Thursday, January 03, 2008

A sickening punchline

GM Roper provides some frightening health care news and commentary.

England's NHS (National Health Service) is considering the rationing of health care. This is nothing new and has been talked about numerous times as the Democrats and their leftish friends push for a National Health Care policy in these United States.

Tom Smith writing at The Right Coast notes that "There's something very strange going on in the UK. It's getting to the point where it's not even funny anymore." How right you are Tom, and it is only a peek at what will happen in the US if we impose NHC on ourselves.

As a health care provider I offer mental health services to all and sundry. I choose not to accept commercial insurance, but I am willing to complete the paperwork for a patient to send to his insurance company and receive reimbursement. The insurance is a contract between the patient and the company, not me. The only health insurance that I am willing to accept is Medicaid because I believe that the poorest among us also deserve quality care...

Seventy-five years ago, this issue wasn't even on the horizon. Most folk paid their medical bills via payments, barter or per visit on the spot. Then came the unions insisting that health insurance be a part of the negotiations and bingo, employer provided health insurance became the norm.

As time went on, more and more employers gave in to the idea, and as tort lawyers lobbed onto suing health care providers as a way to get rich quick (does John Edwards come to mind? Hmmmm?) a number of docs and other health care providers began ordering every imaginable test so that no one could say they weren't being zealous in their care of the patient. This of course has driven medical care costs through the roof, and subsequently health insurors began rationing care based on sometimes nothing more than a whim. For example, I once had an insurance company authorize only 3 sessions for a depressed patient and that was the limit, despite the patient's history of suicidal thinking. I was able to get that decision overturned, but only after many, many hours of negotiations and documentation. And people wonder why I don't take insurance anymore. Hah, I'd rather take 1/2 of my regular fee in cash than get the full fee after several hours of insurance required stuff...

What's the punchline?

Comptroller General of the United States David Walker recently gave a speech [stating]:

"...The Medicare program alone represents about $34 trillion of our current $53 trillion fiscal gap. If there is one thing in particular that could bankrupt America, it’s runaway health care costs. And don’t forget, the first "baby boomers" will begin to draw their early retirement benefits under Social Security in a couple of weeks! And, just three years later, they will be eligible for Medicare. When "baby boomers" begin to retire in big numbers, it will bring a tsunami of spending that, unlike most tsunamis, will never recede..."

Read the whole thing. And try not to get sick.

No comments: