I did a little experiment with healthcare yesterday. Didn't really want to spend the money BUT I wanted to know first-hand.
I went to a walk-in clinic (I have an "upper respiratory infection") and said "I'm paying cash."
Waited 20 minutes, saw a PA (BP, pulse etc), she wanted to take blood (cost $50, I said no), gave a little urine, saw an MD, got a prescription -- I asked the cost and he changed to one that was cheaper (by 1/4).
I made an informed decision to skip the blood test, went generic. Saved $50-$75. If insusance was paying, I (and would almost everyone that DID not skin in the game) would have said "Go for it" instead.
Final bill: $214.
I asked the lady at the desk--What if I had run through my insurance (TRICARE) and she said--$446. Why you ask?
- Because they can
- Additional admin costs at 4 levels for paperwork and phone calls
- Waiting for payment causes them additional costs
This is why the Public Option will fail
For basic care, we should have HSA (tax deductible) and a tax credit for the working poor to FUND an HSA. When people SEE the money coming out of their wallet, they ASK QUESTIONS.
Here is a good example: Running a tab in a bar--I pay for each drink so I can keep track of how much I 'm spending. When people run a tab and just put in "on the card," they make LESS RATIONAL financial decisions.