Poyhonen's Blog

stories and commentary

Posts Tagged ‘government overreach

Health Care Reform Helps Insurance Companies Profit

We could subsidize Health Care service providers:

The cost of giving every licensed physician $100,000 would only be $90 billion per year.  This sounds ridiculous and expensive.  Ninety billion dollars spent with no detailed government oversight. People would have to pay co-pays and buy medical insurance without Government assistance.  Poor folk would get the same care without a lot of paperwork.  Dissolving Medicare and Medicaid would allow a free market to sell services for about fifty bucks a month per person. Yes, current payroll deductions would continue in order to augment compensation for all medical personnel relegating catastrophic health insurance to be bundled with car and home insurance schemes.

But:

No one seems to like the idea of giving tax dollars to doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals.  No…, no, no, we can’t do that–our politicians, (and voters), would rather give insurance companies your tax dollars.  The enlightened goal is to provide everyone with a ‘plan’.  We are fated to accept the voters demand for subsidized health care insurance.

Payment of your medical bills gives dividends to stockholders and companies who are in business to make a profit.  They need to give higher dividends, don’t they?  After all, the yearly compensation for the Aetna CEO was a paltry twenty-seven million in 2016.  Stock options helped a lot.

Our health plans subsidize insurance companies in order for them to make money from your illness.  Sounds harsh, doesn’t it?  Your medical bill – if you can figure it out – includes profit for the stockholders, compensation for insurance sales persons, insurance executives pay, insurance buildings, advertising costs, and finally – your doctor’s salary.  The bookkeeping and bureaucratic overhead alone adds only about thirty percent to your bill.  The government argues that their portion of overhead is low.  That bears some truth because the bureaucratic efforts are made by the providers, (more on that later).  The government must ensure the fair and correct spending of your taxpayer dollars and their oversight requires massive record keeping and the development of forms.  Just remember–the government is here to help… to help…to help.

Some details collected from Justfacts.com:

Roughly, 60 minutes of paperwork are performed for every hour of emergency department care, 36 minutes of paperwork for every hour of surgery and acute inpatient care, 30 minutes of paperwork for every hour of skilled nursing care, and 48 minutes of paperwork for every hour of home health care. “Each time a physician orders a test or a procedure, the physician documents the order in the patient’s record. But the government requires additional documentation to prove the necessity for the test or procedure.”

  • “Many forms … must be completed daily by clinical staff to submit to the government to justify the care provided to skilled nursing facility patients.”
  • Medicare and Medicaid “rules and instructions” are more than 130,000 pages (three times larger than the IRS code and its associated regulations), and “medical records must be reviewed by at least four people to ensure compliance” with Medicare program requirements.
  • “A Medicare patient arriving at the emergency department is required to review and sign eight different forms—just for Medicare alone.”
  • “Each time a patient is discharged, even if only from the acute unit of the hospital to the on-site skilled nursing unit, multiple care providers must write a discharge plan for the patient. This documentation, as long as 30 pages, applies to all patients, regardless of the complexity of care received within the hospital or required post-hospital setting.”
  • In addition to regulation by state and local agencies and private accrediting organizations, hospitals are regulated by nearly 30 federal agencies.

Our government cannot think about giving tax dollars to health care professionals when paper pushers are more necessary to guarantee profits for insurance companies.  The massive government database contains items for every illness to include getting bitten by a duck or walking into a lamppost. They even have an item designation for walking into a lamppost for the second time.  Yes, the government will document your lamppost ‘problem’.

Who pays for all this?  You do.  Does the doctor really make out financially?  The admin persons at the hospital can make more than a surgeon.  Do you want that Admin professional in the operating room?  Don’t worry – admin is always there in spirit.  Someone must ensure the stockholders make a profit.  Is your deductible paid?  How much will the government kick in?  Does the patient ‘plan’ ensure this procedure is cost effective?  Everyone should be concerned with the last statement.  What happens if the procedure is not cost effective?   Does the cost/benefit/risk analysis allow a bone marrow transplant for a patient deemed terminal, (without one)?  Ask the insurance company or hospital admin – the only case I know of concerns a deceased mother of two who did not meet the criteria.

Whatever health care system you like should exclude stockholder dividends.  Your bill should not include a dividend to stockholders gambling on making money from your illness.  Some CEO should not be making millions each year by managing insurance schemes that profit from people requiring medical attention.  People are actually demanding government-sponsored monopolies because politicians tell them there is nowhere else to go and no other method of eliciting professional service.

All hospitals, including Non-profits, currently absorb the costs of services provided to the poor.  (Insurance covers costs in order to make a profit and do not include non-paying patients).  For example: According to the research by the research of Craig Garthwaite, Tal Gross and Matthew J. Notowidigdo, the cost of each poor patient in Tennessee is over a thousand dollars.  The hospitals lose money unless Medicaid shares the burden.  Your taxes pay for that as well.

A single payer plan will allow the Government to ‘help’ everyone by raising taxes and dictating the costs of all benefits.  ‘Medicare for all’ is a mantra for single payer advocates.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Cuba and Canada enjoy the benefits of single payer.  You may experience Canadian relatives taking residence in the USA in order to get medical attention but such activities would never happen if Our government took over health care and dictated the compensation to all medical providers.  Our government has a proven and cost effective record of … ‘helping’.  You can relax and feel secure when your doctor enters the operating room and tells you, “I’m from the government.  I’m here to help.”  Hopefully, you can understand the language used.

Twenty percent of our doctors currently come from foreign countries and there is a predicted shortage of doctors in our future but never fear – government insurance schemes will provide succor and it will only cost a couple TRILLION dollars.  Of course, we may have to deal with the government directing our lifestyles in order to keep premiums low and profits, um, manageable. Drinking soft drinks and eating meat may become as unhealthy as owning guns.  Government mandated bicycles could replace electric cars and who would want to go to school for 14 years to become a low paid doctor employed by the government?  A small increase in taxes, perhaps an extra TRILLION, might cover the expense but don’t worry, we can always raise taxes.

Now may we discuss subsidizing the providers instead of subsidizing insurance companies run for profit and controlled by government bureaucrats?

Advertisements