Those with the least pay the most…

Without bulk purchasing power, individuals are the most disadvantaged in the current health care system.

The most recent example Anthem Blue Cross is raising its rates in the individual market, as reported by Duke Helfand in the Los Angeles Times today. It’s a Commonwealth Fund study further explores the difficulties with the current individual market.

I make a similar point in the post highlighted in this week’s Health Wonk Review hosted by Joe Paduda at Managed Care Matters. When individuals are self-pay patients, they get charged more than insurers for the same level of care.

That’s why the crux of health reform is to make sure individuals (and small businesses) have the benefits and bargaining power of large purchasers.

Today’s headlines just emphasize the point.

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