In an editorial, the Tulsa World calls upon lawmakers to fix the increasing price of insulin ("Lawmakers need to address skyrocketing insulin prices," July 25).
Obviously, the rising cost of nearly every medication and medical service is out of control. I posit, however, that you cannot legislate, regulate or mandate efficiency into the health care industry. It must occur organically.
Two of the biggest drivers of cost for U.S. health care are the third-party payment system and the arcane rules and regulations surrounding payment.
Every new regulation leads to many unintended consequences. The biggest entities will simply find loopholes around what is perceived as a small obstacle.
If we placed our health care dollars into health savings accounts, then paid for medications and services out of the HSA, the patient would once again become the customer.
This would allow market forces to come into play. Our current system is layered with bureaucracy, which buffers the market forces and is itself costly.
We spent $3.65 trillion as a country in 2018 on health care. This translates to approximately $11,000 per person per year. Over a lifetime, that is $900,000.
Most of us could easily pay for a lifetime of health care with that much money. For truly catastrophic injury/illness, there is a mechanism to pay now and then resupply one’s HSA over time.
The largest insurers, the pharmaceutical benefits managers and the pharmaceutical industry have such a stranglehold at present that changing our system will be a difficult if not impossible task.
Daran L. Parham, M.D., Tulsa
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