Here is a high level of the different factors which effect the cost of healthcare. This list is far from a complete list, but it is a start.

  • Government funded universal healthcare
    • Having the employers pay for healthcare just makes labor in the US more expensive and less competitive.
    • Small businesses are placed at a disadvantage as the overhead of finding affordable employee benefits is the same regardless of size, but the large business will pay less per employee.
    • If someone is critically ill, they will still get healthcare even if they can’t pay for it. The loss is just added to the bill for those who can pay. This is just less efficient than seeing them before they get critically ill.
  • Reduce defensive medicine.
    • When a $800 x-ray is taken to see if you finger is broken, when all that would be done to fix a broken finger is taping it to the other fingers with $0.80 of tape, something is wrong. (This happened to me)
  • Increase price transparency for non-emergency care and give people an incentive to shop around.
    • Finding out how much a procedure or even a visit will cost before seeing the doctor is a challenge.
    • Have all non-emergency medical procedures be proceeded by an estimate for the cost of services including the cost if done by other providers within 50 miles. The anonymized estimate and final total are provided to a regulatory body to ensure the estimates aren’t fraudulent.
  • When dealing with emergency care (inelastic demand) set price controls.
    • Capitalism only works if someone can act as a rational consumer. When you are bleeding out, you can’t.
  • Standardize billing across the board to reduce administrative costs.
    • Encourage the use of AI in billing to further reduce admin costs.
  • Stop the practice of subsidizing device & drug prices within developed countries.
    • Cap the price of any drugs & devices which are sold in the US to the minimum price it is sold for in any other developed country. This will ensure that the research & development cost of drugs & devices are spread over the entire developed world rather than just the US.
    • I’m fine with subsidized prices in the third world.
  • Tie healthcare expenses, sick time expenses, and life insurance payouts together in a way to provide a financial incentive for us all to have longer healthier lives.
    • The first rule of Systems Engineering is to tie the reward to the desired outcome.