succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Credit Card Feature - healthcare points!

I'm inclined to agree that this new trend of linking healthcare to credit card options (discounts on prescription drugs, dollars back on healthcare bills, etc. a la the sorts of points you can earn on frequent flyer credit cards, or gas cards, or whatnot) is a pretty sick indication of just how sick our healthcare industry is:
"It's a huge sign that our health-care system is broken, when banks see that [medical expense] market as an opportunity," says Tamara Draut, director of the economic opportunity program at Demos, a New York-based economic research and advocacy group. "The credit-card companies wouldn't be offering these rewards if they didn't think they could snag a couple of consumers with revolving debt."
Just as with any other type of debt, carrying that on a credit card is about the worst option out there. On the other hand, as the article says, if you're the type who pays off credit card bills every month, maybe it makes just as much (financial) sense as earning frequent flyer miles or gallons of gas or nights in a hotel. I suppose this is an example of the economic market, but I still balk at the idea that our health should be treated as a business for some people to profit from. Call me crazy.


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