…The WSJ had a profile of Allan Hubbard, the government’s new health policymaker.
…He’s a buddy of you know who from Harvard Biz and now the pitchman for the “pay it yourself so you will appreciate it more” crowd.
…He got in some smackdown with a guy from Tenet Healthcare because Tenet didn’t want to publish its prices, saying the figures are meaningless because insurance companies have contracts with the hospitals to pay only a small percentage of sticker.
…Do these guys even know what insurance they have? Or do their wives hand them a card in case they get a papercut or a heart attack?
…If this guy’s kid got hurt and was bleeding, would he whip out his hospital cost-comparison? “Let’s see, it’s $150 a stitch here, $130 here, Timmy. Calm down, pal, Daddy just wants to shop for health care so market forces can help regulate cost inflation.”
…No! He would go to the hospital on his health card—the one his insurance has approved for his use!
…As for Health Savings Accounts (their little pets, the HSAs), the high-deductible policy is not that much cheaper, some companies won’t sell it to people with pre-existings, you can’t spend the account after a certain age on anything you want (just certain things), and most of the people who are going this route have the high-deductible account, but no savings in there to pay up until the policy cuts in.
…These guys should spend an hour on the phone with their health plan trying to figure out why a deductible was suddenly applied to things where it didn’t apply before.
…No, make that six hours, over several days. Here is the sequence you are waiting for: “Deet, deet, deet, if you’d like to make a call…”
…Sure, you have to work, but so does everyone else.
…We can read those sheets the insurance company sends—we know the whole cost. We don’t really think a trip to the doctor costs $20. What are we, idiots?
…We just can’t afford our part, much less the whole ride.