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It's expected for many transactions. So why not for costly health care?
I pay up front for costly health insurance. That aside, hope you never get sick, dude. Life and death is not an order of McDonald's french fries.
What are you talking about?!? I should be able to pay less in premiums than I use in health care. I should be able to demand and expect to get instant imaging for every ache and pain. There should be a luxury birthing suite ready and waiting for my spouse with a chocolate on the pillow whenever the baby decides to arrive. I should be able to see my doctor within hours of notifying his office that I want an appointment. I Am An American!
Mr. Tice, did you forget to re-read your comments before passing them off to your editor? Unless you and I are reading different accounts of this collection agency story, it isn't about paying for services before you need them. I have a sizable portion of my paycheck go to my insurance every pay cycle, whether or not I have been to a doctor or ER, so I AM paying well in advance of getting services. The point in all of the recent stir about having a collection agency in the hospital was that the bill collectors were immersed in the middle of emergency care, at a time when pain, confusion, fear and all sorts of other emotions are overwhelming the patient and their family. The last thing we need is to have another (avoidable) stressful event intruding into the setting where the ONLY thing that matters is good quality care administered in a timely fashion. All sorts of analogies come to mind, and some of the ones you bring forward are OK for a business model for non-life or health threatening situations. But please stop and think before typing, to be in an emergency room or hospitalized nowadays means you're pretty darned ill, and those who deal with patients have known for decades that stress makes healing and therefore discharge to home, a longer process. I'd really have liked to have you, working for the collection agency and clipboard in hand, to have entered my wife's room in the ER when she was trying to stand the pain of passing a kidney stone, and hounded her about how she was going to pay for the pain medicine that she was just receiving. I would venture that you might have learned a few new words and no jury in the world would have held her accountable for any incidental injury you might have suffered as you were launched out of her cubical. Go figure, you thought that treatment was the same as going to see a movie or buy a hamburger. Think again buddy, and maybe give your opinions a little more thought before typing up a piece. I truly hope you never have to suffer major medical needs, but if you do, you'll realize just how incredibly far off target your comments were.
That's why there should be universal and mandatory health insurance: we would all be paying up front, through taxes. Whenever we can (i.e. have a job), we'd be contributing a fair share to the general fund. And if we are unemployed, the society - through taxes again - would help us out. It works like that in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany (and the list can go on). And these are not communist countries and they are not poor because of the healthcare system. Actually, life expectancy in those countries is longer than in the US. So instead of wondering whether it is fine for hospitals to work on a pre-pay basis, let's just organize the pre-pay system the same way that it goes elsewhere. Just as we pre-pay through taxes for our roads (even though not everyone uses them to the same extent), high schools (even though some people flunk out pretty early on), parks (even though not everyone goes there) and police (even though some would probably say that police do not make them feel as safe as having a gun at home). Actually, we use tax money for 4th of July fireworks too. Why not for healthcare.
So your "fix" for this problem that is going to bankrupt the country isn't to reign in, control or correct the health care system ($15+ for a single Tylenol?) but to simply pay in advance? When major surgeries start costing the same as a cheeseburger, I will happily pay in advance. Heck, I may even tip the surgeon.
He is right. You think all these healthcare professionals work for free? Would you?
So, Mr. Tice, if you consider this column an exemplary exercise in conservative logic, please show us proof the thousands of dollars you've already paid in premiums to your fast-food insurance plan.
Tice....stay healthy and stay covered by insurance (hopefully not a high deductible plan so popular these days with American business) 'cause if you don't you will experience the folly of your written drivel.....hospital accounts receivable depts and healthcare providers are now experiencing the "joys" of "Consumer-Driven Health Plans".....and it ain't pretty......
Couldn't agree more, olszewskip. Not to mention that all those countries pay far LESS for their health care than we do in the United States, and their citizens don't have to worry about choosing between getting treatment for cancer and going bankrupt, or dying and preserving their family's financial security. It's cruel and absurd that we Americans should have to be faced with a choice like that--and yet medical expenses are the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy, even among people who are insured. Our population of aging citizens is going to skyrocket in the coming years, and our economy is going to take years to pick up--and we literally cannot afford the system we have now. Some things just shouldn't be for profit and health care is one of them.
I have to salute DJ for some spot on comments. I especially like the "taxes are gone before we ever see our income" insight. Amazing how govt works, huh?
I am LOL at the comment only "serious things" go to the ER. Our ER's handle much of the
clinic overflow due to the PCP shortages. Ears, backs, sprains, etc go to ER, and of course money should be defined/collected prior to service. Many ER's are now publishing their waiting times online, just like a Greatclips, and I am thinking the often-listed 5 hour waits = far more non-emergencies get their care at the ER. Really, isnt waiting 5 hours in an ER waiting room to be seen the perfect example of an oxymoron?
After reading DJ's column vs the snarky blogger's "special insights," I strongly side with DJ as the better judge of our current healthcare debacle. Not even close..........
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