While health care has grown tremendously as a percent of our GDP this is not necessarily bad. It would be expected of an aging population. It may also be expected of an affluent population able to spend more on medical life improvement. Yet much of it is spent on waste, especially on administration.
Where is the government’s place in this problem? A universal single payer system will hurt funds for health care research, and will likely become a form of rationing. There will be intense lobbying from all the medical specialties and service providers to get government funds for their essential services, encouraging more misallocation of resources and inefficiency. Lobbying is just a byproduct of regulation.
I would propose that we get health care away from employers (we are one of the only countries that functions this way), into the hands of individuals, and allow fully funded vouchers for the poor to select their own health insurance coverage. Much of the cost of our health care is shifted to the privately insured from government underfunding of reimbursements.
Perhaps the government could fund their own default coverage policy.
HSA’s should be further encouraged to allow people to save tax free to cover their own health care. Health Care providers and insurance companies would then be directing their services to the actual users of health care services which will encourage efficiency.
Health care requires choices. The more those choices are made by individual consumers rather than employers and government the more efficient it will be.
There are some basic ground rules that need to be enforced by the government, such as eligibility, cancellation provisions and requirements for coverage; but the government’ s position should be to facilitate the market, not to override it and control it.