To lower medical costs, the individual receiving the treatment must also be the person paying for the treatment
What economic lessons about medical costs can we learn from the market for cosmetic procedures?
This should be an economic axiom, but it is not understood. This applies to everything, including college tuition. As we reduce the individual's responsibility for costs, he becomes less concerned about the cost, and costs begin to escalate. In the US today individual's pay about 10% of the total bill, and we have nearly unchecked medical costs. The same thing is happening with college tuition. The problem is different, there it is due to the ability of students to borrow free money at what appear to be super low rates. This allows tuition to increase nearly without check.
In both cases our experiments with removing responsibility from the individual have had disastrous results. All that is needed to return the system to normality is to reconnect the responsibility to the individual. Yes, easier said than done, what with the huge bubbles now blown.
Notice how the progressives solution to this problem, second party (government) payment does not address this problem. Instead it simply creates a draconian solution to this problem, rationing. Rationing is just another way of saying pain, and death, because this is what it leads to in medical care delays.
So, to avoid the individual having responsibility for medical payments are we really willing to suffer increased pain, and death? Perhaps. But it seems a better solution would be to offer public assistance to those who cannot pay their medical bills when they are insured with at least a catastrophic medical insurance policy (which they should be able to purchase without all of the prepaid medical BS, like psych care, preventative medical procedures, etc). So, for an insured individual, if the costs of insurance or treatment exceed 10% of income, the state would pick up half the amount in excess of 10% of income, and the federal government would pick up the other half. No one would be uninsurable, and no one would be required to pay more than 10% of income in any year. Throw in HSA's for all, and the system should shift enough responsibility to the individual to correct our current medical payments lunacy, while slowly reducing the overall medical costs in the US. There is no reason why medical costs should not drop each, and every year.
But politicians view the electorate as a place where they can spend other peoples money buying votes, and the progressives will buy votes with promises of low medical costs based on second party payment. A pipe dream which is slowly strangling Europe, and which has killed the British medical system.
Personal responsibility is a bitch, but it is the only rational way out of our current mess without the draconian solution of rationing, and government run medical facilities, you know, by an agency like the TSA. If that sounds good you have not been paying attention.
Update: I found this gem while playing around on the Internet.
Clinton Tells Voter Suffering From High Healthcare Costs To “Keep Shopping"
Clinton does not have an answer to this problem. Her answer is awful. She also has no idea what she is talking about. This is just so much wishful thinking, on Clinton's part, nonprofits will not help, government wizbang promises will not help. Remember, today for profit medical insurers total costs, profits, everything outside of payments to medical providers is about 15% of total insurer outlays. This is a highly competitive market. One of the real problems in the market is federal and local government requirements on medical insurance, so you get "free" preventative medical treatments (among myriad other cost driving goodies), but you pay for these in the premium, and you pay more than you would need to if you were careful and shopped around. Hillary wants more of this crap, she really wants to just force other people to pay for these bills through even more taxpayer subsidies of the medical insurance markets. This will do nothing to solve the problem we discussed, and solved above.