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