Health Care Plan, Debate, and My One Request

On the Health Care Plan, have you noticed how no one has talked about doctors and hospitals charging less money?

Rose Creek Village has businesses that make a good portion of  their money by working for rich doctors … doctors with jaguars, twenty thousand square foot houses, and money to spend for very fine trim, paint, and faux finishes.

I had my shoulder put back in socket at McNairy Regional Hospital, which according to the $250 book, Customized Fee Analyzer, normally charges 4 to 5 times standard rates for this area for its services, despite being in one of the poorest counties in the country. The doctor talked to me for two minutes, then had me wait for about 90 minutes on a table, during which time he didn’t see me at all. After 90 minutes, he came in and worked on my arm for a half an hour and popped it back in.

He charged me $400 for that half hour.

Doctors need to make $800 per hour???

The hospital charged me $643 for walking into the emergency room. They charged me $90 per shot for six shots I wasn’t given. I called more than 15 times to talk to someone about the six $90 shots that didn’t happen, and I always got someone who couldn’t help me and a promise that someone would call me back.

They charged me $280 for being processed out of the emergency room. They charged me $40 for the $2 scrub shirt they sent me out with because they had to cut mine off. Total charge: $2400, not including the doctor, whose charge was $400 extra.

I paid them $1200, told them I’d see them in court if they wanted more, and then they left me alone. The doctor’s office agreed to take $200, a bit more reasonable, but still $400/hour for his time.

My One Health Care Request

Require doctors to charge less!

Do they need the money? You tell me. They’re hiring our top end carpentry and painters, driving jaguars, and living in multi-million dollar homes. That has to happen?

I read this today in this news report:

Fears over rising costs have been a critical factor in kick-starting the reform debate. The US spends around $7400 per person per year on healthcare, twice the health costs in Canada, the next highest spender.

I lived in Germany as a civilian for four years. America’s health care costs are ridiculous. There’s no other explanation. Limbaugh and others can go on and on about how socialist medicine doesn’t work, but I lived there, and it worked great.

We got a visitor from America while I was there who had no health insurance.  He contracted a kidney infection and was in the hospital for a week with a catheter for most of that time. He got out, the infection flared back up, and he went in another week just being treated with antibiotics.

Total cost? $3,000.

Now I know this was 1986, 23 years ago, but I assure you it was multiple thousands of dollars cheaper than it would have been in America. I’ve been treated by Germans, and I’ve been treated by Americans, and if anything, the treatment in Germany was better, cleaner, and more efficient.

I Don’t Get It

This health care plan, if it doesn’t address America’s ludicrous costs and its over-wealthy doctors, is a waste of time. Yet I’ve not heard one news report yet addressing the issue of simply telling doctors and hospitals their costs will be limited.

Will they go broke? No. Look the world over. We’re the most expensive health care providers in the world by double. A friend of mine flew to England to have a hernia operation. He paid cash, and it was cheaper to fly there and back and get the operation than to have it in the US … in South Dakota.

Good grief.

This is completely inappropriate to the normal subject of my blog, but it’s my blog, so …

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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4 Responses to Health Care Plan, Debate, and My One Request

  1. Caelon Loving says:

    I know this is another old blog from ten years ago but I had to get this out of my system. There are Christian democratic parties from all over the world. they are conservative on social issues like Abortion, same sex marriage, euthanasia etc… but they are left wing on economic issues like
    universal health care, Pay to leave, living wage tied to inflation, universal education, Stewardship, equal pay among both sexes in the workforce, going against wealth disparities or income inequality, immigration etc.

    • Paul Pavao says:

      Hi Caelon. I hope my blog was not politically partisan, but instead a call for a real healthcare overhaul, one that will reduce costs. American healthcare costs are outrageous. Fortunately, costs in other countries are cheap enough that it is often worth flying to those countries for a vacation and treatment rather than paying out the nose for American healthcare. Reducing costs is real healthcare reform. Without that, we are just playing games.

  2. your writing style rocks… please post more often on health

  3. Aaron says:

    Absolutely. Right on!!!! My Dad went to Mexico to get a root canal and a cap. Same song, second verse. It was cheaper to fly to Mexico and get the work done than to get it done in Michigan.

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