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Dr. Feld I continually see healthcare professionals and bloggers discussing the many woes of our current healthcare “system”. I have penned a few words myself. A common theme seems to be that those in areas of influence keep turning to the insurance aspect of healthcare as a means to mitigate costs.

Frequently I wonder what would happen if the many layers of healthcare were pealed back to expose the real cost of providing health related services. How much of today’s healthcare equipment, consumable supplies, etc. actually cost what is being charged? What is the mark up? Are we buying the proverbial $600 hammer that only cost $2.00 to manufacture?

Looking towards the insurance aspect of controlling costs seems to be misdirected. Insurance is purely a means of reimbursement or payment for goods and services. It would seem that to allay the hypertrophying costs of healthcare we as a nation must look at what goes into the cost of healthcare and look for solutions at that point – the front end, not the back end – insurance.

Finally I think you would agree that the rise of healthcare insurance is a byproduct of healthcare costs in general. Insurers have decided to take the lead now and regulate their out of pocket expenses by developing “never lists” and generally increasing premiums to the point that companies are dropping health benefits and individuals are foregoing coverage due to cost. Healthcare is being sacrificed for shelter and food for many. I believe it was Albert Einstein that said the definition of insanity “was doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Seems to be somewhat apropos in today’s healthcare arena.

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