Coherent solutions for the problem of reducing health-care costs cannot be found within the current piecemeal (done, made, or accomplished piece by piece or in a fragmentary way *piecemeal reforms in the system*) system of paying these costs. The reason is that this system gives health-care providers and insurers every incentive to shift, wherever possible, the costs of treating illness onto each other or any other party, including the patient. That clearly is the lesson of the various reforms of the 1980s: push in on one part of this pliable spending balloon and an equally expensive bulge pops up elsewhere. For example, when the government health-care insurance program for the poor cut costs by disallowing payments for some visits to physicians, patients with advanced illness later presented themselves at hospital emergency rooms in increased numbers.
The argument proceeds by
(A) showing that shifting costs onto the patient contradicts the premise of health-care reimbursement
(B) attributing without justification fraudulent intent to people
(C) employing an analogy to characterize interrelationships
(D) denying the possibility of a solution by disparaging each possible alternative system
(E) demonstrating that cooperation is feasible by citing an instance
The argument provides the most support for which one of the following?
(A) Under the conditions in which the current system operates, the overall volume of health-care costs could be shrunk, if at all, only by a comprehensive approach.
(B) Relative to the resources available for health-care funding, the income of the higher-paid health-care professionals is too high.
(C) Health-care costs are expanding to meet additional funds that have been made available for them.
(D) Advances in medical technology have raised the expected standards of medical care but have proved expensive.
(E) Since unfilled hospital beds contribute to overhead charges on each patient’s bill, it would be unwise to hold unused hospital capacity in reserve for large-scale emergencies.
The sky is the limit
800 is the limit