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Health CARE Reform or Health INSURANCE Reform?

Aug 02, 2009 - 0 comments

Well, I've been pondering this question, and yes, it's been on my mood for several days, because I'm really concerned about the concept of this.  

It was always MY understanding that the biggest problem with the cost of health care IS the cost of health care and that the goal was to provide *affordable* health CARE to every American citizen........ What happened?? Did I totally miss the concept??  

Everything I hear on the news, read, etc talks ONLY about heath care INSURANCE costs and providing *affordable* INSURANCE  for every American citizen - well, THAT isn't entirely correct, because we are actually providing health care to as many (or more) non citizens...........

This concept of only worrying about whether or not everyone has insurance is just totally foreign to me....... If the cost of the health CARE itself were affordable, we wouldn't need INSURANCE so badly, now would we??  

I'm older than a lot of people who post on MH and I can remember when the cost of a doctor visit was between $20 -$40 and we didn't worry so much if we didn't have insurance because the care we received was AFFORDABLE.  Yes, I KNOW that the care is more specialized and some procedures are extremely costly.  Doctors/hospitals have to pay for equipment, and personnel to operate the equipment, then other personnel to read the results, etc, etc.  So why not change the system a bit??

If I go for an x-ray, MRI, etc - the technician is NOT allowed to tell me what s/he sees - nope, I have to pay for someone else to make a determination as to what's seen, then send the results to my doctor, then pay my doctor yet another fee to actually TELL me what the finding is........... Now through this process I've had to have 3 different appointments and 3 people involved in the process: my doctor, the technician, the person who reads the x-rays (I guess this is another doctor), then back to MY doctor again......... By the time it's all said and done, either *I* or my insurance company (usually both) has paid out several thousand $.  

Of course, the insurance companies don't want to insure people with pre-existing conditions because those people are expensive to have on the list........... a diabetic requires constant meds, and there's all kinds of complications if the patient doesn't do what they are supposed to; a heart patient - again, meds and possible complications; cancer patient - same story, plus the possibility of recurrence.  This is all understandable.  

What I don't understand is why *they* can't put a cap on the cost of some of this stuff in order to make the care affordable........... Take an MRI for instance - they know approximately how many uses a machine will get - so take the cost of the machine and the cost to operate it (including personnel), divided by the number of uses, + a small profit for the facility providing the machine and make it stop there.............. Train the technician who's doing the procedure to recognize the problem and allow them to tell me on the spot "I see a dark spot on your lung that your doctor will need to have checked out"........... Hey - that works for me --- I go home KNOWING, either, there's something that needs follow up or I've got no problems.  That saves ME from having to worry about the findings for however many days/weeks it is until my doctor appt AND it saves BOTH me AND my insurance company another trip to my doctor so he can tell me the results that the technician wasn't allowed to tell me (but sometimes does anyway)..............Let's not forget how many hours I've had to take off work to accomplish all of this.  I have to admit, I'm one of the lucky ones that gets "sick leave" so I don't lose pay, but a lot of people don't get sick leave, so they just lose however many hours of pay it takes to get this done.............

Blood work - when I go for labs (I have thyroid disease so have to have labs quite regularly) - why can't the doctor just have the lab send ME a copy, I can look at them and tell by the way I feel, plus the lab results whether or not I need changes in med, then *I* can contact my doctor to actually accomplish the changes............. Actually, I currently have an endo who is requesting that the lab send ME a copy of the results - that way by the time I see him, I've already been able to correlate the results to how I feel and come up with the treatment *I* prefer and if he agrees - it's a done deal........ MY goal is to get him to let me do this over the phone (sure, I'd be glad to pay a small fee for a phone consultation) because every time I see my endo, it costs me $97.17 - they have that down pat.  Now keep in mind, that the $97+ that is costs is only MY cost - my insurance company is billed well over $200.00 and these appt's only take 10-15 minutes............. what an outrage........

My annual physical is another thing that burns my butt............. lab work is ordered and I make sure it's done in plenty of time because my pcp will NOT specify on the lab order that I get a copy...... Anyway, I go for lab work, then the day of my appt for the physical, I get to the doctor's office for the appointment (I'm always early) sit in the waiting room for anywhere between 20 minutes - 2 hrs, finally get called back to an exam room, the nurse checks my weight (always too high), blood pressure/heart rate, verifies my meds, then says "the doctor will be in shortly"...... then I wait THERE for another 20 minutes to an hour before the doctor FINALLY comes in........ HE kinda/sorta/but not really     looks at what the nurse wrote down (weight "hm, I see you gained another 5 pounds - you need to MOVE more"; bp/hr)....... Then he grabs a popsicle stick and looks down my throat, shines the light in my ears to see how much wax I have, thumps either my knee or elbow to check reflexes and says "Well, everything looks good - here's a copy of your lab results.......oh your cholesterol is high, I want to give you a script for Crestor".............. yep, has to be name brand........ THEN he says - "you can't take the generic thyroid med - it HAS to be Synthroid"........... "Good bye, have a nice day"           And for this he charges $300??????????  

Well, I'm good to go - I pay my $25 copay and go my merry way, but then at the end of the year when my employer has to come up with insurance options - amazingly, the rates have almost doubled from last year......

Well, it's no wonder.............the costs of the procedures go up, the cost of insurance goes up........

These are MY views/concerns about this whole thing - yes, EVERY single person in this country should be able to get affordable health CARE - but WHY should *I* and my husband who work hard for what we have, have to pay for health INSURANCE for someone who COULD, but WON'T pay for it???????? This is totally against everything that my dad and my brothers fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam to prevent...........

Curb the cost of health CARE and the cost of INSURANCE won't be such an issue............ Just my tiny mind's simplified view of things.................

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