The Political Answer To Health Care
I just finished watching a debate of “political experts” as they discussed the qualities of the candidates for President of the US. An issue that was brought up many times was, “health care or the lack thereof” for millions of people in the country. The discussion reduced the candidates positions to the following solutions. It seems each candidate from both national parties has a different answer to the dilemma of adequate, affordable health care for the masses. One candidate is in favor of some type of socialized medicine; while the other is pushing tax breaks for premiums paid by the consumer. Other ideas being offered are subsidies to help with the cost of the premiums. The common thread running through every proffered solution is a reliance on some type of 3rd party payer.
Since 1942, the growth of 3rd party payers, commonly known as “health insurance providers” has grown to unimaginable proportions. Along with that growth has come some good things (risk sharing) and some not so good things (denial of benefits for pre-existing conditions, claim denial, managed care from afar) among a host of other issues.
Who among us has never had a bad experience with a 3rd party payer? Mine was the unnecessary death of a family member and over $60,000 of out of pocket cost. All that directly attributable to a 3rd party payer. I’m sure each of you has a story of a bad experience, if not worse.. If you care to share, your comments are welcome.
Do you know that every health care insurance company has a department whose sole purpose is to review every potential claim and look for a way to deny or at least reduce the benefit paid to the patient? The better job they do the higher the bonus they receive. This fact only recently became public knowledge during a senate hearing on health care. The senators expressed righteous indignation while chastising the insurance company executives, but extracted no promise to end the practice. What does that mean to you, who have faithfully paid ever-increasing premiums over the years when you encounter a catastrophic health expense? You can be sure your claim will be subjected to the same scrutiny, and if the tiniest reason to deny or reduce the benefit paid to you exists, your out of pocket costs take a dramatic increase. I’m living proof.
As I ponder these issues, I had to wonder what did our parents and grandparents do when they needed medical care? One just has to study healthcare, before 1942, for the answer. This message is not intended to advocate a return to primitive healthcare, only to look at the enormous problem of current healthcare from a different point of view.
When I next post, I will offer my perspective on a solution. One, that in this writer’s humble opinion, is far less expensive and more efficient.