The Big Lie of Healthcare

Great piece here of them impending doom on the U.S. health insurance market.

How does this relate to The Big Lie?  Simple.  The government is not being honest with you.  The more people the government needs to support equals more leverage for tax dollars and regulation to force the market to do something the makes business sense.

Healthcare vs. Health Insurance

If you listen closely, when the Obama Administration talks about the problem of American’s not having access to healthcare isn’t true.  All Americans and probably anyone in this country regardless of status, age, sex, gender (because the two are different now), religion, creed, etc. are to be provided diagnostic and stabilizing care of an emergency medical condition.  The emphasis on stabilizing is important because it determines how much the hospital is going to have to make-up through charging higher prices elsewhere.  So, if you can’t pay and are having chest pains, go to the emergency room and are then discharged hours later with a potassium prescription then the costs are going to be much less of an encumbrance on the hospital than an uninsured meth lab explosion.

The reason?

It takes longer for a burn victim to be stabilized and be able to care for themselves.

One of the main areas of higher prices is in pharmacies.  Which according to studies indicates that hospitals use pharmacies—like laboratory services and imaging—to “generate revenue” for other parts of the hospital.  And this makes sense.  Every company has a “loss leader” where the cost in time and/or materials costs more than market pricing can support.  At Starbucks one of my favorites is a caramel macchiato apple cider, which, I’ve heard is a loss leader.  So, they make that up by selling regular coffee at exorbitant mark ups.  No one complains.  It is business and everyone agrees that Starbucks can make a profit.  True, some hospitals are non-profit and they rely on donors to make up the short fall, but what happens when the donors dry up?

Health insurance is not the same as healthcare.  Insurance spreads the cost of a claim over many people’s premiums on the “gamble” that the premiums are going to offset the cost of claims.  Simply having health insurance does not mean that one receives healthcare because healthcare is actively sought out.  Health insurance, in today’s society, is mandated.  And as we’ve seen with the onset of the Affordable Care Act having health insurance doesn’t mean one will seek healthcare because today the cost is too high.

So, when claims are touted as expanding access to affordable healthcare, the facts don’t support the claims.

A Practical Response

The real increase in the cost of healthcare comes from the provider in the form of increasing medical malpractice premiums and the increased cost of diagnostic testing utilized by insurance companies to “cover themselves” and stave off litigious lawsuits.  This increased regulation is also producing more man-hours of work for doctors and hospitals just to operate, this increasing costs.  Reducing regulation and the threat of lawsuit will go a long way to help reducing costs.  Simple economics.

The Christian Response

Christians need to reassert themselves as being a positive influence for culture and cultural change.  One aspect of this is that societies past people realized that all people make mistakes and only gross negligence was viewed as worthy of a lawsuit.  However, today, a more selfish, greedy people are looking for a “quick buck” and some see lawsuits as a means to an end.  This is not to say that all medical malpractice suits are unwarranted, only that there is an assumption of risk in medicine both for the patient and practitioner.  Lawsuits don’t alleviate the risk.  Life is risky.  We should be thankful there are those in the healthcare profession with the knowledge and wisdom and talent and gifting and patience and stamina to make us and keep us healthy.

Additionally, communities used to help each other.  Church organizations started hospitals to fulfill that need.  Communities had funds to care for their citizens who couldn’t buy groceries that month or pay for a life-threatening operation.  Today we are so “mePhone” focused we can’t/don’t/won’t help others.

Can’t because we are paying too much for debt and bills and don’t have the finances to fulfill our hearts wants.

Don’t because of a heart issue or lack of attention to the issues.

Won’t because of serious heart issues and not wanting to care for the needs of others.

What are your thoughts?