The health insurance system fails most Americans, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Nearly 6 in 10 insured adults have trouble using their coverage. Within that group, nearly 1 in 5 was unable to get needed care.
It’s tempting to see this survey data as proof that health insurers aren’t doing enough to meet the needs of patients. But there’s another way of looking at this situation — one that could point the way to a saner, more dynamic healthcare system.
The problem with health insurance isn’t that insurers do too little. It’s that patients expect them to do too much. An arrangement in which people paid for more of their care out of pocket and used insurance only for medical catastrophes would eliminate much of the bureaucratic sludge that makes our health insurance status quo so frustrating.