Friday, June 12, 2009

Health Care Plans

Health Care Plan, Health Care Reform, articles abound this week.
Reading the articles, the editorials, and the comments of the readers is a feat in itself.
This is really a topic of interest to a lot of people. Many doctors write articles, editorials, and comments. Many politicians have much to say. The President is on the trail, holding town hall meetings. So you know I couldn't resist my two cents. Below is a comment I sent to the NY Times.
I support Health Care for America Now

I guess I am just stupid or naive.
Why are the costs for health care so high in the first place? I doubt it is all about technology. Why are we, the government, going through this insurance mess in the first place? Why not just get drug companies to get realistic, get hospitals to look at their vendors and their yen for profit, get doctors to set their charges realistically. Why not get the patients to be responsible.
We all know those with insurance pay for those without in many ways. We all know about really “frivolous lawsuits”. We all know drug manufacturers are charging US consumers much too much. (no it is not their research costs-it is their advertising costs) We all know the population is not healthy and expects a drug or a procedure to instantly fix our bad habits. We all know that many if not most hospitals have brought in business managers to get profits up. We all know the problems with population demographics changing-more retired than workers.
I am for health care for all but why are we so worried about insurance companies. They have been around for as long as I can remember and they will probably not disappear. They will find a way.
I worked for a hospital years ago as a secretary. I remember my shock at what a little restaurant packet of ketchup cost then. We have all read or heard tales of the cost of a band aid in a hospital. We all are aware of errors in diagnosis or treatment do happen leaving some with a lifetime of pain or suffering or the inability to earn a living. Even worse we all are aware of , God forbid, deaths from these mistakes.
I see what insurance companies do “for me” when they negotiate for a visit to my doctor. My doctor in essence gives the insurance company a loan for months sometimes while they wait on payment. My doctor charges more because he knows that he will get less. The insurance company negotiates so that my deductible is rarely met. The drug plan is another tale. They send me letters to encourage me to take an “opportunity” to save money. They negotiate with the drug manufacturers to get the best price for the plan sponsor and themselves. Fine. But they turn down my doctors prescriptions because I didn't take advantage of the “opportunity”. So my choice is take the drug they want me to take or go pay 3 to 4 times as much.
I think this is all craziness. Capitalism at its best?
I don't mind businesses making a profit. I don't mind health care professionals making money. However, isn't this just about the same as the “Wall Street” greed we are seeing lately? Shouldn't we all; corporate America, doctor, hospital, drug supplier, drug manufacturers, and yes, the public change our ways and our expectations?

Posted as comment on NYTimes.

There is a big long on-going story behind my comments but it would be too long to post here.
PS After rereading the comment to the Times, I realized the whole thing relates to the April 25th blog post.


  1. Wish I had something constructive to offer here, but, I don't. What a mess--and getting messier.

    I have been pretty fortunate health-wise, for my age and 'all'. I attribute that to avoiding the medical profession as much as possible. I smoke and don't exercise due to joint issues. I do try to watch what I eat--try my best to avoid chemicals, additives, ect. So... I guess the biggest concern for me with health care and insurance co's is 'not' incurring or leaving medical debts for my children. Knowing that I have no real control, surviving with dignity 'outside of the system' is my goal. I will have to see how that goes and hope I can continue to adapt.

  2. We share the concerns, I think many "seniors" do, about leaving problems for our kids.
    No real control is very true.
    I am also concerned about what the kids will have to deal with for themselves. I know this is just crazy the way it is.
    I just wish some power that be would begin to use common sense but that ain't gonna happen.

  3. I went to the April post after reading this one. I find both posts very insightful and I agree with much of what I have read. We have very similar views. I don't have time to write right now, but I will spend more time at your blog; learning. I have so much to read and so little time, it seems.

  4. Thomas,
    Thank you for commenting.
    I sometimes think I am sending this stuff into space for no reason.
    I have been taking a break writing about policies for a short spell. However, I have been reading and trying to learn also.