“Health-care price gouging is a scandal . . . “

Link:  Health-care price gouging is a scandal, but there are solutions

This article was an eye-opener.  I mean, I KNOW there are big big problems with the health care system, but from what I know (or what I thought I knew) of non-profit organizations, it had no idea it was possible for non-profit hospitals and agencies to do what they’re doing.  How is this happening?  We need to ask our government this, which regulates non-profits.  I started to look into this issue today after my boss told me that health insurance is going up 30% AGAIN, for individuals.  People, can we please do something for our brothers and sisters in this country?  Many people that are homeless ended up that way over health costs!!  Anyway, these are excerpts from the article.  Go to the link to read the whole thing, and the author provides a name and place to get more detailed and highly informed information.  Thanks.

I once tried getting an answer from officials at Bayfront Medical Center about why they billed a breast biopsy at more than $12,000, not including fees charged by the radiologist and lab. All I got were vague answers, and no one would break down the cost.

In nonprofit hospitals, where top executives often are paid lavish compensation of $1 million or more, Brill [from Time magazine] documents how patients are gouged, charged hundreds of dollars for services that Medicare would have reimbursed at little more than $20. In one typical case, a dose of life-saving cancer medicine, already expensive at $4,000, was marked up by the hospital to $13,700 — with no explanation given. . . .  We overspend on health care by $750 billion a year, Brill asserts, more than the gross domestic product of Saudi Arabia.

. . . transparency in medical billing is an essential consumer-protection reform. And . . . we need to put limits on pharmaceutical pricing to bring down U.S. drug charges in line with other developed countries. That reform alone would save Medicare $25 billion a year.

The uninsured, who are powerless to negotiate a better deal, can pay tenfold for the exact same services.

For even-better ideas, read Princeton economics professor Uwe Reinhardt’s posts at the NYTimes.com blog Economix. An expert in the funding of health-care systems . . .

The author of the piece, Robyn Blumner, believes that a single-payer system would be best, as does my CPA boss.  I agree.  We are still being killed softly by insurance company policies, even if they are keeping prices from hospitals down.  What underwriter should deserve health insurance themselves when they deny a dying (or simply overweight!!) person any?  This more than amazes me.  This is inhuman.  But from what people have been taught in schools, there’s nothing special to being human – it’s survival of the fittest (and somehow all other countries and humans are better than Americans . . . ).  People are losing their critical thinking skills, their compassion, and the appreciation and desire for beauty.  God help us!

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America, the home of the free . . . to screw and be screwed.

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