Review: "Supreme Court Strikes At States' Efforts On Health Care Transparency" - NPR
This was a "wtf" article published by Charles Ornstein for ProPublica and distributed via NPR.
Take a few minutes to read this article and let it sink in.
Now say it with me: what. the. f*ck?
The general gist is that the Supreme Court upheld that "a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database."
I'm okay with that line of reasoning if our healthcare was truly individualized and private. After all, if you and your doctor decide on a payment plan for a given treatment, that is none of my business.
However, we don't live in that world. No sir. We live in a world where we "pool" our money in the form of premiums to insurance companies, co-ops, and etc and then never know what our pooled money is going to pay for. Those premiums continually rise and no one knows why.
I purport you "can't have it both ways." Either give people control over their own healthcare and privacy and payment (which is in line with the 1974 ruling above) or force the payors in the system to acknowledge what stuff actually costs.
This headache-inducing clusterf*ck is a reminder that sometimes we Americans trip over our own feet. In adopting the PSYCH idea, the only "pooled" monies are the General Health Fund for preventative care and reimbursement for care unrelated to lifestyle choices. The reimbursement rates will be set by the states' Board of Directors. Thus we'll always know the costs of those types of claims. For sick visits, we won't know the cost of those claims because those won't be reported to a central database (just the diagnosis code). Nobody will care what the sick visit rates are because that will be between the patient and the provider; thus we won't run afoul of the 1974 law.