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8 thoughts on “Health Care and the Dynamics of Intervention

  1. JohnG

    It is possible although rarely fruitful to legally pursue non-paying patients. If one requires prepayment or hefty deposits for elective procedures prior to service – for example – the patient simply fails to pay, fails to schedule and fails to get care. It may then fall to them to get emergency care via an ER visit – which may then require the On Call Specialist to provide the previously recommended care and THEN pursue payment – after the fact. Or the patient is referred to the office in the specialist – and the cycle spins again.
    It splits into two segments:
    1. The expectation of first dollar coverage or freedom from any price or cost for office-based care, or
    2. The expectation of free care upfront with an “I’ll pay this out over time” promise of limited value.
    3. And of course the “Evil Hospital” is expected to swallow the bill whole.
    Next one is left with pursuit via Collection services, then Small Claims mechanisms – costly, discounted and often useless.
    I do not like the constitutional issues regarding a “mandate” but if there exists no mechanism to spread the cost of non-elective care that is in itself mandated (see EMTALA…) then there is no way to control cost of care short of price-controls that then destroy the market and its providers. You cannot have mandated care without a mechanism to mandate payment.

    1. RobertArvanitis

       As requested, a repetition and additional interesting fact.

      Uninsured motorists are about 15% of the auto market, yet no one wants to national property & casualty insurers.

      (Oops. Did we just give liberals a new idea?)

  2. Erich Ocean

    Uncompensated health care is 3% of the industry, which is less than, for example, the loss rate from theft in retail.

    It is completely unreasonable to create an individual mandate to “fix” this non-problem.

  3. Harvard Fong

    Of course, we should all have some idea of the baseline from which we start. To wit, if you don’t have insurance, you don’t get treatment, including emergency room. Which will mean some die in the street and others remain untreated and lead lives ranging from minor discomfort to unrelieved agony. Saves money for sure and eliminates the “free rider” effect. Now where do we go from there, if we wish to?

    1. Frankjnatoli

      I see nothing in the article about refusing treatment. The article suggests compelling payment after treatment. That’s quite different.

  4. Mitch

    How about a free market alternative to the Emergency Room.  How about a place like Wal-Mart for non life threatening medical treatment.  A place where a registered nurse over-see’s non union technicians preforming treatments.  A place where when you enter you are consenting to whatever MIGHT happen and all lawsuits are illegal.   A place where I can look at a price list before I decide which treatment suits me best.

    This current idiocy of using emergency rooms for twisted ankles and fingers with a cut on it or less and having insurance pay for it shows the absurdity of a Govt relying upon “good intentions” to create laws instead of economic reality and human nature.

    Govt loves insurance, it’s the economic black hole they so desire.

    1. Basementthought

      What you’re suggesting is that injured poor people waive their legal rights, specifically the right to seek damages for harm done by others. That sort of business model- forcing desperate people to waive legal rights in exchange for relief to a crisis- smacks of exploitation

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