lgoldhammer Wrote:
Oct 31, 2013 5:32 PM
I have a very simple solution to the health care problem: go back to doing what we did before there was a health care problem: return to Major Medical Insurance (MMI). In 1984 I enlisted in the Navy. Before going in, when I went to the OB/Gyn the cost to me was $25. I was only making $5-6/hour and I could afford to pay that out of pocket. When I got off active duty in 1988 I went to make the same appointment. The doctors office quoted me $150 for the same exam, just 4 years later. What happened in that time? HMO's. I was still only making $5-6/hr so couldn't afford to pay a week's salary for a doctor, but I could still afford my MMI which was $57/month. I was living at or below the poverty level, but still paying my health insurance. Insurance wasn't designed to pay for every bump, scrape and cough. It was designed to pay for unexpected medical costs that come with accidents and disease. With MMI you could pay for your insurance for 10-20 years and never use it. But if you had an appendicitis attack and needed emergency care, it was there for you, with a deductible of $1-2k usually. Back then doctors had one person working for them that scheduled appointments, collected payment and assisted in the exam room as needed. Now the doctors have staffs of 8-12 people working for them to keep up with the paperwork. My doctor charges TriCare over $200 for my 5-10 minute exam, for which she's reimbursed $60 and has to pay her staff with that, so I think she'd make more money without HMO's. I mentioned this to a doctor at a "Doctors TEA Party" and said if we didn't have HMO's doctors would probably get paid $30-40/exam. He said "I'd gladly take $40 cash for an appointment and not have to deal with insurance companies". I've mentioned this simple solution to multiple senators and congressmen. No one is jumping on it. One Senator told me his solution is to allow for insurance to be purchased across state lines. What is that going to save? Maybe 10%? And for how long? Once the insurance companies in Iowa are paying NY/NJ/CA prices their costs will go up and there will be no more savings. By the way, when I looked up MMI insurance, it is still being sold - for as low as $29/month. And the excuse used for why HMO's are needed is so people will get their annual preventive exams. I checked on the cost of a mammogram: it's about $100. So we're paying $5-6k/year ($10k w/Obamacare) for insurance to get a "free" $100 exam?