We spend more than any other country for healthcare, but how healthy are we? Health care in the U.S. is a mess–the system is broken.
Even basic, routine things like changing a policy address–something Clark attempted after a recent move–was such an ordeal that it revealed just how much the system is bogged down with inefficiency and waste. Customers and patients are justifiably left with the feeling that the health care system just doesn’t care about the individual– even though the average American pays 141% more for health care than other countries’ citizens!
Clark thinks this is partly due to the government’s involvement in health care, and the fact that we don’t have the right incentives in place with government-provided healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) to keep costs low. In the end, it completely distorts the free market system.
Now, many people like having the “cocoon” of mandated health care coverage. But it’s something that comes at a great cost to you. Your employer considers those benefits part of your pay, and it ultimately depresses the actual wages you receive in your paycheck.
If Clark was Emporer in charge, he’d end all government-provided health care in the U.S., and outlaw employer-provided health care. He would allow people to choose their own coverage, just like they do now with Auto, Home or Life insurance. But he wouldn’t mandate citizens to purchase it!
So what happens if someone who has chosen not to purchase it gets sick, in this scenario? Do we say “tough luck,” and let people die, or do we provide care anyway? It’s a tough societal question.
Clark thinks the best idea is to allow workers to choose between standardized plans from private health care companies, with the free market setting the price for the premiums. The low-income earners and the elderly would be given vouchers to cover much of the bill. But not all of it– Clark believes having a little “skin” in the game, monetarily, will make people much more concerned with improving their diet, exercising more, and generally taking care of their own health.
With the economic and health systems broken, and U.S. lifespans significantly trailing most other first-world countries, the solution is a radical one: individual responsibility, and individual coverage.