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The GOP Thinks You're Over-Insured

A few years ago, during Bush's pitch in support of health saving accounts, the LA Times' Peter Gosselin reported a detail that was generally overlooked: "Most conservatives -- including those in the [Bush] administration -- believe that the root cause of most problems with the nation's healthcare system is that most Americans are over-insured."


Ezra Klein added at the time, "Conservatives believe Americans have too much health insurance, that they spend heedlessly and wastefully on care, procedures, and medications they would simply forego if insurance plans didn't pick up the tab."

That, however, was 2006. Is this still how the right approaches the health care system? Actually, yes. Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) and Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal the other day with a fascinating lede:

When was the last time you asked your doctor how much it would cost for a necessary test or procedure? In all likelihood, you can't remember. That's because your employer-provided health plan or the government "paid for it." In fact, you paid. We all pay for health care.

There's no denying that our health-care system is complex. However, we can trace most of the problems in the current system to the lack of control individuals and families have over their care.

Ah, yes, "control." Let's say you're suffering from some kind of ailment, and your physician recommends a treatment. If you had more "control," you might second-guess whether your doctor's solution is cost-effective. When he/she orders some tests, you should have more "control" about whether those tests are really worth the money.

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