Culprit Behind High US Healthcare Prices


Uwe E. Reinhardt writes about the exorbitant prices that the health care system, through the insurance agencies, charge the health consumers. When one draws the comparison in prices for health services between citizens in the health system outside the country and that of the American citizens, it varies with significant margins. Surprisingly, the prices do not just change across the continent but also within American cities (Reinhardt 2013).

The Status of the HealthCare System

It is startling to note that there is no relationship between the prices and the quality of healthcare or the cost of producing health care procedures. Reinhardt thinks that it is the American employers who are to blame for the mishap. The author argues that the organizations have made themselves the agents of their employees in the markets for health insurance coverage. As a result, a majority of families do not enjoy the benefits of the medical insurance when the employee who is the breadwinner loses his or her job (Reinhardt 2013).

The government exempts the tax from the employer paid fringe benefit. It is an opportunity the companies gave to themselves by persuading the Congress to pass such a law after the Second World War. Americans who purchase the same insurance on their own do not enjoy such benefits.

The employers have kept it secret to the public and their employees since it is them who benefit after all. They pay every bill that they receive and pass all the costs to their employees (Reinhardt 2013). They have kept the prices very high. If the cost of medical health can climb by over 100% in a decade, then the employers are to blame for the misfortune. They are the ones who, through their agencies, source for the insurance and bargain for the costs of insurance for their workers.

The writer foresees and recommends an all-payer system just like the German model. Multiple insurances can negotiate jointly with other stakeholders to find a common price. He also wants the financial risk to be shared up to a point. The author argues that if all other human services in the United States are under good governance and regulations, why not the health care system.

It is important that all American citizens watch their health because it is the source of their wealth. However, it does not augur well to pledge the personal health concerns to another entity. The employers have had their day in their field, and now the truth is coming out.

Analysis and Conclusions

When the companies claim to understand the health benefit details and even to take an insurance policy for its workers without consulting them, it leads to the violations of the rights to health care. Affordable health care is the American dream. The worker must be involved in decision-making so as to enable the family to enjoy the health care benefits with full knowledge of what they are committing themselves to do.

The article helps many people to understand what has been happening without their knowledge. The opaque health care pricing of the healthcare system needs to stop. Health economics requires that the health consumers get the quality and affordable healthcare they deserve. They should also get information that would guide them to make informed decisions.


Reinhardt, Uwe. “The Culprit Behind High U.S. Health Care Prices.” New Times, 2013. Web.

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