What can be done about the sad state of American Healthcare System.


by rbnfl

We have all either heard stories about astronomical cost of visiting the emergency room or an extended stay at a hospital or we have been victims of it ourselves.  As a rule of thumb, when you visit an ER at a hospital in a big city in the U.S. the cost will be $1,200-$12,000 depending on the nature and reason for the visit.  For example, an arm broken in 2 places will cost you $3000 for exam, x-ray and a cast.  If there is need for a catscan or MRI cost will go up to $5000-$6000.

 God forbid if you go in with chest pains which results in an angioplasty; you will be looking at bills in excess of $40,000. 

If you have insurance, the size of the bill is really not a problem.  At most your cost will be $8000, which represent a 20% copay.

If you don't have insurance, you better get the jar of KY Jelly and grab your ankles. 43% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to emergency medical care.

Why are the insurance costs so ridiculously high?  Should a Tylenol+codeine pill cost $7 or should a 3 minute exam by a doctor cost $700 ?  The answer is invariably no.

In the last 35 years or so, health insurance companies have forced the "retail" or "published" healthcare costs to be increased year after year after year.  Why?  There are at least 3 very good reasons:

1) The higher the healthcare costs without insurance, the more people are forced to buy insurance.

2)  The higher the perceived healthcare costs, the more these companies can charge for premiums.

3)  The higher the costs, the more patients can be charged directly for co-pay.

Its a win-win-win proposition for the insurance companies.  But lets see whats happened to the actual healthcare providers and patients.  When medical bills are so high that people would go broke paying them, guess what; people don't pay.  So hospitals and clinics get shafted when they treat people without insurance.

Patients are either left without insurance or are forced to buy insurance at $1,200 a month for a family of 4.  In many States, $1200 is more than rent or house mortgage payment.

Obamacare is a far cry from a decent universal healthcare program.  But its a small step in the right direction.  For those of us who live in the U.S., when its time for elections, vote for the representatives who are in favor of decent and affordable healthcare for the general public; a system which is not controlled by insurance companies.



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Esfand Aashena

This time the Supreme Court decides not the elections.

by Esfand Aashena on

The fate of the healthcare in United States is with the Supreme Court and the red neck Judges who were put in office by W and his father.  The same Judges who ruled that special interests group can contribute unlimited amount of money to individual candidates in an election.

If Obamacare fails that will be the end of the healthcare debate as we know it.  Last time healthcare was debated in an election was in 1992 when Hillarycare was given serious considerations.  Nothing from 1992 - 2008.

Insurance companies can pay unlimited amount of money to campaigns to keep healthcare off politics and in the hands of the insurance lobby groups. 

Everything is sacred



by hirre on

Basically a health insurance costs ~$300 per person and month. That is about the equivalent sum which we pay through our tax here in Sweden for health care. The problem is that if you have it in the form of insurence, you have a whole set of problems that comes with it, "what is covered, what is not", "how much does the insurance company pay, how much do you pay" etc etc... A whole lot of hassle and there will most likely be people who have insurance but who will not get some procedures covered. However if you have it in the income tax, then you get rid of all of these parasite insurance companies and also everything will be covered, the downside is that everybody have to pay the tax, so you can't say "I don't want it". But statistically, everybody will end up in a hospital during their lifetime, so why not go for it...