We certainly are pointed in the wrong direction. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare) is largely focused on attaining universal insurance, either through the government or commercial insurance companies. Sadly, the act neither protects nor does it help financially. In essence it does the opposite. For starters, let’s look at Hospital costs: Anyone admitted to hospital and covered by insurance is amazed at the difference between the itemized bill received at the time of discharge and the final payment by the insurance company. The insurance company pays the DRG associated charge, i.e. about ten to twenty-five percent of the itemized bill. Anyone without insurance will be hit with the unaffordable bill at four to ten times the amount for the same service. Sure, the bill the insurance company pays may be high for a complicated admission, but it is virtually always in the realm of affordable.
Here’s the dirty little secret. The insurance companies like things the way they are. We pay premiums based on the large charge—for a service paid at the low charge. And what are our politicians doing? They are handing control over to the very entity that is to blame.
Eliminating insurer’s control could bring medical care to an affordable level. Unfortunately, our population is suffering from inertia. Even those who understand clearly that we are in the clutches of medical insurance companies choose to want to remain in their clutches and make niggly changes which will only further enable the profiteering by the active and creative minds in our midst. For this reason, we actually need our politicians to enact laws bringing the price for medical care to the real price—the DRG related price, the one the government pays hospitals. I only hope politicians have no real idea how to achieve health care reform. The alternative, that too many of them are on the side of profiteering, may make the fight back to sanity near impossible.
As far as the other part of healthcare delivery goes, the doctor’s visit, this is already within the realm of affordable. It may need some tweaking, but just as in the cottage industry days, I am confident doctors will deliver all the needed outpatient care for the wealthy and the middle class.
We are and will always be responsible for caring for indigents. All we need in this sector is to eliminate fraud and abuse.
Take back responsibility.