Wednesday, August 10

Health care costs are the problem

As the United States deals with its debt crisis and deals with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the United States federal government’s credit rating, one of the growing debates is about health care.

The President and the Democrats who had control of Congress passed a so called Health Care Reform Act.  That act did absolutely nothing to lower health care prices.  What it did was cater to health insurance companies, and make criminal not having health insurance coverage.  Now, why the Act offers subsidies to pay the lesser among us some sort of subsidies for that heath insurance coverage, it still was something that did nothing to lower prices.

Let’s face real facts here.  The great frustration of rank and file Americans is not having health insurance, it is having health insurance and still being put in a financial hole.  A man or woman can spend their entire lives having health insurance, get sick, and be stuck with big bills after insurance pays.

Here is how that happens.  America has seen a shift in the health care profession, from being non profit to profit.  As health care went to profit, so called financial professionals have been hired by health care providers to maximize profits.  Here is how that works.  Supposed a procedure will be paid $100, to be simple, by insurance companies.  Health care financial experts take that number, then figure out you can pay thirty dollars yourself.  So they charge you $130 for the act.  Your insurance company pays $100 and you are stuck with the $30 leftover. VUI choose low numbers to make a point simple.  But, frankly there are folks out there who paid their entire lives for health insurance, had something like a heart attack and find themselves, after insurance will bills ten or twenty times that after insurance.   The health care providers are in the business of maximizing profits. And with people choosing living or dying, getting those profits are like shooting fish in a barrel. You got a $100,000 in your savings after a lifetime, they will take it.

Health care providers will tell you that that Americans have access to the best health care in the world, the most innovative treatments.  That is true if you have good insurance coverage and money.  What they do not tell you is that millions of dollars of money is spent lobbying state legislatures to make health care malpractice harder to go after.   They do not tell you that they lobby to make sure they will not cover simple tests that find things like cancer in the earlier stages. In other words, big health care, spending big money, raises your bills to outrageous levels and  spends millions to make it harder for you or you family to recover if your health care provider messes up.  No other profession in America enjoys such protections.

That said, there is another part of the health care industry that is outrageous, and that is elderly care.  If a man or woman lives their whole life saving some money, and paying insurance, God help them if they get dementia or something like that and need nursing home care.  The nursing home health care provider runs through their savings, and takes every dollar of their Social Security benefits.  What is even more outrageous is that such care is often provided by people who frankly have no business doing it.  It is all about the profit and administrators of such care get relatively big money leeching off people who made their livings working hard. Think on it.  There are people out there, with no formal medical training, with not even a Bachelor’s degree in such things, making big salaries and deciding what is good for your grandfather or grandmother, all the while running through the lifetime of savings you grandfather or grandmother built. VUI really does not blame the folks who have to make that decision, but the big for profit folks who hire them for cheap because they do not have the formal training.

That, folks, is what is wrong with America and health care.  We live in a country that touts freedom, but if you live your life the right way, save your money, and you get sick, you lose it all to the health care leeches.  That is why so many American are tired of things.  They see our politicians all but paid off.  Indeed, we live in a country in which states must and do regulate things like a cable television bill and a electric bill, but health care providers are free to drain you dry.  And, living, that is probably the most irrational economic act people make.  Health care for profit folks take advantage of that.  Ten dollar aspirins and taking the savings of old folks is the tip of so called iceberg.  Nowhere in the world, but America, can a man or woman in the middle class build a small fortune and watch it all go away just to get basic health care, even with insurance.  Obama missed that.  The Tea Party Republicans missed that.  And, that folks is why so many remained so ticked off in this country.  And, making it criminal that poor folks do not get insurance will not do a damn thing about it.  The for profit health care industry bleeds the middle class and government alike.
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