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Can Health Care Ever Be Fixed?

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Health care has been in the news for quite some time. When my health-care provider heard that health care was being discussed last year, they immediately raised our rates by $132 every two weeks. 


We got a notice from our health-care provider (insurance company) that they raised our health-care rates effective January 1, 2011, to $448 every two weeks. This is double what we have been paying, and this is only the premium. They have increased office visits, co-pays for medications, hospital visits and stays, and have increased the cost of everything health-care related. This is for just my husband and me.


When I was in New Jersey recently, I read in the newspaper, that there is a group of doctors in the area that are charging $1500 per patient, just for the privilege of having them as their doctor. This is not an account where you can deduct the cost of your office visit. This is an up-front, “if you want me as your doctor” charge to each and every patient that wants this doctor/group(s) of doctors as their health-care professional(s). How can this be allowed? Why aren’t people just saying no?


This is just an observation and not a political statement, but seems to me that what is wrong with our health-care system is mostly our own fault for allowing these kinds of things to happen. How ludicrous is this? Is health care only for the rich now? How can these doctors do this? Isn’t being a doctor about helping sick people get well, or at least doing everything you can to help one be comfortable if it is terminal—no matter what? 


Pharmaceutical companies have been allowed to influence our leaders, and insurance companies have been allowed to dictate to doctors what they will and will not do for treatment, even down to what medication they will or will not prescribe. They have been allowed to dictate the amount of time a doctor spends with a patient. To me this is appalling and just wrong.


What happened to the days when people became doctors because they wanted to help people? Seems to me, today, the only reason people become doctors is to get rich. It is all about the money.


Now I am not saying that every doctor is like this. My own personal physician gives as much time as is needed to every patient. She doesn’t rush people out in seven minutes because the insurance companies dictate it.


While I agree that everyone should have at least basic health care, why am I having to pay for it? Why are my health-care costs going through the roof while others are paying nothing?


On the other hand, if our president wanted to make sure that everyone had health care, how can you fine people who don’t have health care when the people who don’t have it, don’t have it because they can’t afford it, even if it is government sponsored.


If you are going to fine them for not taking the government health-care plan because, again, they can’t afford health care, let’s fine the very ones who can’t afford it and make it even more difficult in this economy for people to survive. I know—let’s raise the insurance rates of everyone who actually pays for it so that the president’s health-care system continues to make money for the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies but makes it impossible for everyone else.


Maybe it is just me, but what’s wrong with this picture?


I would have no problem if there was a fee per year to everyone that was put in a bank (so to speak) and used to open free clinics, with full staff of personnel specifically for those who cannot afford health-care insurance. If the government took money and put it toward something like this, I would be willing to contribute X amount of money a year to fund it.


If every person who is employed contributed $100 a year (less than $10 a month) for this, there would be no problem getting this accomplished, there would be money to build and fund the clinics, everyone would have health care and the insurance companies would not have to raise rates for those of us who actually pay for their health care, thus keeping it affordable for us as well. But nowadays it’s all about the money. How much money can we make?


My husband and I cancelled our insurance and went with another company that has the same benefits, better prices for co-pays, and tells you right up front about deductibles and so on. Fortunately, we don’t get sick often, and I am a doctor.


Until health care is returned to taking care of people, even those that don’t have health-care insurance, it will continue to be broken. All our president and leaders did is make it worse for the American people. It is scary how divided we are as a nation. I got into medicine because I wanted to help people. 


They can continue to fool themselves and try to talk the American public into thinking things are better, but they really aren’t, not yet—not for a while.

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