Calling for Health Care Reform

Might this be the future of the health care industry:

The Obama administration called on Anthem Blue Cross on Monday to justify its controversial new rate hikes of as much as 39% for individual policyholders, saying the increases were alarming at a time when subscribers are facing skyrocketing healthcare costs. (see full article here)

My folks could not afford to keep me on their insurance plan once I left for school, thus the inevitable happened while in college: I tore my knee up which required roughly around $100,000 in reconstructive surgery and rehab. I am still paying for this and I am upper middle class. Think about those folks that cannot afford to deal with insurance hikes that by far exceed the rate of inflation? I wish you well Mr. president.

10 thoughts on “Calling for Health Care Reform

  1. More than anything, I think about people who have good insurance who are forced to pay astronomical rates for things. Yes, the uninsured have it bad, but many clinics will negotiate rates with you if you’re uninsured. From talking to friends who are physicians in private practice, I’ve learned that clinics and hospitals bill so much because insurance pays so little after all is said and done. That being said, my insurance company still charges me for 20% of what is billed for a major procedure or operation, and I have it fairly well, all things considered. I’m not entirely sure what the answer is to health care reform, but I do know that it’s abysmal that so many people don’t even have access to health insurance and that rates and charges for services are skyrocketing even for those who do have it.

  2. I like that the Obama administration is asking this insurance company to explain the new rates. This was one of the more common sense things that could be done across the board to improve health care instead of blowing up the entire system.

    If you are thinking about grabbing a burger for dinner, you can file through your mental rolodex and compare by location, flavor, price, and even calories. This information not only empowers the customer, it stimulates competition among hamburger providers.

    Instead of *becoming* health care, our federal government can find ways to stimulate competition and transparency. Forcing insurance companies to post their price breakdowns and defend them not only keeps them honest, but gives us some useful data on where exactly the health care system is losing money.

  3. I still haven’t heard anyone talking about closing the emergency room loophole that adds so much cost to healthcare. Have I missed something?

  4. Last time in the ER, a month or so ago, the signage was boldly written in English and Spanish that care for everyone is provided. That is a point many don’t seem to get. Everyone in this country has health care but not everyone has health insurance. Millions volitionally choose not to have health insurance and put their financial resources / priorities elsewhere. Others have medicare or medicaid while still others are here illegally and just fleece the system. Regardless, we all are availed top shelf medical care and services in the US.

    Closing the ER loophole and addressing the issue of our courts jammed with frivolous malpractice claims is another. The doctors and hospitals must carry a ridiculous amount of insurance whose cost is passed directly on to the consumers. Tort reform is a must. The problem is the same greedy trial lawyers who force these lawsuits handsomely grease the democratic coffers to fight it.

    Should we address these two issues honestly, perhaps more invasive government measures (into the private sector) as delineated here would not be necessary and true health care reform would begin.

  5. Rob, I agree with this “The doctors and hospitals must carry a ridiculous amount of insurance whose cost is passed directly on to the consumers. Tort reform is a must. The problem is the same greedy trial lawyers who force these lawsuits handsomely grease the democratic coffers to fight it.”

    I am not sure this is the sole problem, but it is one of them. I am with Matt in that Obama sounds like he is starting to get it. Attack those that cannot justify why they are increasing rate. This should be the function of government. To protect us, the consumer.

  6. What do we mean by saying we should “close the emergency room loophole”?

    Should we just let people die who don’t have insurance? Let them suffer? If you walked by someone on the street who was bleeding, would you ask him to pay you before you helped him?

    I’m not sure this is a moral way for us to conduct our society.

  7. Oh, and Carson. That sucks about your knee. I’ve worried about that myself. I have insurance through my school … but that is a stretch.

    $100,000! That’s my entire BS and MS combined!

  8. Saij:

    I should have been smarter and found a way to have health insurance. For as smart as I was in school, I was too young and cocky. Hence, why do I need insurance when I am so young.

    Rob makes a good point in that at times some folks can afford it, but opt to do without; however, that is not the norm for many. In my case, I could have done more. Too much ego and not enough dough at times.

  9. We all do dumb stuff when we’re young. At least your price to pay was just financial, and didn’t result in death like some kids mistakes do. I guess that’s the bright side.

    As for people who can afford insurance but choose not to make it a priority — especially once they get past their early years. That isn’t smart, no doubt. It’s like I tell people I train at the gym, you’ll always find an excuse not to workout (no time, no money for a gym, etc) until you end up in the hospital.

    There comes a point when you have to realize your health is all you have, and everything else is dependent upon it — job, school, family life — everything.

    But, health insurance is crazy expensive for most of the people who don’t have it. And what they could afford (if at all possible) is only going to cover the worst case scenarios, not prevention.

    Our entire system selects for a situation (too many “s” words!) in which people are in permanent damage-control mode. They don’t nip things in the bud, in large part because they don’t even know anything is wrong, because they never see their doctor until the problem has blown itself way out of proportion.

    And how could they? It’s too expensive to have the kind of comprehensive insurance that mimics having a family doctor. The kind where you just pick up the phone and ask a question and get an answer (that is more tailored to you than looking it up on medline). The kind where the doctor really knows you and your history, and your families history. That is just way beyond the bounds for most people who don’t have insurance right now, and for a lot of the people who DO have insurance.

    And until we have some kind of major change in the system, we’ll always be in damage-control mode. There isn’t any other choice.

  10. We do need reform, but not what Obama is proposing. It is not the government’s job to force everyone to buy health insurance. They can easily do things such as TORT reform to lower cost of health insurance without taking control of the whole system.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s