Wednesday, November 15, 2006

United States Health Care system is failing a little more each year

I am focused on health care this week for several reasons...

My father died of cancer eight years ago. I helped my mother sort out his medical bills and it was terrible...

My mother fell down her stairs this year and we are dealing with her medical bills now. Between my mother and I we have spent 30 hours trying to sort out her medical bills and we are no where near done yet...

I am not sure how to fix our health care system. I do know that it is broken and that it is going to get much worse.

My main fear is that Democrats and Republicans will either ignore the problem or will try to make "minor adjustments" in an attempt to fix a system that is broken. Minor adjustments will NOT fix the problem.

Here are some more statistics for you:

Most sources say that between 25% and 31% of the total cost of health care is PAPERWORK.

According to Milliman Inc, in 2005 the average family on a PPO plan spent a total of $12,214 on health care. This includes out of pocket expenses. This does NOT count the amount of time spent dealing with bills, etc.

Health care spending amounted to:
1970 7% of the total economy
2006 16% of the total economy
2015 20% of the total economy

Here are some of the problems of this health care crisis:

The Government spends ABOUT 1/2 of the total cost and this will contribute to increasing the national debt to unacceptable levels.

About 47 million Americans do not have health insurance, and this will increase because more and more people cannot afford it.

More and more employers will drop health insurance for current employees and retirees. This is already happening and the 2003 Medicare Drug plan has only accelerated this trend. This will cause the government to pay for even more of the burgeoning health care burden. This will also cause more and more jobs to go overseas.

I see only two solutions and I am not real happy with either one.

Unfortunately for America; neither Reps nor Dems have the courage to adopt either method...

Mike Sylvester

4 comments:

Andrew Kaduk said...

Mike,

I believe your first problem is referring to the medical industry as a "system." By definition, a "system" is a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme.

There is nothing coordinated, organized or otherwise well-managed about medicine (as a whole) in the U.S. Furthermore, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the goal of the "system" in question is to make money by doing as little as possible, not to do what is necessary regardless the cost.

I don't think any of this will change until we move "health insurance" (if that's really what you want to call it) into the realm of "NFP" instead of staffing the upper echelons of the company with greedy pigs.

"Health Insurance" is really just the business of gambling with the lives and money of other people. Gambling isn't legal in most states, so why is health insurance? OK, rhetorical question. I think both should be legal, but I think that the medical community should really figure out how they want the insurers to "fit" in the system...instead of the insurance companies dictating the system from the ground up.

Bobett said...

Excellent point. Insurance companies do dictate to all of us.
Insc. Companies are as greedy as the Federal government and their
regulations.

I don't want socialized medicine.

And I don't want just insurance for the rich like in the 2005
Movie, "Island". It's about a utopian society where everything is carefully controlled. An enviroment of cloned people are used and harvested as insurance policies.

bobett said...

Let's make medical insurance attainable for all. If only the
House and Senate would get the
job done.


Enact Association Health Plans (AHPs). Unlike big businesses, small companies cannot negotiate lower health-insurance rates because they cannot spread their risk over a large pool of employees. AHPs would allow small firms to band together across state lines and buy insurance at the same discounts available to big companies. The House has approved AHP legislation four times during the President's Administration, and it is now time for the Senate to pass legislation that makes health insurance more affordable for small businesses.

Enact Medical Liability Reform. The glut of frivolous lawsuits are driving good doctors out of practice and driving up costs by forcing many doctors to practice defensive medicine – ordering unnecessary tests and writing unnecessary prescriptions. The total cost of defensive medicine to our society is an estimated $60 billion to $100 billion per year, including $28 billion billed directly to taxpayers through increased costs of Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and other Federal health programs. Junk lawsuits are a national issue requiring a national response. The House has passed a good medical liability reform bill, and it is time for the Senate to act.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/05/20060501-8.html

William Larsen said...

I went to Redi med this last monday. The bill was $99, but if I paid cash it was $79.

The problem with healthcare costs is that too many expect insurance to pay for everything and the premiums to be low. With insurance companies negotiating prices, those who cannot negotiate are the ones who pay more. So as the cost for government and large insurance companies come down, the cost for all others go up. The result is many drop coverage.

In the state of Indiana, the cost of health insurance is increased substantially by state law requiring specific coverage such as maternity, rehab, psychiatric and more.