on health care, a cost of $7,026 for every person in the country. Health care represents 16 percent of the national economy and these costs are still rising. One of the biggest problems is that heath care is a maze of paperwork, you stay two days in the hospital and you get this bill that looks like the Kansas City Star Sunday Newspaper, if you are insured all we see is how much you have to pay and never question any charges. Too many times there are unnecessary tests, inflated prices attached to products, and unnecessary services as part of this itemized maze. At times a particular cost may be a point of discussion with our friends “they charged me $10.00 a piece for sanitary napkins” but we never pursue these charges. “The insurance company will catch that”, we say and nothing more is said, but then the insurance company raises your rates and you protest.
This is too often the scenario and it has caused our rates to sky rocket, we never blame the health providers its always the insurance company as being the bad guys. A friend of mine was pregnant, she had complications, and the baby was born three months premature. It was a long stressful time for the family because the baby required a heart monitor and a 24-hour watch. After several weeks of pure hell the baby was out of danger, but the hospital and doctor bills overwhelmed them and they had to file for bankrupt. They tried to negotiate a payment program, but the payments were impossible. During the negotiations they questioned some of the charges, one test had a price tag of $1200.00 dollars. The hospital accounting clerk told them that if the hospital knew they did not have insurance they would have never performed that test.
Being cognizant of charges is a responsibility of all of us and it has been neglected and consequently hospitals, clinics, and health care providers have been given free reign to charge whatever they choose. We are now faced with costs that are totally out of control and we shamefully lead all industrialized nations on money spent for health care and those nations provide health care for all of their citizens.
In the past 20 years health costs have been: