I just received my September edition of The Atlantic with a great article on a different approach to health insurance reform.
David Goldhill writes in How American Health Care Killed My Father:
A more consumer-centered health-care system would not rely on a single form of financing for health-care purchases; it would make use of different sorts of financing for different elements of care -- with routine care funded largely out of our incomes; major, predictable expenses (including much end-of-life care) funded by savings and credit; and massive, unpredictable expenses funded by insurance.
He goes on to describe an expanded and less restrictive HSA type account for the "routine care" and "major, predictable expenses" (such as pregnancy). The "massive, unpredictable" expenses would be for things like heart attacks or strokes or accidents.
His claim is that such a system induce:
- transparency in pricing and quality
- providers to improve quality and efficiency
- patients (consumers) to be more informed shoppers for health care services