Somehow, in the past 50 or so years, the entire concept of health insurance has been turned inside out and upside down. No longer do we insure against a catastrophic event, what was once called a "major medical" policy, but now expect our insurance to pay for hangnails and head colds.
As a nation, we run to the doctor for the most trivial of reasons because "it's free." This phenomenon is not relegated to the people who are insured through their employer, but includes Medicare recipients also.
A number of years ago, I had a lady friend who was on Medicare. She had problems with the maintenance of her toenails and so her doctor referred her to a podiatrist. Every six weeks, she visited the podiatrist to have her nails clipped, not by the doctor, but by an assistant in the office. Medicare was billed for an office visit and for the clipping of her nails, a procedure that could have been performed by any competent manicurist. Of course, if she went to manicurist, she would have to pay $5.00 or $10.00 to have her nails clipped. Why do that when you can get it done for "free."
Both my husband and I are recent receivers of this abomination called Medicare. Unlike most recipients, I carefully review the statements for our services. Just a few weeks ago, my husband had a electrocardiogram performed. When I saw the amount billed to Medicare, I almost had a stroke. A relatively simple procedure, the technology of which has long since paid for, cost close to $4,000.00. A doctor isn't even required to do the procedure, a technician being sufficient for the job. Admittedly, a doctor "reads" the results, which were already known to us by the nurse. What Medicare actually paid the clinic for the procedure is an unknown, but not for long, since I plan on spending some quality time with the billing office to find out this information.
Except for a period in which I worked for Costco, we self-ensured by carrying the equivalent of a "major medical" policy with a high ($2500.00 - $5000.00) deductible. Our doctor had opted out of the whole insurance racket, which was fine with us. If we needed to see him, an average office call amounted to $60.00. Often, he spent at least an hour with us. Contrast that with our new Medicare provider, which we are lucky to have as most doctors don't accept Medicare patients. He bills Medicare an average of $200.00 - $300.00 per visit, which lasts an average of 15 minutes. This is necessary because he is only compensated a percentage of this amount. And around and around it goes.
Obama, when he's not golfing, specializes in division - race against race, rich against poor, and old against young. The majority of comments on Medicare are young people railing against us oldsters. How dare us expect to get our health care for "free." Might I remind them that we were not given a big say-so in this whole deal, and that we have paid into it since its inception. Problem is, there are many of us who know the system is rigged. My mother, who worked in the health field, knew back in the 60's that Medicare was not a good thing, and was not in favor of its passage.
All you lefty loons who think Obamacare is the solution, had better wake up and do a bit of research. If Obamacare remains in effect, something I doubt will happen, your "health care" will consist of sitting on a waiting list to see one of the few doctors still practicing. But, cheer up - it'll be "free."
"Fixing" the system is simple. I've said it over and over and people with all sorts of fancy degrees to back me up.
- Get rid of employer provided insurance, something that arose as a result of wage controls.
- Go back to the concept of "major medical" policies and pay for your own routine office visits (oh, the inhumanity.)
- Tort reform to limit frivolous law suits so your doctor doesn't have to practice "defensive" medicine.
I apologize for not including Ann's link. Bookmark her site. She posts some exceptionally good articles.