We Don’t Need a Better Band-Aid

My two cents worth on this whole healthcare thing:

I took my dog to the vet last week. She had hurt her leg somehow and, despite rest, it wasn’t getting better. I love my vets, there are actually two of them, and during our visit, they x-rayed her legs and did a very thorough exam. They found nothing, not even arthritis. It’s better now, so we assume it was either a muscular issue, or, she’s just a diva.

The x-ray was $36. In fact, the doctor did 3 x-rays to be sure, but only charged me for one.


I asked if I could come back in the future for MY x-rays, ‘cause when I need them, they ain’t $36. Of course, we don’t have pet insurance (I don’t even think my vet takes it) so I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it. The vet charges a price people can pay, a price that is more than fair and still allows them to make money. I can call my vet and say, “Hey, how much is an x-ray?” and, they tell me. Mind blown, right? Nothing confusing. No insurance forms to file or copays or percentages.
It’s pretty simple, really.

Now, before I go any further, let me state in no uncertain terms that there are three things in life I loathe with the passion of a thousand fiery suns:

Health Insurance

And I read this nonsense taking place in Washington DC and I just shake my head. Yeah, there ARE problems with the Affordable Care Act, just as there were problems BEFORE the Affordable Care Act, but is this the way to fix any of them?

I say, “no.”

See, to my mind, we spend a lot of time focusing on health INSURANCE when insurance isn’t really the problem. The real problem is the cost of HEALTHCARE. You know, paying $2000 for an MRI, technology we’ve had for almost 30 years. We don’t question the cost of treatments or procedures. Call your healthcare provider right now and ask the cost of, say, an x-ray and see what they say.

I will bet you a margarita and a dozen doughnuts that you will hear:

“Don’t worry, your insurance pays for it.”

Health insurance, an idea born post WWII in an attempt to woo potential employees, has become a monster. It has driven up prices. It is the middleman between you and your healthcare provider. We use it for everything, because thanks to it, even the most mundane of procedures is now expensive. (It cost HOW MUCH for a strep test? Come on, people.)

I certainly understand carrying major medical for the big ticket healthcare items, but insurance for EVERYTHING? It’s just goofy. We don’t file with our homeowners insurance when we need to get a pipe replaced under the sink; we don’t file with our auto insurance when we get our oil changed, but walk into urgent care with basic flu symptoms and, thanks to health insurance, your bill is enough to take the family on vacation for the weekend.

I say focus on the real issue.
Get rid of everyday health insurance that drives up the costs.
Charge what the market will bear.
Encourage the growth of new healthcare facilities.
Get back to the patient-doctor relationship without the interference from insurance companies.

It’s time great, affordable healthcare put the insurance companies out of business.


2 Comments on We Don’t Need a Better Band-Aid

  1. One of the most sensible articles on healthcare that I’ve read in a long, long time. So, why aren’t you President? Oh, I get it. You’re smarter than that. Who the heck wants that crappy job?

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