With every page I read, I think I become a little more insane ;)
Since I don’t have time to breath, let alone take pleasure in the joys of blogging, I was wondering if I could combine the two… Would you guys be interested in some health care reform updates on the blog? If it would be completely boring then I won’t…just let me know!! Here is a little taste:
- Health care reform is something that is going to effect every American,whether uninsured or insured, rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, young or old. Currently our nation spends 16% of our gross domestic product (GDP) on health care… That comes out to:
$79,300/sec (tens of thousands)
- There are currently 4 health care reform bills in Congress. The one I’m reading is HR 3200 (House of Representatives Bill #3200). I can guarantee you that the majority of the Congress men and women voting on these bills have NOT READ THEM!
- Most of the bills aim to cover all of America’s uninsured citizens, and some have questionable guidelines when it comes to illegal aliens. That comes out to around 47 million people. Most of the bills also claim to be budget neutral. Now, I’m no economist, but I have a hard time believing that you can insure 47 million people who were previously uninsured and remain budget neutral.
- One of the ideas floating around on how to keep reform budget neutral is to cut government funding for Medicare Advantage. Medicare advantage comes out of Medicare Part C (Part A is hospital services, B is doctor services, and D is prescription drugs). Medicare Advantage is supplemental insurance coverage that enrollees can purchase in addition to basic Medicare. Most enrollees choose to do so; however, most enrollees in Medicare are seniors, and cutting this program would make them very angry. Since seniors have the highest voter turnout of any other age group, many politicians are hesitant to alter this program, especially since re-elections are coming up!
- Speaking of Medicare, many people oppose health care reform because they think universal health care is socialism and it would cause a big government. However, Medicare is a socialized, government-run health care program, and people love it!
- One final note for today…it is a misconception that the greed of doctors and other providers is why sick patients go untreated and why out-of-pocket care is so expensive….
If your boss told you that you weren’t getting paid for your hard work today, would you still go? If your answer is yes, for how long? A day? A week? A month? Chances are, at some point, you would start looking for a new job. You have bills to pay and responsibilities that require a steady pay check. Doctors are no different. By law, hospitals and physicians are required to perform a certain amount of charity care. But at some point, they need to get paid, too. The reason why out-of-pocket spending (for uninsured or underinsured patients) is so high is because large third-party payers (think Medicare and Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, etc) pay doctors and hospitals an amount that is under cost. For example, say a procedure costs $1000, including labor, time, materials, etc. The insurance company may pay that doctor a set fee of $800, based on a DRG or APC (set payment systems based on the average costs of specific procedures). Or Medicare may pay the doctor 80% of the charge, or $800. That means the doctor would have to (in order to have a profit margin for things like paychecks, overhead, etc) raise the costs to out-of-pocket payers to not be in the red. Make sense?
I hope you guys like this review…If you want more, let me know! It is important to be educated on the happenings in Congress. It is a very exciting time for health care right now, and I can assure you that these changes will affect everyone, including YOU!!
Leave a Comment: Do you have an opinion on health care reform? Questions? Comments?