“Healthcare + Insurance = Big Fucking Mess”
I’m reminded this morning of the entire debate over the “Affordable Care Act” of 2010. Granted, everyone should have some level of access to proper care, yet it’s not that simple. The price of access to something in the way of medical advice, consultation, diagnosis, and treatment is costly. On a per hour basis, some of the most expensive expertise available. Applying the concept of insurance to this financial matter only clouds the application of medical practice, and little to no effect upon the escalation of the costs involved. You see, the business of insurance is to relieve the greatest financial burden, by transferring liability from a single party to a larger group. This is accomplished by pooling existing wealth as financial support to allow the individual costs to those buying the insurance to accumulate enough size and scope to produce a profit. No profit, no insurance. Pretty straight forward capitalism proposition? The disconnect between the uninsured and their need for medical care is without debate. The system had created a vacuum around healthcare insurance and its accessibility by attaching its availability to ones employment. No other form of insurance is delivered this way. Elderly individuals were singled out as a “Must Cover” component of society, and government insurance was arranged in the form of Medicare. This was a great concept, until medical preditors began esponging excessive billings from the system in widespread fraudulent practices and claims. In come the Negotiators to set the standard for how elderly medicine should be administered and billed. Surprisingly, a government administered program was fucked completely off its rails by fraud, corruption, incompetence, and the government. Suddenly, testing and procedures were prescribed by people outside of an exam room to cover most general circumstances an elderly person could encounter as it pertains to health and well being. This seems to have functioned in the same manner as defense contracting, in that two thirds of ALL expenditures for Medicare go to the last year of a person’s life, without measured regard to longevity or quality of that life. In other words, Billions are pissed away watching people die.
Now let’s don’t get too awful testy here with this Medicare trainwreck. That shits not about to go away. They’ve actually begun the ardorous process of better explaining your options, whenever you reach that final year. Doesn’t mean we won’t continue to pour money down that emotional hole, but you’ll be better informed about how much. The real tragedy in all of this is that we’ve taken the single most effective financial tool out of a marketplace that has one of the highest costs. “Free Markets” expose inefficiency and demand reduced prices for scalability. The more times a process or procedure is repeated, the lower the costs to perform. This would suggest that costs range from Experimental to Routine as the number of repetitions increases. This is where the insurance overhang has interrupted the marketplace for healthcare. The bureaucracy associated with Insurance is absurd, when contrasted with any other form of contractual agreement. The average person is helpless with regards to interpretation of these fancy instruments.
“On with the show…”
Much more improvement in the system is needed. Taking lifestyle considerations into the amount of premium required to stave off catostrophic disaster would be a start. Connecting people to their choices for how they live wouldn’t be a bad way to incentivize taking some measure of control over your health, before its up to the pharmacist to define that for you…