Health Care and Health Insurance
Check out this new website. The Missouri Foundation for Health set it up to educate people about insurance coverage and collect ideas for policy solutions.
Giving people information about health care options is a great idea. And this website is easy to navigate, and has lots of information. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be as effective as it should be because it’s more focused on insurance than on health care. The question we should be asking is: Can everyone pay for health care? (There are different ways to pay for care, like using a regular savings account, an HSA, catastrophic insurance coverage, traditional insurance, or some combination of the above.) Instead, this website asks, "Is everyone enrolled in a traditional insurance plan?" and then panics when the answer is no, without considering whether that kind of plan would be appropriate for everyone. Surely, we can all agree that a billionaire doesn’t need traditional insurance to cover routine check-ups, even though he or she might want long-term care insurance or a designated savings account.
This feedback form offers a humorous illustration of the website’s misplaced priorities. Along with basic information like your name, zip code, and email address, you’re supposed to check off whether you are "insured" or "uninsured." But without detailed information about someone’s financial and medical situation, a simple yes-or-no answer to to the "Are you insured?" question doesn’t mean very much.