It's really 'people' not patients. It's a society in general that expects to delay illness and death at ANY cost.
A society that refuses to answer the question 'What price life?'. Other countries have dealt with that question head-on and have better control of care costs. States like Oregon tried to do this several decades ago and backed off from the idea due to political uproar.
To echo earlier comments, it's difficult to say who is "most" to blame when all parties contribute to the problem. I would love to see this poll run again with multiple choice "consensus" voting; ie. it should be phrased "Vote for any choice who you feel are the top contributors"
That being said, I voted "Patients" for the same reason Joel cited - lifestyle choices. One example: Why do we have over 100 million adults with diabetes or pre-diabetes in America? Have you been to a Golden Corral lately, and seen the clientele? We, the patients, are over eating and under exercising and setting ourselves up for poor health.
If we consider that 70-80 percent of healthcare problems are caused by our own lifestyle choices, this creates a myriad of opportunities for other players in the healthcare space to operate and profit. Every year employers shift more of the cost of healthcare onto their employees. The rise of high-deductible health plans with Health Savings Accounts also means that more consumers are aware of and taking some control of their healthcare spending. Even pricing transparency in healthcare doesn't address the root causes - our own choices about how we live. Until we feel enough financial pain and decide to take better care of ourselves, we will only be nibbling at the margins about healthcare costs in our country.
I agree with Ross that decoupling of payment from the patient that creates the obfuscation of cost. I'd like to see how healthcare subscription pan out.
Agree with prior comments. The "real" question is about who is responsible for the disconnect between cost and outcomes -- the low bang for our buck in healthcare. Ultimately you could blame it on the Nazis, because WWII led to wage freezes, which led to employer-based benefits, which led to the decoupling of payment from care recipient. WWII is also responsible for many wartime innovations like mass production of antibiotics, wound and infection control, which kept more people alive longer and living with chronic illness. WWII gave us the post-war baby boom and the "gotta have it all" generation, which is now aging into massive costs. Yep. Blame it all on the Nazis.
Insurance Companies top the list, then the federal and state governments for failing to reasonably regulate them.
I agree with Bob. This would be a better poll if asked to rank the top 3 or 4 culprits.
like potatochips, ya can't pick just one ... who knew pointing a finger could be so complex?