The general answer is Yes, but the expression âthe devil is in the detailsâ applies here. What we have never been able to agree upon in this country is the answer to the question âWhat healthcare should we make sure everyone gets?â There is a wide variation in the cost of healthcare among different regions in the US. If the standards of care and the credentialing regulations in our lowest cost regions were the nationwide standard, our care would be far more affordable. As the Dartmouth Atlas Survey has shown year after year, there is a difference of 5x between the highest and lowest cost regions with no discernible differences in outcomes. For example, the amount of time spent in intensive care (the most expensive kind of care) in the last 6 months of life varies by more than 2 to 1 between higher and lower cost regions. As long as healthcare is a jobs and profit engine in our economy, we will see pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and medical device manufacturers trying to stimulate usage and need that, in another country, is not considered essential healthcare. Rigorous clinical reviews and approvals are required before someone gets discretionary surgeries in other countries; here, if a patient and a doctor agree, the surgery goes forward. If anyone wants a small example of the difference between America and other countries in terms of why our care is much less affordable, watch American TV and, in particular, the ads for Viagra, which are clearly soliciting people to manufacture an ailment that may be exaggerated and, in other countries, probably does not covered under health plans to the same degree. We cannot turn on a TV program or a radio station today without listening to ads from hospitals that are touting the latest treatment for a medical condition. We pay for all that advertising in our medical bills. We also pay for ultramodern facilities, especially the latest and greatest diagnostic equipment, even if it is overkill, and for overuse of our emergency departments. We also pay for patients who wander around the healthcare system going to different specialists, instead of being guided by a single primary care physician. The answer to your question is that Americans want affordable care, but t want many other things more, all of which make care less affordable for everyone.
With a few more years of analysis and testing, you can build a perfect model for how much healthcare costs should be, and you can build a awful one for why they don't have to be. Now it's a matter of figuring out for yourself whether free market or regulated healthcare is better for you, and if you have a pre-existing condition and want to be insured or avoid it for fear of higher monthly billings, it is your choice. I'm not going to argue and argue and argue for either system because I believe in human rights and will fight for them at any cost. But I do have some advice for anyone who wants to try. If you decide free market insurance for your pre-existing condition is better, you should go ahead and sign the contract without reading the fine print. If you decide regulated insurance is.