Cost-Sharing under Consumer-Driven Health Care Will Not Reform U.S. Health Care
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
© 2012 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM 1: Conflicts of Interest in the Practice of Medicine
Volume 40, Issue 3, pages 574–581, Fall 2012
How to Cite
Geyman, J. P. (2012), Cost-Sharing under Consumer-Driven Health Care Will Not Reform U.S. Health Care. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 40: 574–581. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2012.00690.x
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2012
Various kinds of consumer-driven reforms have been attempted over the last 20 years in an effort to rein in soaring costs of health care in the United States. Most are based on a theory of moral hazard, which holds that patients will over-utilize health care services unless they pay enough for them. Although this theory is a basic premise of conventional health insurance, it has been discredited by actual experience over the years. While ineffective in containing costs, increased cost-sharing as a key element of consumer-driven health care (CDHC) leads to restricted access to care, underuse of necessary care, and lower quality and worse outcomes of care. This paper summarizes the three major problems of U.S. health care urgently requiring reform and shows how cost-sharing fails to meet that goal.