TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Pay first, then treat – Reducing the cost of healthcare

In the news recently there has been much debate regarding the legality of the government forcing individuals to purchase health insurance. The only reason why the government needs to force people to purchase health insurance is because the government forces the healthcare industry to treat patients, whether or not they can pay.

A starving man goes into a grocery store and asks for some food, he says he has no money. The store owner refuses and the man dies. Why not force the owner of the grocery store to feed those that need food? Because the government provides people with food stamps!

There are two ways to make people pay for their healthcare. You can allow or even force healthcare professionals to NOT treat people that cannot pay, thereby giving an incentive for everyone to get health insurance. For those that cannot afford insurance government can provide a subsidy to help out, analogous to food stamps. Or you can force everyone to purchase health insurance.

As it stands in the healthcare industry the starving man without the ability to pay who goes into the grocery store must be fed. The owner then recoups the cost by increasing the price of his goods, which means even more people cannot afford to buy groceries. The cycle continues…

Share: