NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 2, 2009

There are solutions to improving the health care system that we have yet to consider, says Mark Vargus, a columnist with the San Diego Examiner.  


  • One of the biggest problems with health care is no one knows what any procedure really costs ahead of time.
  • Hospitals and doctors should openly post their pricing and be allowed to enforce a single price for every procedure rather than the current system where the uninsured pay one price and each insurance company negotiates its own price for each procedure.

Quality control:

  • Currently, the civil legal system is used to enforce an almost ad-hoc quality control over doctors, but this needs to be fixed, both to eliminate the lawsuit lottery, and to raise the quality of care.
  • The presence of less than competent doctors has tainted the industry and allowed the problem to fester.

Simplify payment system:

  • Every insurance agency has its own unique forms and policies it wants followed before it will release the money; this has acted to increase the costs doctors must bear, and naturally they have passed this on to their customers.
  • If there was a single standardized form to be filled out, it would reduce their costs and the savings could be passed on to customers, especially if we include price transparency.

Return insurance to being insurance:

  • Some private group insurance policies are going back to catastrophe insurance with a high base deductible, encouraging a more reasonable approach to the use of health care.
  • Moreover, we should end the mandates for coverage for "quality of life" treatments; they are not true health issues and if insurance is about protecting a person's financial situation than these treatments have no place being covered.

Source: Mark Vargus, "Health care reform -- seven suggestions to consider," San Diego Economy Examiner, March 1, 2009.

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