you're right, it's not accurate. I work in health insurance so seeing how that part of healthcare works from the inside, I can say that insurance carriers are far from perfect but they aren't the primary cause of the increasing cost.
Primary drivers of the cost: Pharmaceuticals, Provider reimbursements and Consumer demands on wanting unlimited access to everything as well as consumers not taking particularly good care of themselves requiring all those services.
I didn't blame insurance carriers. I blame disconnecting consumers from directly paying for services. If I was paying for a hip replacement out of my pocket - I would shop around to see what doctor gave me the best combination of service/quality for my money and would make sure they weren't doing unnecessary stuff. Right now with insurance - I just pick the absolute best and don't object to any extras. I really have no idea what it will cost or care what the total will cost. This is why prices are out of control - 3rd party pays for my services.
Additionally health insurance should not be connected in any way to employers.
TP for the clarification.
I agree that if people were paying for services out of pocket, they'd do more shopping around for the best price but here's some things to consider:
- people do that now with other services/products in the economy and not always with good results. if you pick a doctor and facility to have a hip replacement, if something goes wrong or the end result isn't beneficial as you'd hoped, now you're possibly undergoing the same process again (multiple surgeries for the same problem are not something you want to endure) or having to live with the initial results.
- insurance companies are currently responsible for finding the best providers of services at lower costs. there are certainly the fly-by-night insurance companies allowed to operate in lightly-regulated states that are directing people to whichever providers offer their services for the cheapest rates but in most states, insurers are obligated to find the best quality providers available. They have the leverage with high volumes of members (patients) to extract the best rates from these providers thus saving money.
- most insurance covers people from personal bankruptcy over health issues. Again there's crappy coverages out there that in some cases are nothing more than 'catastrophic' protections or some that don't even offer that much coverage. unfortunately, people end up with these types of coverage either because they can't afford a better coverage or they have health issues where they can't get a company to offer them a better coverage.
as for not linking health care to employers, I whole-heartedly agree. It's a huge cost for employers that offer it as well as for employees who pay for part or all of it out of their pockets. As a country, we need to migrate to a system that is national. it's inevitable. It won't happen in my lifetime but it will happen. As for worrying about the cost in terms of taxes, consider how much money is going to insurance companies now. change that to going to a govt tax/fund instead where your services are covered. For those claiming it'll cost trillions consider this, the govt is already covering the sickest populations of this country --> the elderly and unable-to-work disabled through Medicare and the low/no-income who have a lower quality of health through Medicaid. the rest of the population not covered through a govt program is relatively healthy by comparison and a lower cost to cover per person on average.