Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Medical Coverage

At the moment, there's a hot debate in our country over medical coverage. Socialized medicine? Mandatory coverage? Do your own thing?

My son is in the hospital at this moment with a catastrophic illness. He nearly died. I've been thinking a lot about the problem for the last few days.

There's a push to concentrate on preventative care. I understand that. But I suspect that could be dealt with on an ongoing basis if hospital coverage, lab tests, and pharmaceuticals were eliminated from the equation. I'm not saying it would be EASY.

In my own case, a hefty proportion of each office visit bill is comprised of necessary blood tests and the occasional EKG. Then, there is the drug store on my office shelf. And God forbid I have to go back into the hospital. With careful budgeting, I could pay my office visit. But that other stuff? That sends the cost up into the stratosphere.

I wonder...what if instead of the "preventative care", the subsidies were aimed at the lab tests and hospital cost? And what if the Congress imposed a limit on the drug cost and subsidized the research portion? Isn't that what pharmaceutical companies are always harping on? How the cost of our drugs pays for research?

WHY are lab costs so expensive? If you have the whiz-bang machine already, exactly what are the labs charging the patient for?

See...I'm wondering where the expenses are coming from. What part of it is really the patient's responsibility? If the lab has had that whiz-bang machine for ten years, surely they've made enough money to pay for that sucker? So, do they then have the right to keep on charging stratospheric fees, just because? It reminds me of toll roads that charge us to use crappy roads. And bridge tolls we pay for bridges that are falling down.

Does anyone really know what we're paying for?

On another note, I want to thank my daughter-in-law for braving snowy, icy roads to drive my son to a decent hospital an hour and a half from their home. I'm soooo grateful for her courage and determination.

anny

6 comments:

  1. I'm sorry for everything your family is going through. When I was diagnosed with Crohns in 2000 I had no health insurance. It cost me over 100k for a month stay. It took me until just recently to pay off that expense. The hospital did cut some of the costs for me, but I still paid dearly. I couldn't even qualify for medicaid or any subsidized health care.
    Today I have insurance and my out of pocket cost are still large enough that I can deduct 7500 from my taxes every year.
    I hope your son pulls through this and everything is okay.

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  2. I am so glad I live in Australia. While some whine about our socialized medicine, it's not the nightmare of the US. Years ago, I broke my ankle in the USA. I waited until I got back to Australia to get it fixed as your medical system is from the ark

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  3. I hope for a swift recovery for your son, Anny. I have very strong feelings about the state of health care in this country and what could be done to help, things our Federal government will never do. Because they are in the pocket of the drug companies for one thing - all of them.
    We need coverage for catastrophic care. Not the crappy policy now being implemented. The stupid, useless things doctors are now required to do in the name of preventive care...
    Speaking as an RN and a doctor's wife.

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    1. Yes, I believe it! And wading through the Medicare system is a nightmare...

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