Monday, October 17, 2005

Health Care Issues Today ~ We are headed for NO Insurance coverage by yr 2010 perhaps 2012

I posted a large amount of this blog at http://ahyesmedschool.blogspot.com/ , as a commentary on another blogged comment.

My rant today ~ Health Care & Insurance Coverage ~ TAKE A STAND FOLKS! ~ I guess my main isssue is people who go running to the doc for every little thing ~ from a cold to a scrape, & that takes up the time of the doc, so that other more emergent care issues have to wait as well. Also, the doc then ends up prescribing those lovely antibiotics to a whole host of issues that probably could have done without, and in fact cause more problems than it solves. All because the patient wants ATTENTION, and a CURE, INSTANTLY. America is into INSTANT IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION ~If the doc was not ~wheedled~ ( co-erced, begged, demanded, etc) into providing INSTANT REMDEDIES, the current state of anti-biotic issues would not be where it is at today.
Now , there are some major medical emergencies that can & do occur despite our best efforts at maintaining health, however, think of this ~ if people would put away ( into a flex fund, cafeteria plan, even just a separate savings account) the amount they would pay for health insurance every month, and be an ACTIVE partner in their own health care, I truly believe that that amount of money would be enough to take care of any medical needs OUTSIDE of major medical emergencies. (Approx. $2000 - $3000 per yr., much less on a per-person basis, more along the lines of $600 per yr for an adult. The $2000 amount is for my family of 7.) People should SHOP their health care ~ the name of the game is consumerism.
Take Lasik surgery ~ it's an elective surgery, so it isn't covered, so people will SHOP their doc to find the best deal. People KNOW what that is gonna cost, but you get the ~ copay or deductable~ covered expense going, and they almost ALWAYS can't even tell you what the total was, all they know is that their part was covered. Often, they don't even SEE the BILL.
So, Who really pays for insurance?? The real question should be ~ Who pays the Doc's bills? Insurance is a collective pot, usually heavily subsidized by employers. So, that means the EMPLOYERS are the ones paying the doc's bills. When its all invisible ( as in, you choose the doc, and let them bill whatever they ask, without being informed, or concerned) that's like your employer giving you carte-blanche, a credit card with no limit, a checkbook with no oversight. Is it any wonder that the system gets abused? It gets abused by employees who are ignorant of what their costs are, and health care providers who take advantage of insurance pools.

Historically health care was a service oriented profession. Our habits and our ways of thinking about docs in general are driven by decades of this kind of thinking. HOWEVER, health care today, is a BUSINESS. And businesses are about maximizing profits. Today we have a business climate for health care that lacks consumerism, and more importanntly, often lacks competition. Again, is there any wonder that the system is being abused?
People don't want to have to think about what their health care costs are, or about their own actions or lack of actions in their own self care. Ther is no question about IF insurance will continue to be provided by employers, the only question is WHEN it will no longer be available through employer-paid premiums. Some say yr 2010, others project 2012. People MUST be in charge of their own health care!!
Some people argue that "now, if we all ate our veggies and took nice relaxing walks on a daily basis, the world would undoubtedly be a better place, but somehow i think having low or middle income people hold even greater responsibility for their healthcare costs would be seriously detrimental. "
Why does being a a low or middle-income person automatically QUALIFY you for getting all the health care procedures that science can dream up? Why should that be subsidized? Why should ANYONE AUTOMATICALLY DESERVE to have these things available to them? Since when does being created EQUAL mean that if I don't make as much money as you, I DESERVE to have YOU pay for the things I can't afford? I am sorry, but there is NO SUCH THING as free lunch folks!
It's like the Whole Katrina Disaster relief thing ~ While I am perfectly WILLING to donate time, money, items, etc. to those folks, I am not REQUIRED to. And no-one should be required to, either. Yes, we should want to help our neighbors in times of need, and yes, if we don't, we may be called to task for that in the here-after, HOWEVER, and this is a BIG HOWEVER ~ it is not their RIGHT to EXPECT others to pay for them.
And insurance pools are just precisely that. You take a pool of individuals, put all their money into a pot, and dole it out as each person needs it, right? But what about Johnny over there, who keeps on dipping into the pot, never even asks what he can do to STOP dipping into the pot, never even bothers to find out HOW MUCH he is getting out when he starts dipping, and really, DOESN'T CARE, as evidenced by his continual dipping. In fact, Johnny is CAUSING HIMSELF to dip, because he refuses to take care of himself properly. And as a result of that, everyone else in the pool pays for Johnny. And you know what? Johnny thinks it's OWED to him. He thinks he DESERVES to be able to dip, without consequence. Maybe Johnny thinks that his employer OWES it to him. Why should an employer be required to add to the pot, just for Johnny's sake? What if the pot were for vehicle maintaince? Is Johnny's employer responsible for Johnny's vehicle? Or is Johnny? Is Johnny's poor driving habits and reckless use & abuse of the vehicle something that Johnny's employer should have to help pay for through maintainance of Johnny's vehicle?
Of course not! And health care is EXACTLY the same! WAKE UP AMERICA! START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your OWN HEALTH! It is VITAL that we do so!

6 comments:

Marcio said...

Ma Cherie Redhead...

Another very well written and well thought discussion. And you ablsolute right. This thing about health assurance probleme is very serious.

But if I can please say something is how you say in you country... "there is big elephant in room"... and not one person want talk of it.

Is not only population of world grow so fast but even more important, we all live longer and longer. And as you say since most of us is not take care of themselve for long time, the living longer is at plenty plenty big cost.

So my dear, this is all get more and more worse. Is not long ago life expextency of humans is only 45 year. Now is almost double and so many even live of be 100 and more. I not saying it is a great thing that we are so smart we figure way of live longer. But is cost we not really able or willing of pay for.

I am still impress of you being able to put so much words in such a well organize and interesting way.

Bravo again!!!

redhead83402 said...

Thank you Marcio!! WOW ~ i love it, my favorite chocolate blush, leaving a comment on my blog! Thank you for reading it! I wonder, what is the health care system they use in France? Or do they have any? I think that America is the only place in the world where employers allow their employees to be so UN-involved in their own health regimen, and still pay for it out the nose.

.... said...

Hiya Redhead
I have to say this. Form your standpoint, Medical insurance is borne by the employer, and some medical providers abuse the system. Agreed. But the stark fact is that insurance companies frequently give discounts to the healthcare providers and that DOES NOT get passed down to the customer. (The customer being the employee whose bills are being paid by employer.) There is often a nexus between doctors and insurance companies, that works out well for both the entities. Doctors usually have a set charge for their services provided, so they couldn't care less where the money is coming from. The bad guy is many cases, the insurance company.

I know how it is, I am a healthcare administration grad student and a dentist as well.

.... said...

For some odd reason, you remind me of Tori Amos. She's a redhead too, innit?

Rand said...

Hi Redhead. You're absolutely right. Lack of personal accountability plus obscured billing/pricing practices that diminish competition is a major problem in health care. Well elucidated.

Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.