The evolution of economics: As prices have pushed up on certain items such as health care, there came times when the consumer could no longer afford them. If it were to be him doing the buying, the buying wouldn't get done.
So, enter third-party buying. Instead of Joe Blow, the consumer, reaching into his pocket and paying right on the spot, a third party -- a rich uncle, so to speak -- is found. And, the "rich uncle" pays the bill.Then, Joe either pays the rich uncle -- the sugar daddy -- back later or receives the product gratis, ne'er needing to pay the money back. Insurance is a form of this. Government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare are also forms of this.
Now, I have suggested our economy evolved to this as a result of prices reaching a point where the consumer could no longer afford them. I'm not sure that this was always the case. Rather, in some situations, there came a time when the seller simply realized that if he could slip a sugar daddy into the equation, he could charge more money.
Insurance companies have deeper pockets than average people. Governments, the same. If you leave it to the average person to pay the bill, you aren't going to be able to charge as much. Get insurance companies and governments involved, though, and you can jack up the price.
So, what if we were to take insurance companies and government out of the equation? What if we left the buyer to pay his own bills upfront. More correctly stated, what if we left the seller to collect from nobody other than Joe Blow?
He wouldn't be able to charge as much. If he wanted to sell his product, he would either have to sell just to the rich, or he would have to lower the price to where the average person could afford it.
So, if we want medical bills to drop, perhaps we should get rid of or reduce the influence of insurance and government.
Now, if we just got rid of insurance and government as bill payers, the medical profession would likely cater more exclusively to the rich. It just wouldn't provide all the services to the poor, because they couldn't afford to pay them.
So, what to do?
Turn the individual mandate on its head. Instead of requiring everyone to buy insurance, require medical providers to sell to everyone.