There is much wrong with healthcare in the United States, and almost every bit of what is wrong results in higher prices in the market. There are those that insist that these prices are due to the free market, but they couldn't be further from the truth. The high prices are due to the complete lack of a free market.
Artificial barriers, reduced competition, and disconnection of the consumer from price ultimately result in a system that benefits and is controlled by corporate interests. Every single one of these problems mentioned is the result of government manipulation and interference under the guise of helping the patient. Ignorance of market forces granted short term gains for expensive, long term consequences.
Government sees insurance as an answer and has continuously expanded the role that insurance plays in our medical system while requiring employers to provide it. Government requiring employers to provide an HMO to employees ultimately left us with a HMO dominated system bound to our employers. Since the consumer is only responsible for copays under an HMO system, they become disconnected from the price. The healthcare provider that offers a better value is not rewarded and less efficient services are allowed to continue. The provider with the highest profit margin prospers, and thus prices increase.
Insurance is not meant to protect you against the expected. Government wants insurance to cover every little expense, but by definition, insurance is meant to protect against the unexpected. When you put the consumer back in connection with the price, true competition based on value enters the market and prices are lowered.
Instead of forcing insurance to become what it wasn't meant to be, we should be eliminating the preferential treatment HMOs and employer-based insurance receive and removing the restrictions placed on Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible insurance. A combination of an HSA and high-deductible insurance incentivizes the individual to shop based on the best value, helps the consumer prepare for the future, rewards the healthcare providers that provide better options, and provides coverage in case of the unexpected, all while costing less out of your pocket.
Once the consumer has been reconnected to the pricing system, prices will begin to fall.
**As a US congressman, I will remove the restrictions placed on HSAs and high deductible insurances and remove distortions in the marketplace meant to favor alternative forms.