I’ve only been covered by “health” insurance a few times in my life, most recently when I worked for the school system. If I needed a doctor, I paid for it myself. It wasn’t a problem. Insurance policies were mostly for catastrophic coverage and, being young and healthy, I didn’t really need any. What could happen? I figured that if I got in a car wreck, my car insurance would cover me. If I got hurt at work, I’d be covered by workmen’s comp.
Heck, even things that were covered like cracked/broken ribs from a vehicle accident didn’t stop me. I went home to get a non-totaled vehicle, then drove to work on my construction job and spent the next eight weeks sleeping upright in a chair because I couldn’t breathe laying down.
When I was pregnant with SwampDaughter, we sold my mule to pay the cost of the doctor. The hospital bill was a couple hundred bucks. (SwampDaughter, that was a good mule. You owe me.) The kids and SwampMan got their share of lumps and bumps (uninsured) and we paid for the stitches and xrays. It wasn’t a huge cost.
The point is that health care used to be affordable, not something that costs tens of thousands of dollars for a simple ailment and hundreds of thousands of dollars for something more complicated.
“But Swampie!” you may whine. “Technology is more expensive!”
Really? Unless you live under a rock, surely you have noticed that EVERYTHING having to do with technology has gone down in price. CNC machines are affordable to the average householder. They used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and only be available to well-capitalized businesses. Computers used to take up entire rooms and cost millions. Now pocket-sized smart phones are more powerful computers than our first (and expensive!) home computer that we had to program ourselves. Most people have copying machines in their homes that are incorporated into their printer, something else that was prohibitively expensive. A Selectric typewriter cost more then than a computer costs now.
But wait, there’s MORE. My grandkids play with tablets that are so affordable, they’re treated as TOYS. They’ve got more computing power at their fingertips than the first moon mission. An even more recent example is that the first flat screen tvs were an order of magnitude more expensive than those today that last longer and give a better picture.
Yes, technology has reduced the price of just about everything. But not health care. And not education. What do these things have in common? Government regulation.