CHICAGO (CBS) — While politicians argue over the fate of the Affordable Care Act, one healthcare expert says we need to look at the debate in a different way.
Al Lewis, healthcare expert and CEO of the consulting firm Quizzify, says the Affordable Care Act and the attempts to repeal it have changed the way we talk about health insurance.
“People are starting to really focus on the fact that even though they are insured, they still somehow end up spending an awful lot of money.”
Lewis says the debate over healthcare coverage is actually a debate over price, and he adds the economics of healthcare are unique.
“When technology improves, price goes down. In healthcare, when technology improves, price goes up and utilization goes up,” he said.
For example, before, people used to wait until they were in their 70’s to get joint replacements. Now, joint replacement patients are in their 50’s.
Lewis doesn’t believe the “medicare for all” proposal from Sen. Bernie Sanders is the solution either. Rather, he’s in favor of co-insurance, where the patient has to pay a percentage of the cost of a procedure.
“You have to pay five percent of your MRI, or five percent of whatever it is. Suddenly you’re cost sensitive — you’re price sensitive,” which Lewis believes would drive down the price of healthcare overall.
Until then, he says, Congress should put polarization aside and find a way to fix what’s wrong with the Affordable Care Act.