The Billings Outpost

Put cost where it belongs

I have been reading Art Wittich’s Referendum 122 which prohibits any state or federal health insurance purchase mandate. And I have been following the arguments for and against. However, these arguments ignore the Trillion Dollar elephant in the room.

Emergency rooms around the country are mandated to care for patients without regard to insurance. Hospitals are required to give care to patients in advanced stages or illness. These mandates cost the American health care consumer trillions of dollars over the years. Every family that carries insurance pays $1,000 to $2,000 extra each and every year to pay for these people who do not carry insurance of their own.

Even if we did not require these people to pay for their own insurance – if we paid it for them – it would cut the cost in half. If they had the medical care to prevent the end stage problems of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, it would cut the cost in half. If they were required to pay for it themselves, it would shift the cost to them – where it belongs. – and it would cut the cost in half.

Mike Thomas

Helena

 

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