Ten days after my father’s death, the hospital sent my mother a copy of the bill for his five-week stay: $636,687.75. ... but why should my mother care? Her share of the bill was only $992; the balance, undoubtedly at some huge discount, was paid by Medicare.
And what about President Obama's Affordable Care Act?
Like its predecessors, the Obama administration treats additional government funding as a solution to unaffordable health care, rather than its cause. The current reform will likely expand our government’s already massive role in health-care decision-making—all just to continue the illusion that someone else is paying for our care.
A better solution would limit the government's role to catastrophic insurance:
...a threshold of $50,000 or more ... (Chronic conditions with expected annual costs above some lower threshold would also be covered.) ... But the real key would be to restrict the coverage to true catastrophes—if this approach is to work, only a minority of us should ever be beneficiaries.
But what about poor people who cannot afford catastrophic insurance?
...the government should fill the gap—in some cases, providing all the funding. ... If we abolished Medicaid, we could spend the same money to make a roughly $3,000 HSA contribution and a $2,000 catastrophic-premium payment for 60 million Americans every year. That’s a $12,000 annual HSA plus catastrophic coverage for a low-income family of four. Do we really believe most of them wouldn’t be better off?