come crashing down.
This week my 19-year-old daughter asked me why I thought medical costs were so high in the United States. Part of my answer involved showing her how inexpensive health care could be when the physician involved secedes from government programs and from insurance companies (employer-provided health insurance itself being a relic of government policy during World War II).
I gave her the example of Dr. Josh Umbehr, who helps physicians transition to this system, called "direct primary care."
Here's what Dr. Umbehr told me:
"We were able to remove that middleman, the third-party payer; we structured it a little differently on the billing side, so it’s a flat rate per month based on age, just like a gym membership. And for that membership, you get unlimited home visits, work visits, office visits, technology visits – like email, cell phone, texting, Twitter, Facebook, Skype – basically whatever we want, because now we’re not limited to what insurance will allow or pay for.
"Then we have no copays in our office. Any procedure we can do in the office is included free of charge, because that’s what the membership is covering, just like any equipment in the gym is included at the base membership price – so stitches, biopsies, joint injections, ultrasounds, bone scans, lung scans, urine testing, strep throat testing, minor surgical procedures – all included for free.
"Then something else we do that makes us very unique and valuable is wholesale medications, labs, imaging, and pathology. We had a perfect example recently. We ordered some blood work – we have our negotiated cash discounts of usually 95 percent – and a patient’s blood work was accidentally billed through the insurance rate, because of a computer mistake at the lab. The price that they were quoted was $1,028. We ran that back through our system, and it cost $39 – a 97 percent savings just by cutting out the middleman."
Almost nobody knows about the direct primary care option, but it's excellent for people all around: good for doctors, who aren't spending their time dealing with bureaucracy, and good for patients, because they get inexpensive care, not to mention a wide array of services available to them with one low monthly membership fee.'