The German and other European systems achieve lower costs and universal coverage by imposing tight controls on prices for services, drugs and devices. Britain's National Health Service doesn't bother with insurance companies and claims forms -- by eliminating insurance company overhead it achieves much lower costs than even the German system does.
Even before Obamacare, federal and state governments, through Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, paid more than 50% of U.S. health care bills. That was more than 9% of GDP, and the amount Britain spends to accomplish universal coverage -- without the additional $4,600 per person American businesses and individuals pony up.
Reducing U.S. doctors' fees and drug and device prices down to German levels won't be easy or likely possible, but politicians, providers and businesses still providing health insurance will need a solution -- likely a scapegoat.
Enter the insurance companies that have been screwing down doctor's fees, hassling everyone with mindless paperwork and paying executives like royalty.The federal government could probably pay doctors, drug companies and device manufactures pretty reasonably directly, and without the insurance company middlemen, through an American National Health Service. Follow @pmorici1 This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV