That Dirty Word – HEALTHCARE

It is an issue that can clear a room faster than talking about death, religion, or technology. What topic am I referring to? Healthcare. To some, just the thought of the managed healthcare industry sends shivers up people’s spines.

To be honest I don’t blame them. You never hear any definitive plan to really

credit to Steven Brill from his free downloadable book
credit to Steven Brill from his free downloadable book

make a difference. Obamacare has become more of the name of a syndrome, than a health care philosophy. If you ask a lot of people about it, I doubt they could tell you more than a few simple facts about it.

Healthcare’s Hidden Strategy

Healthcare management is accepted as a nebulous area of faceless executives, mountains of ever changing legal jargon and the cruel acceptance that misery and chaos are all it will ever be. I have a technical term for this acceptance. My term:    “Nonsense”

They have a strategy. It may appear like just industry structure, but it is no different than any large mega billion dollar industry with controversy. I liken it to the oil industry and the banking industry, each with their own set of lobbyists, and endless coincidences that seem to benefit them when under legislative or judicial scrutiny. An example of this is the way gas prices drop mysteriously and precipitously around election time. Just coincidence I am sure.

The Healthcare industry uses the nebulous nature of mindless faceless managed care goliaths to disguise something that really should be illegal. Basically, they are monopolies.

Medical Monopolies

The majority of hospitals, doctors, and healthcare services are linked to a handful of managed care organizations. And this trend continues as more and more consolidation takes place. And what is shocking is you hear the same garbage based arguments from these managed care organizations as you used to hear from other monopolies. Here are some of the arguments I hear:

  • consolidation reduces premiums
  • consolidation helps the economy

Oh and by the way 2 +2 = 5. Consolidation did not help bring fair pricing to big oil. Consolidation did not bring innovation or low prices to the telecommunications industry before the break up of Ma Bell. But we are supposed to believe that this medical oligarchy is benefiting your economy. I have a strong intuition that competition might work wonders for the skyrocketing cost of healthcare.

It still remains to be seen as to whether the Republicans and the Trump Administration can devise a healthcare plan for America that will take some of the profits out of the pockets of the insurance industry in order to keep health care affordable for the common man.  So far, Congress cannot even come together to label Obamacare as the failure that it is and put party differences aside in order to serve the American people that elected them.  This is truly a sad commentary on the dysfunction or our federal government.

 

“Watch Out… The Cadillac Tax is Coming”

Healthcare costs have been a continuing issue felt by Americans from all walks of life throughout the nation. With the Affordable Care Act, this has only gotten worse, especially for the middle class. Now, the Cadillac Tax is planned to begin in 2018 and I fear it will only hit my family, friends, and peers harder. I know I have firsthand experienced the burden of the ACA as of recently when my employer had to change my healthcare plan and I do not have the same safety net I previously did. I am fortunate that my spouse and I have been in good health currently, but my neighbor Kevin has not been so lucky.

My neighbor’s recent life has been one calamitous event after another. The worst of these events was his wife’s diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. We were catching up, with sweating glasses of iced tea in hand, sitting on my porch while we watched workers remove a tree that had recently fallen onto his property after a recent storm. This was just another accident in his series of unfortunate events, but he did express great gratitude for the reasonably priced professional company, www.cdstumptreeremoval.com, that agreed to work with him on his “tree care issue”.  Why can’t “healthcare” be just that, professional and reasonably priced? Continue reading “Watch Out… The Cadillac Tax is Coming”

THE “AMBULANCE RIDE” MEDICARE PAID FOR

I am going to apologize in advance for yet another post dealing with health care costs.  When I started writing this blog I thought I would be leaning more towards a “helpful hints” website.  So far I have been on my soap box and I am afraid this post will deal once again with costs.  You do have my promise that my very next post will include resources to help you.

This being said, I wanted to share something with you.  Now, I live in the state of New York and I would like to know if this is a New York thing or if this happens everywhere.  My Grandmother passed away.  She was 92 so she lived a good long life and she died in her sleep.  My mother got a call from Grandma’s cleaning lady that she had found her in bed and that she was deceased.

Mom has medical experience so she checked for vitals, the body was cool to the touch, Grandma was obviously gone.  Mom called the funeral home to have them send transport and then she finally got through to the doctor to report the death.  The doctor’s office told Mom that in New York since it was an unattended death, she still needed to call emergency services.   And for that, we received a bill for a $600 ambulance ride a couple of months later.  According to a guy I know that is in the limousine business, we could have taken Grandma for a rather luxurious ride for most of the day for that amount of money! Continue reading THE “AMBULANCE RIDE” MEDICARE PAID FOR

OBAMACARE DOOMED TO LIFE SUPPORT

An apple a day cannot save Obama CareObama care will go down in History as the President’s biggest folly. No doubt the that the President had good intentions, but in his arrogance, he implemented a system that was supposed to encourage States to implement their own exchanges. 34 states failed to set up exchanges. And those states that did set up exchanges have not all been successful. Hawaii is an example. $205 million dollars of federal taxpayer dollar were spent on Hawaii’s state healthcare exchange. Now Hawaii is asking for $30 million dollars to switch over to the Federal Obamacare Exchange instead. Note the Hawaii that the New York Post referred to Hawaii “a trailblazer of socialized medicine for nearly four decades”. Continue reading OBAMACARE DOOMED TO LIFE SUPPORT

HEALTHCARE: Dollars, cents, and responsibility.

The healthcare issues affecting our country in 2015 stem from the desire to see that everyone has an opportunity to receive medical treatment and trying to determine a fair and equitable way to pay for services.

The cost of healthcare is rising. Who is responsible?
Healthcare Dollars and cents

The cost of healthcare has skyrocketed over the last several decades.  Partially, this is a result of the increased number of treatments available.  Some of it is a result of the imposition of overlapping oversight imposed by regulating agencies.  There is also the effect of insurance companies trying to satisfy shareholders.  As a result, we just keep chasing our tails in the attempt to fix the problem. Continue reading HEALTHCARE: Dollars, cents, and responsibility.