Flat wages fueled voter anger, and the crisis holding down pay is healthcare waste, according to Dr.
Healthcare waste has many outrage-inspiring faces. They include multi-million dollar salaries for health insurance, drug and hospital CEOs. They include astonishing price hikes for life-saving drugs. And they include countless expensive, needless, risky tests and drugs.
Waste was a pre-existing condition. The Affordable Care Act broadened access to insurance but made healthcare waste worse by prescribing four levels of coverage in public exchanges. However well-intentioned, this unbalanced risk pools so that insurance companies could never get premium revenue to match medical expenses. The same thing happened in employers' private exchanges.
The part that hurt Trump voters the most was that healthcare waste depresses wages – and has been doing so for years.
According to research by
"These are people who have had food taken off the table by healthcare waste," Gardner said. "Yes, repeal and replace Obamacare, but we need to address healthcare waste."
Don't count on a government fix. There are too many powerful special interests for government to make tough decisions. But private employers can use market-based, data-driven measures to lower healthcare waste.
That would be real healthcare reform.
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