Back in the Old Days When the "Single Payer" Was the Patient, There Was "Self-Rationing"
"What is the biggest complaint about the current medical care situation? "It costs too much." Yet one looks in vain for anything in the pending legislation that will lower those costs. One of the biggest reasons for higher medical costs is that somebody else is paying those costs, whether an insurance company or the government (see chart above). What is the politicians' answer? To have more costs paid by insurance companies and the government.
Back when the "single payer" was the patient, people were more selective in what they spent their own money on. You went to a doctor when you had a broken leg but not necessarily every time you had the sniffles or a skin rash. But when someone else is paying, that is when medical care gets over-used — and bureaucratic rationing is then imposed, to replace self-rationing.
Virtually everything that is proposed by those who are talking about bringing down the costs of medical care will in fact raise those costs. Mandates on insurance companies? Why are insurance companies not already doing those things that new mandates would require? Because those things raise costs by an amount that people are unwilling to pay to get those benefits.
If not, it would be a slam dunk for the insurance companies to add those benefits to the policies and raise the premiums to cover them. What politicians want to do is look good by imposing mandates, and then let the insurance companies look bad by raising the premiums to cover the additional costs. It is a great political game, but it does nothing to lower medical costs."