This week, my company, Nomi Health, launched the “Go Fund Yourself campaign.” The video and other advertising on display in Las Vegas at HLTH, where I spoke, take aim at the American healthcare system, which too often puts the burden on regular people to self-fund the cost of their healthcare, frequently at great expense. As a fictitious company, “Go Fund Yourself” represents everything people dislike about our healthcare system today and what it often feels like it’s literally telling us to do when we need it.
Did we get your attention?
I hope so, because even with recent projections that health-insurance inflation may soon drop, we still have a long way to go to make healthcare affordable and accessible for everyday people. In fact, the “appearance” of declining insurance costs noted recently in the Wall Street Journal is likely a mirage distracting from the real issues impacting most American’s wallets. Healthcare prices have long been exorbitant and will continue to be unless action is taken.
Unlike the price of gas, which we see at the pump, healthcare costs are opaque. The true costs aren’t clear when you leave a provider’s office or receive a bill in the mail. But they’re significant. Healthcare spending has outpaced almost every other sector in recent decades. According to government data, U.S. health expenditures reached $4.1 trillion in 2020 and are projected to rise, with another 6.5 percent increase expected this year. At a time when the prices of everything seem to be increasing, healthcare will remain expensive, potentially putting it out of reach for millions with another COVID-19 resurgence looming and amidst a constant threat of chronic conditions.
These rising costs fall hardest on vulnerable populations, who currently spend 62 percent of their discretionary income on medical expenses. Too many Americans are being forced to make excruciating decisions between buying groceries and basic medical care. We need to take a hard look at rising healthcare costs and to start addressing systemic issues. In the U.S., healthcare is unnecessarily bureaucratic, and bloated by insurers and hospitals who slow down, markup and obfuscate the true price of care. As Axios recently reported, the projected coming rise in healthcare costs “could build pressure on Congress to stop ignoring the underlying costs that make care increasingly unaffordable for everyday Americans — and make billions for health care companies.” I agree the time has come for the Biden Administration and the next Congress to prioritize lowering healthcare costs so everyone can access affordable care.
“Go Fund Yourself” ignites this conversation in a way people can’t ignore, while serving as an urgent call to action to those who want to be a part of the solution. At Nomi Health, we’re already solving it with a new model that fundamentally lowers healthcare costs and increases access, so no one is forced to go fund themselves to get the care they need.