In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:
Thank you. This mainly confirms my suspicions: There isn't mcuh of anything government can do to address health care costs, short of going single-payer.
Removing special trust status is something government could do. But bear in mind that an insurer must be of a sufficiently great size because it needs a big risk pool to work. The market only supports so many large insurers. Forcing them to go smaller might result in more failing.
Individuals makin themselves healthy. I obviously agree with that, but again, that's not something we can say government fails us in making happen. Apart from putting out information there really isn't anything it can do - at least, not without stepping on some seriously slippersly slopes (ie, a weight tax; mandated exercise - Orwellian stuff).
"no benefits to anyone who is not here legally"? Like what?
Currently, hospitals have to stabalize anyone who is brought in an emergency. You don't want us to get rid of that, do you? It would mean that if you were unconscious and you didn't have enough identifying information with you - maybe you got hit by a car while jogging, without your wallet - you just die. So we can't get rid of that.
How many benefits to illegals really get, and how much does it really cost? Especially compared to the overall system costs?
"Service providers should be given the right to refuse treatment to people that cannot show an ability to pay. This might only apply to non-life threatening treatments. Can't let people be irresponsible, not have a doctor and then inflict the high cost of their stupidity on the rest of us"
Well that's what the mandate does. You buy in, or if you don't, you pay a tax to defray other costs of the program.
And I'm pretty sure that service providers can refuse people who do not have insurance and cannot pay. Unless, of course, they are brought to a hospital in a life threatening emergency.
To sum up: The problem with health care costs under the current system is that it largely depends on individuals choosing to engage in the right behaviors. Obamacare goes pretty much as far as government can go without aiming itself at 1984 - by coercing people to buy insurance. Absent single-payer, there isn't much more it can do. Hence, why I've largely defended Obamacare.
It's a fine pickle we're in.
Meanwhile, more treatments and more medicines are being discovered yearly. The more that can be treated, the more doctors are ethically obligated to treat, the more health care costs there are, the fault of nothing but human innovation.
So there's that, too.
WHat can the government do? Well aside from the anti-trust stuff, they could get out of the way and allow insurers to segregate risks by behaviors. That would proovide financial incentives for people to take care of themselves.
You want to smoke? Fine, then you pay for your own health care or find an insurer that accepts your behavior and charges you much more to cover the risk.
Right now as it is the true costs of our bad decisions around taking care of ourselves is hidden and it is spread out over the population unfairly.
The only problem is those people would never be able to afford the premiums because of their high risk. As a result the govt would never allow that kind of system
Even if they did I doubt the higher premiums would still be incentive enough. If someone can allow themselves to be grossly obese then that tells me there really isn't anything that could ever motivate them. If one can look at themselves in a mirror and not be disgusted enough to make a change then nothing will.