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The Health Care Reform Sacrifices

A few items on the table for health care reform include stopping insurers from denying insurance to citizens with pre-existing conditions and other tough measures to hold insurance companies accountable.  I have dealt with my own heart aches when it has come to insurance companies and how impossible it is at times to get them to pay what they so willingly promised to pay when the insurance was purchased in the first place.

But, the insurance companies really don’t have to be the only target of attack.  Why in the world hasn’t anyone addressed the issue of medical costs itself?  I think that there are quite a few items that can be cut from the bill just to start and then we can refocus our attention back to insurance companies.

Some procedures that take merely a few minutes to perform can cost thousands of dollars.  Even with as much as eight people or more covering the procedure, each with a different purpose, that’s still a crazy amount to charge for a simple procedure that doesn’t even take an hour.  One man who needed arthroscopic knee surgery, a procedure that takes twenty minutes, was charged $6000.

But, he did add an interesting tid-bit of information that could help us all until Washington does what it has promised.  The man negotiated his bill down with the hospital.  They took $1000 off his bill.  Negotiating your bill is something you can try when you get the bill and it seems a bit high.

But also, couldn’t the costs be cut as well.  How in the world could a twenty minute procedure come to $6000?  The cost of running a machine.  The cost of electric.  The cost of all the people with their hands involved in the procedure.  Medical billing is way too crazy.

It’s like the medical system hires people to look over the entire procedure to figure out every little thing to put on the bill…

  • Waiting in the waiting room
  • Reading the Magazines
  • Took a drink of water from the water fountain
  • Watched television
  • The nurse had to walk down the hall to get the patient
  • The electric in the waiting room as well as in surgery
  • The prep nurse
  • The attendant
  • A nurse who walked by and said hello
  • The doctor
  • A little plastic thing

That’s how I see a hospital bill.  The craziest charges ever and for every possible thing they can imagine.  But, don’t try to tell me that the medical system is in jeopardy in any way.  In fact, in all of these discussions about health reform, I have not heard one complaint from the medical system itself.  They’re doing great!

It’s the people who can’t afford medical.  The medical system itself has more than enough money to run and pay each other handsomely.  That’s what most people don’t even question.

Not one person who works in the health system is suffering.  In fact, some people are doing better than they should be.  One anesthesiologist was found charging twice for the same hour.  She was in two different surgeries at the same time and had to walk up and down the hall to monitor the anesthesia.  That might be one reason why costs are so high…getting charged an hour for an anesthesiologist when one isn’t there the full hour.  I’ve heard of other medical specialists taking a nap in a secret dark room while they were supposed to be in surgery…and they were on the bill.

Driving their nice cars to their nice homes, doctors sleep very easy at night because they may have saved a life that day.  Where is that sense of conscience when a person passes away because he couldn’t afford health care?  Where is that sense of conscience while the nation is split over how to solve this problem, but the only people getting attacked are the insurance companies?

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Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he returns to a world that has moved on without him. As he's playing catchup, the truth comes out about a scheme he was unknowingly the poster boy for and he learns about a hidden world that threatens everything he cares about. Available now at Amazon!