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Friday, August 28, 2009

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Ryan Brown

This is the best article about healthcare I've read, and it makes me proud it was by someone here in Lex. Bravo sir Bravo

Matt

Since you are a car guy, I'd love to hear what you think about cover everything health insurance versus the car analogy of insurance for unexpected and large problems and the owner is responsible for all scheduled and preventive maintenance.

My idea for improving one part of the overall system would be an insurance required yearly checkup from a licensed "health checkup" specialist. This person would probably be less than a doctor but be able to discuss and detect various ailments and would exist everywhere from Wal-Mart to CVS to health clinics. Various risk factors are measured and compared to previous years. Then you'd have insurance rate discounts like the low cholesterol for 5 straight years discount or colonoscopy in the last 3 years discount.

There would be an actual money in your pocket reason to be healthier and at the same time insurance companies would be able to save by catching problems earlier and hopefully having healthier clients.

Rob Morris

Matt, I think it is an interesting analogy. Eventually, we're going to need to wean ourselves from insurance for all but the more catastrophic problems. I think that such 'large-problem-only' insurance will be a tough (nearly impossible, actually) sell vs. 'cover everything' insurance, but it accomplishes a couple of things.

For one, it makes the costs of our own medical care more immediate, more real. When we just think "the insurance company is paying" and we're not immediately responsible for the full cost of our care, then we're a lot more likely to undergo less-necessary treatments.

For another, it removes us from the majority of the "sucker's bet" (described above) that we have with insurance companies. If we hang on to more of our own money, most of us will come out ahead (as long as we don't spend it all on something else...).

Culturally and individually, we're not wired much for delayed gratification. Indulging the short term pleasures of food, drink, sitting on the couch, or risky behavior don't make sense for the long term. But they make perfect sense for 'right now'.

To fix health care, we need to better align our long- and short-term interests. I think your proposal above is one interesting way to do that.

Rob Morris

Thank you very much!

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