March 20, 2017

Health Transformation Alliance should do America a favor and also represent all those not insured.

Sir, Rana Foroohar writes: “America has a healthcare market that … has almost no price transparency… is controlled by vested interests (doctors, pharmaceutical and insurance companies) who exert monopoly power against the businesses and consumers they are supposed to service, and is highly fragmented and inefficient.” That results in “that healthcare in the US is the most expensive in the world by about 5 percentage points of gross domestic product” “Employers can help fix American health” March 20.

Foroohar quotes James C Capretta with: “The system would work a lot better if all of us could put pressure on doctors and insurance companies to provide more transparency.”

Absolutely. But I have argued that legislators could also provide much help by simply decreeing that, even though health sector suppliers are to be totally free to fix the prices for their services and products, they should not be allowed to use prices that discriminate excessively.

About a decade go I remember thinking: “If when needing medical services I could be sure being charged the same as my insurance company is, I could almost do without an insurance. What I really cannot do is to expose myself to being billed as an unprotected uninsured Per Kurowski.”

So it could be of great help the Health Transformation Alliance to which Foroohar refers, would, to their 4m employees, manage to add the representation of all the uninsured. That could signify much more for the American health sector than any of all other health and insurance plans being discussed in Congress.

About a decade go I remember thinking: “If when needing medical services I could be sure being charged the same as my insurance company is, I could almost do without an insurance. What I really cannot do is to expose myself to being billed as an unprotected uninsured Per Kurowski.”

Sir, in the health sector insurance companies is like the insured’s lawyers. But just like those who cannot afford lawyers are given legal assistance, the uninsured also need someone to defend them. 

PS. Here is what I wrote on this to FT back in 2009, when Obama-care was being discussed.
PS. Sir, think of it, if Health Transformation Alliance negotiate only on behalf of its 4 million employees then those that are outside of it all, will find prices even higher.

@PerKurowski