Why primary care costs a trillion dollars more than it should

American Thinker: By Dr. Robert Berry

As a Direct Primary Care physician in Greeneville, Tennessee, who has not accepted health insurance for over 18 years, I have been in a unique position to see how insurance for nonemergency outpatient medical care not only increases our country’s debt but also how it stifles our overall economy leading to reduced tax revenues from which to resolve this debt.

Americans carry insurance for unexpected catastrophes such as car accidents, burned houses, and inpatient hospital care. We don’t purchase it for routine car or home maintenance, so why do we have it for everyday medical care? The reason is, unlike other insurance, it is a pre-tax expense enjoyed primarily by large and medium-sized corporations that exert a large amount of political influence.

Most people don’t know that this tax exemption for employer-provided health insurance adds about $350 billion to our national debt each year while discriminating against the self-employed and employees of small businesses, many of whom can’t afford health insurance yet were cruelly forced to pay ObamaCare penalties. The increasing number of families choosing membership in Christian health care sharing ministries don’t benefit from this tax exemption. As a matter of justice both to future generations who will be responsible for this debt and to the many uninsured, Congress should eliminate this tax favor. While they are at it, Congress should remove the tangle of insurance regulations so companies will have to compete by offering consumers the opportunity to buy policies that make sense.

When Americans pay directly for outpatient medical care at facilities that make their pricing transparent, they pay much less than they would at facilities that don’t.

Doing so — I estimate — would return to the economy as much as $1 trillion a year, mainly because insurance for routine health care makes it easier to conceal and inflate prices while charging for services that patients wouldn’t necessarily allow to be done if they knew ahead of time that they would have to pay for them with their own money. read more

14 Comments on Why primary care costs a trillion dollars more than it should

  1. Because of government regulatory action, in cahoots with big business???

    The kicker is that leftists agree with the above statement – then want more government regulation to ‘fix’ it!!!

  2. Americans use health insurance for primary care because it is so friggin expensive! Why is it so expensive? Because medicare and medicaid under-pay, so doctors make up the difference on the backs of everybody else. Also, medical liability insurance is so expensive thanks to greedy plaintiffs and lawyers. Medical care not covered by insurance and medicare (lasik, and cosmetic surgery) have actually decreased in cost over the years.

  3. I remember as a kid in the 60’s the Dr. office charged $20 for a routine visit, and only charged $18 if paid in cash. We had 80/20 Blue Cross insurance, so my Mom would submit the bills to the insurance company for reimbursement once the family deductable was met.

    Prices will come way down.You patient X
    should put your health care $$$ directly
    into Doctor Smiths hand,no frickin’ middle man.

  5. Slightly off Topic…But someone (I wish it was Me!!!)

    Posted a pic of AOC saying

    “Einstein didn’t kill himself”

  6. I went to the dr. a couple months ago and got a $500 bill for a 20 minute visit. The “insurance adjusted” price was around $140 of which I was liable for $28. Why is it if someone pays cash they don’t get an “adjusted price?” It makes no sense to me, why not just charge the lower cost to begin with for everyone that visits?

    While I was there, they gave me a pill and charged $50, but the insurance company adjusted it to $0. It’s just so far off base of what will be paid versus what’s charged versus what you’re on the hook for without insurance. NO ONE is paying the full cost that’s billed as long as insurance is involved. I mean, isn’t that what insurance is for: to pay shit?? But they don’t, most of what’s “paid” is rather “adjusted.” I should send them the $28 bill with a line thru it and say “Adjusted cost: $0,” that’s what the insurance company does.

    Never made sense to me. that is all.

  7. I had a stress test in 2001. I wanted to go ahead and pay for it, but they could not tell me how much it would cost so I could pay for it.

  8. I’m so sick of the bureaucracy that is the medical/insurance industry I’m done going to the doctor. The only reason I have insurance is to protect my family from having me get in an accident or something, and have me unconscious and placed in ICU at $5,000.00 a day.

  9. As a matter of justice both to future generations who will be responsible for this debt

    I do not think know, that word does not mean what you think it means.

  10. I have screamed loud and clear that the problem with health care is the Insurance industry, but I said I won’t comment on that issue anymore, so I won’t…..

  11. “Why primary care costs a trillion dollars more than it should”

    Because government got involved in healthcare.

  12. Many of you are upset because the government got involved. Most don’t know that this interference started about 1913. Prior to that time you had total control of your health and body. Then the government made doctors the gate keepers to health care. You could not get a medication without going to a doctor. That was not too bad as drugs were not plentiful. But now, why do you have to see a doctor to get needed medications. Most countries allow you to by what you need across the counter, like aspirin. That includes many opiates and similar medications, they don’t have major drug problems.

    I’m my practice, 50% of the people in the waiting room only needed a new prescription for their chronic problem. Why do they have to spend money to see me. Not only that, but if you say the wrong thing like chest pain and you start the cherning process and get numerous expensive test you don’t need.


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