It’s pretty bad news when the good news about health insurance is that the cost went up only 7.7 percent in the past year — the lowest rate of increase since 1999 but still twice the rate of inflation.
Since the free market is always right, according to those who control U.S. health policy, consumer-driven health plans — in which people get a tax break for spending their own money on the cheapest and most effective medical treatments — should be the answer to cost control.
Despite being the administration’s hobby horse for six years, these plans are being offered by a whopping 7 percent of employers and selected by only 4 percent of workers. Maybe the market does know more than those bureaucrats in Wash-ing-TON, D.C.
New York Times business columnist David Leonhardt has an interesting take on all this, and it bears serious consideration: Good health and longer life have a cost; why don’t we shut up and pay a fair price for them and stop spending so much on consumer crapola.
If it’s a choice of your money or your life, too many of us are dithering like Jack Benny