Health care has become so complex it's nearly impossible for a consumer to solve on their own.
That's the point Den Bishop, author and president of independent insurance brokerage firm Holmes Murphy & Associates, made during a talk at Rhythm City Casino in Davenport Wednesday. He wrote "Voter's Guide to Healthcare," which will be released in the fall.
Bishop said health care is like "Star Trek." Consumers go into a different reality when they see a doctor, get a diagnosis and try to find pricing information.
"Consumers, patients, employees, they don't understand how that all works," Bishop said. "They trust their doctors, they trust their hospital and they trust that they will guide them to where they need to go."
A Siegel+Gale study showed the U.S. health insurance market was the most complicated industry in the world. Another study showed only 4% of those surveyed understood basic terms like co-pay, deductible, out-of-pocket and co-insurance.
"What this study has shown us is we've created a system so complicated that until somebody goes to the hospital and has a procedure and gets the bill, every bill's a surprise bill," Bishop said.
On top of that, health care is a political subject, he said.
"The federal government makes all the rules and pays for half of it, so it is a political subject. You cannot separate politics and healthcare," he said. "Political means it has to do with government and people and money, partisan says we're picking sides."
Whether someone leans blue or red, health care is a crucial issue. "It is a purple issue, it hits every single American," Bishop said.
Bishop advocates for a system where each stakeholder has a specific role to play.
"The government, healthcare providers, insurance companies, employers and individuals all have a role," which are divided into funding, delivery and administration, he said.