Sunday, December 2, 2012

Out with the Old, Middle Men that is!

Our healthcare system has been breaking for years and two things can be pointed to as the cause.  One is inevitable greed of most human beings and the other is, or was the advent of the middle man or insurance industry.
Without rehashing all since I have to believe anyone reading this knows what has happened over the last few decades or certainly this past one let me say it is not an easy problem to fix.
However we have started on the road toward a great fix with the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) also known by many in the conservative camp in a demeaning way as ‘Obamacare.’
Many doctors are now saying they will not take on new customers as a result of the ACA pointing out that they will not be paid for their increased service to mankind for those unable to pay a fair price.
I agree with the doctors although not in the manner they think.
The cause of the decrease in income for the medical community is not the ACA nor the willingness of patients to pay but in fact the ever growing community of middle men also known as the insurance industry and their friends in that conservative camp.
Logic would tell us that if we had a life threatening illness the first person we should contact would be a doctor well versed in the illness and not an accountant well versed in how to maximize profits.
Clearly one of those two will suggest how to treat the illness and the other will quietly figure out whether or not your life is that important to his corporation’s bottom line.
So I would suggest that the best outcome for two of the three parties involved in the above scenario, that’s a 67% majority of interested parties, would be to rid ourselves of the medically uninvolved entity, the insurance industry.
Sadly the greed part of the initial paragraph might then kick in and doctors being human and possibly still carrying large medical school bills would seek to order many unnecessary tests in order to pad their bills.
I am not saying all would do it but the door would be open and some would surely enter, and after that the door might become a flood gate.
So the next step would be to have a watchdog enter the arena but not one with just profits as its goal.
That entity could and should be the United States Government.
Oh my God, did this liberal bastard just suggest socialized medicine?
You are damned right I did,
We have allowed the greedy right wing to usurp words and turn them into ugly things shunned by humanity instead of embracing them for far too long!
We already have socialism in many facets of our lives and we, all of us, including the right wing not only rely on it but thrive because of it and demand it!
Things such as our military, our nation-wide system of highways, our fire departments, the National Guard and our various police forces around the country come to mind.  Should we get rid of these socialistic bastions of awful expenditures as well?
Of course not, it would be idiotic.
So why do we draw the line there?
Well simply put it’s because those things are needed by the right wing and conservatives but they would rather not pay for health care for the majority of Americans.  Many of the dissenting group are quite well off and can pay for those things themselves as needed.
They extrapolate the NIMBY (not in my back yard) to be NFMBP, not from my back pocket!
Greed once again rears its ugly head.
The government could be a fair negotiator in talks with the pharmaceutical industry for lowering drug pricing while still keeping an eye on quality drugs.
The government could continue to be a watchdog over the excesses of the medical community while still allowing a fair income.
And the government could do this and more while not demanding ever increasing profits for its board of directors or shareholders who will then demand lower taxes on that profit!
And speaking of healthcare and insurance we come to the problem of an ever increasing and aging population.
How can we best take care of our elderly?
Read on please.

When Medi-Care Doesn't!

At this time of year we are subjected to ads and commercials advising us that Medicare open enrollment is now and it ends December 7th. (Funny, that date sounds familiar for something. Hmmm.)
Those affected by this are naturally seniors and if lucky getting older every year while still under the protective arm of the Medicare system.
What the ads say however always annoys me to some extent.  They explain that you must compare plans and choose the one that’s right for you.  In other words the one blended specifically for that which ails you if you will.
You are told to do this by researching online and visiting various websites to compare costs and coverages.
The problem is that while many new seniors are in their mid sixties the majority of Medicare users are not.
The targeted audience is obviously those who have already been enrolled in Medicare. These people are less likely to be up on new technologies and less likely to have the skills needed to navigate the increasingly confusing internet.
So at a time in our lives that used to be pointed to as the Golden Years we are expected to spend more time perusing different health care plans all designed to confuse and hide certain facts so as to lure us into signing up for deals designed to make the insurer wealthier and drive customer crazy, or crazier after all these years.
Picture a ninety year old surfing the web and charting the available plans and you will realize how ripe for fraud the entire thing is!
This is all related to my next post (or actually the one I posted first so that it would appear below this and thus look as though it was in correct chronological order.)
Hopefully you read that one first but if not go back and read it again.