A new health care poll from Deloitte Consulting this morning offers up an interesting look at what health care spending Americans find valuable. It runs through the many different places we spend money on health care: for an appointment with the doctor, for example, a hospital stay or a premium to have health insurance in the first place.
This is, I think, a slightly distorted picture of how much value different parts of our health care financing system actually deliver, largely wrapped up in how we experience care. What a premium does is not tangible; it does not diagnosis illnesses nor does it prescribe treatments. But it is a significant chunk of what pays for those services in the first place, making them more affordable than when purchased without health coverage.