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Conversations About the US Health Care System Today…

By david / October 21, 2010

It was indeed an interesting day today.  I had a lengthy conversation with one of my customers about a great many health related subjects.

We both railed against our current ‘health care’ system.  For me, this spilled over to the rest of the day, giving a backdrop to most of my conversations for the next several hours.   

It is disturbing when you consider how screwed up our system is.  My caller mentioned the story of her friend and his wife.  They had a child without insurance.  This can happen if you are on an individual health insurance plan (as opposed to a group plan as in when you work for a corporation). 

There were complications and the child was not well. They racked up millions of dollars in health care costs – which in and of itself is rediculous. 

Though they did get help from the government, the cost to the taxpayers was very high.  What on Earth could costs millions of dollars in our system? 

Well, to answer that question, I’m going to tell you another story.   This one is very disturbing to me.  A friend has a relative. This relative just finished his residency in cardiac surgery.  His first job offer?  $800,000 base salary and a $45,000 bonus for EVERY single surgery.   One surgery per week is worth more to this guy than what the ‘average’ person can make in an entire year! 

That’s Sick.  Er – wellness system? 

Ok, so if this guy is getting 45K per surgery, what do you think the hospital is taking?  And all of this expense goes to the patient – or rather – the patient’s insurance.

Now, do you understand why we have a terrible system?  Without controlling the rediculous costs, how can anyone honestly provide insurance at a reasonable cost? 

Point 2 –  Pre existing conditions – they are not covered!  Ok, so you buy insurance, and find out that any preexisting problems you have documented anywhere are not going to be paid for.  Please tell me again what the point of insurance is?   It is to insure you for your health problems! 

Now, I know that Obama’s plan calls for the elimination of preexisting condition clauses by 2014.  How much do you want to bet that the insurance lobby, and other interested lobbies will have this completely turned around by the time 2014 gets here? 

Point 3.  Cap on liability  – It is a fact right now that insurance companies have a certain ‘limit’  that they will not pay beyond.  Again, what is the point of having insurance?  To take care of your during times of need?   But these companies actually have a point where they think it is ok to walk away from you, your problems and their responsibilities.  And you paid all of those premiums for what?

And when the insurance company walks away?  The patient either goes without needed care or the government (or rather YOUR tax dollars) pick up the tab. 

Going back to my example about the cardiac surgeon – this is the point of a major problem. The costs of health care are not being controlled by anyone and they NEED to be.   I agree this person should be able to make an above average income – but not 45K PER surgery!   That’s just insane!  This is a very large part of why we have a health care crises!  This is why the US spends more of their GDP on health care than everyone else. 

This train is wrecked and has been wrecked for a long time.   And there is no easy fix.  The health care industry is not going to let the government control costs – because they practically own the government with their control of our political process. 

Think carefully about all of this.  Do you really think I’m kidding or making this up?  Use your own common sense, you cannot help but hit some of the same or similar conclusions that I have reached.

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david

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