That is an excellent analogy (car insurance covering your regular maintenance costs -- or add in any visit to a mechanic). I agree we don't have universal catastrophic care. It's funny: catastrophic care is considered not good enough, yet it might just be the best situation financially in the long run. Oh, well...
But getting back to what folks actually pay. That would be interesting information. I'm sure you are right, that nobody pays "sticker price."
But, think of the stress involved. Say I am sick, stressed out with a runaway cancer where I need to start zytiga or one of the other new drugs. My insurance is giving me a hard time, possibly even outright rejecting such a request. So, now I have to appeal it or get some kind of form filled out by my doctor who might be very very busy. Time is of the essence. This is not like buying a car. In fact, I've actually enjoyed car shopping. I've enjoyed the bargaining aspect and I've enjoyed watching the sales techniques. But, that's just me. Others may find it annoying. Regardless, the BUYER chooses whether or not to sign the purchase agreement. Ditto buying a house. The BUYER is pretty much in control. But when I need that life saving drug, why do I have to do research akin to a Ph.D to get "the" price.
There is another aspect to all this. The folks posting here on HW are quite bright and tend to be pro-active. I'm sure the majority of patients do not have the time, energy, nor "street smarts" to even properly shop around. It's a SHAME that they have to. So, Joe Shmo is quoted the sticker price of some new drug and, reluctantly, says 'forget it."
JNF, there may be "deals" out there, but who know where to look?
If I am on HW, I can post an urgent HELP message and there will be plenty of folks who have traveled that path and can give me some direction. It is almost like getting dx. with PC and posting on HW. at the start.
Post Edited (compiler) : 8/22/2016 10:34:03 AM (GMT-6)