The Root of All Evil Around the ACA/AHCA Debate

People are confused, and the confusion starts right here.

Healthcare:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Go for an annual checkup, your physician is a scientist, and expert on your anatomy
  • Jack Daniels doesn’t fulfill the “drink lots of fluids” recommendation
Health insurance:
  • Financial contract, with specific terms and conditions
  • Parties selling health insurance aren’t riverboat gamblers
  • Premiums based on the probability of incurring healthcare costs
  • Assigning a price, based on unknown future events is determined by a well-known formula that looks like this:

Do These Lists Look Anything Like One Another?

They don’t, and do you know why? They are not the same thing. The link here is that the price of the health insurance is based on the cost incurred IF you require healthcare services. It is vital that people understand the order of the prior sentence. The sentence does NOT state that “the price of healthcare is based on price of health insurance.”

Want to see the same error in everyday terms?

  • The price of orange juice depends on the market price of oranges (correct)
  • The price of oranges depends on the price of orange juice (how can this possibly be correct?)

The Mistakes That Result Are Almost Never-ending

The fact is that uninformed people confuse and merge these two. It is clear (to me) when I read “facts” written by people, think-tanks, advocacy groups, etc, around the ACA/AHCA debate. The ACA and AHCA are laws to govern the health insurance market. They are not laws to govern the price of healthcare. The evil here is that partisans (from all angles) are intentionally manipulating the fact that people confuse and merge healthcare with health insurance, in order to affect your (uninformed) opinion.

Wanna see examples? Here’s the most obvious.

  • We accept healthcare experts’ (physicians) opinions to be health insurance experts.  Take a look at this article: High Medical Costs? Blame the Insurance Industry. (Link) Worse yet, this entire site is littered with type of opinion, none of which are written by experts in the equation presented earlier in this post.
  • Too frequently, confused consumers turn to the billing office of a healthcare provider for health insurance advice.
  • Journalists use imprecise language, which confuses everyday readers/listeners.

When the public wrongly accepts unqualified speakers and blindly accept their unqualified opinions as if they are fact, there is going to be a problem, without a reasonable solution. You don’t need to be an expert in healthcare or health insurance to understand this, it applies to any topic.

Simple Words of Guidance

When you see articles where the cost of healthcare is recklessly combined with health insurance, your radar should be on. When you see “experts” in healthcare giving an opinion on health insurance markets, and the regulation of those markets, your radar should be on. If you get confused, then refer back to this post.

If you are a party that tries to influence others by intentionally mixing healthcare with health insurance, “see me after class. (Link)

By the way, for those of you that think that I am a “physician hater”: I grew up in a physician’s household, don’t even think about using that rationale.

 

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