The modern con-game that is health insurance is a system based on fear. This reality forced its way into my conscience recently when my wife had to have a Cat (Computed Axial Tomography) Scan. This required test cost $2,691 when paid up front and $5,000 if paid out (more about this later). My so-called “health insurance” would pay nothing if I paid up front and $200 if I was stuck with the $5,000. I realized that since our premiums are in the $700-per-month range, that four months worth would have paid the bill.
This is not the first time this has crossed my mind. So, why don’t we cancel this lousy “health insurance” and bank the premium? The simple answer is that I’m afraid. What if I cancelled this almost useless insurance and something really bad/serious/ expensive happened? What would I do then? Fear keeps me tied to this basically useless ball and chain. The “insurance” company knows this and has used that knowledge effectively.
It is true that all insurance operates on the fear principle. But other insurance (life, auto, homeowners, etc.) makes sense and usually pays helpful amounts in the “unfortunate event of…” My health insurance is, obviously, a different animal. If I had not made a deal with the hospital to pay up front, my bill would have been an astounding $5,000! Two hundred bucks for a required test costing five grand? Words fail me!
Back to that C.T. scan. Does it cost $5,000 or 2, 691? If I had to pay out $5,000 bit-by-bit, would the extra accounting really cost $2,309? On the wall in the hall the hospital’s mission is posted: “Our mission is to provide High Quality health services emphasizing Excellence and Christian Service in all that we do.” That a Christian can shaft someone and be pleasing to God is news to me. I see nothing but greed in all of this and I know that is not right (Mark 7:21-23; Luke 12:15; Ephesians 5:3,5; Colossians 3:5).
Greed, in fact, is driving our healthcare system. What can change this? I can think of three solutions:
- Doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies all work together to police themselves. Yeah, right. If you believe that will happen I have some other deals you might be interested in.
- Customers revolt and insist something be done to bring costs back into the realm of fairness. I have dim hopes for this one because most of us are sheep – easily led by the advertisers and spin doctors.
- Government take-over. Yep, socialized medicine. The healthcare system is begging for this one. Right now they are seeing how far they can go without provoking too many consumers. This is the one that will work. It works in Britain, Australia and Canada but, like those nations, we will lose quality.
In the meantime, the health care consortium is getting the goldmine and we are getting the shaft. I, for one am not going to take it lying down. I may not have any money, but I can write. And I know this blog will change the world. Don’t you?