Medicare is currently slated to go bankrupt in 12 years. How in the world is adding hundreds of millions of people to its' rolls likely to improve that?
Again, Medicare is about to go bankrupt, and take Social Security and the rest of the Federal government with it. It is not a model we want to build on.
I'm glad you asked.
The short answer is - the same way that the automobile insurance companies do. Think about it - your car insurance doesn't pay for you to fill up your gas tank. It doesn't pay for your oil changes. If it did
pay for these things - would you really care what the price of gas was? Would you get the economy gas when you could get the "Chevron Silver" for 10 cents more and (according to the cartoon on the pump) help clean your engine? You would, and you wouldn't care about the cost, because you aren't paying for it. But auto insurance doesn't operate like that - it's insurance. It pays for when something unexpected and/or catastrophic happens - when you get into an accident. That's what insurance is
, that's how it is supposed to function. But for some reason we expect our health insurance to pay for the equivalent of tanks of gas and oil changes. And so people don't care how much the extra shot costs, they don't really care if the test is redundant, and sure, supersize my hospital room as much as my insurance company will pay for.
We don't allow people to make price conscious decisions
with healthcare, and that is why health insurance is so expensive. Because none
of us make price conscious decisions, all
of us cost more, and so the price of insuring us rises.
High-deductible, catastrophic care health insurance is A) affordable and B) actually insurance
. It has the additional virtue of causing people to make most
medical decisions (which are neither catastrophic nor emergency) in a price-conscious manner, while at the same time making sure that if little johnny get's a broken arm, or your spouse get's cancer, that you are covered. When paired with Health Savings Accounts, which allow you to pay for regular maintenance-style healthcare with pre-tax dollars, the system can work very well indeed.