I love opportunities for a good snarky belly laugh. I got one recently.
A report in the New York Times by Robert Pear talks about how several key Harvard faculty have, for years, advocated for national healthcare reforms that turned into Obamacare. As a result (among many other issues that the U.S. refuses to deal with), the costs of healthcare for the Harvard faculty are taking a big jump.
Among the indignities the Harvard faculty now must endure include deductibles and coinsurance payments. They must pay an annual deductible of $750 for a family. Then they pay only 10% of the costs until they reach $4500 for a family.
The non-healthcare policy faculty are complaining that, “It’s equivalent to taxing the sick” and “It seems that Harvard is trying to save money by shifting costs to sick people.”
Of course, Massachusetts continues to have among the highest healthcare costs per capita of any state. And a lot of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the behemoth healthcare systems, medical device companies, and other biotech companies. For Massachusetts to seriously restrain costs, they would have to limit the influence of these organizations and companies. They would have to buy a lot less of their services at a much lower price.
So far, the Harvard health policy experts, sociologists, political scientists, and others have not figured out a solution to this problem. Maybe actually paying a little for their care will be the first step.