Health Care Does Need Fixing, However…

There are things about health care that need fixing.

Back before insurance was invented, if you needed medical care you went to your doctor, got help, and paid the man (or woman). But sometimes you needed a lot of help, and it could bankrupt you. So then, there was insurance. Insurance is essentially gambling. When you pay your premiums, you are placing a bet that you will need help, and your insurance company (the house) statistically shows a profit by winning that bet most of the time. (Reference Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress).

The actual true cost of health care has become obscured by the overhead induced by the insurance companies. If you think about it, besides paying for your health care, you are also paying for the salaries and benefits of everyone that works for an insurance company, as well as their place of business, supplies and so forth.

These people do not contribute to health care. Their business is making money. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s call it what it is – legalized gambling.

Now-a-days, to control (their) costs, insurance companies have become intrusive in the practice of medicine. For instance, I am 56 years old. When I was 50, my doctor set me up to get a routine colonoscopy; this is standard practice, to detect one of the most common forms of cancer in men. When I contacted my insurance company to pre-certify, they declined to pay for it, because “the doctor didn’t find anything”. Which is why you go to get a colonoscopy – to find things that you don’t know are there.

I checked into the costs of paying for it out of pocket – and it was out of my financial reach.

I still haven’t had that colonoscopy. I did a little research. The odds I found indicate that there is a 1 in 16 chance that I will have a problem that a colonoscopy could have corrected or detected early.

The insurance company is playing dice with my health, in the name of profits. And so am I, because I suppose I could go into debt to get the test, but I’m not willing to do that. The insurance company won the bet that time.

More recently, the doctor prescribed a medicine for a rash that I had. For reasons I still don’t understand, the insurance company declined to pay, so I paid out of pocket. At least it was something I could afford.

So, some things about this situation need fixing. That does not mean we need to scrap the entire system and replace it with a socialist system.

-Popgun

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