Federalist column offers suggestions for lowering health care costs

David Bicksler offers Federalist readers ideas for lowering health care costs.

First, require lower medical prices and insurance premiums when bills are paid at the time of visit with cash, debit card, or check, without the medical provider filing insurance claims forms or waiting for payment. The cash prices would be lower than what the provider now gets from any private insurance company and could be disclosed ahead of treatment, or service would be free.

This would bring price transparency, competition for price and reputation, and the resulting efficiencies of not submitting all payments to insurance. …

… Second, the bank could manage your HSA and become a trusted intermediary between you and the insurance company, billing insurance to repay your account after the deductible is reached. This revolutionary step automates collecting from insurance after making cash payments without you filing each claim yourself, and banks can offer new financial services to make this extra work worthwhile. …

… Third, legalize new health care financial services so banks can set up separate divisions to offer medical insurance as stiff competitors to existing insurance companies with better prices, customized plans, and service. Along with other companies competing with existing insurance companies, they no longer need to negotiate networks of providers, and now just reimburse patient accounts with effectively a universal network.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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