Another illustration for Centennial Review. Two excellent articles written by both an economist and a doctor.
First, this illustration hit close to home. Many of you know my long and extended medical history. I was born with an agressive auto-immune disease which still sends me to the hospital 2-3 times a year. The past month has been especially trying and there is some talk for additional surgery. So when it came time to needed some artistic “inspiration” for this illustration, I had plenty.
(Not to bore you with personal details, but I have made a cute little video that talks a bit about my story on YouTube. If you want more, go here:
So many times, Democrats are confounded as to why I would be opposed to Obamacare, or the poorly titled “Health Care Affordability Act.” Wouldn’t it benefit somebody like me the most? I haven’t read the bill, but any law that takes over 2700 pages to write scares the heck out of me. That’s too much legislation and bureaucracy for governmental abuse, not to mention trying to keep track of everything in order to remain compliant.
Yes, the old system was broken. The biggest issue was pre-existing conditions. When you have an entire industry denying a certain group of people their product because of how they were born (as it were in my case), you have a problem. I don’t know how to resolve the issue, honestly. I understand that in the long run, I’m a liability to the company and they have to pay for my care by taking premiums from somebody else’s. Perhaps there is some good with Obamacare in addressing this issue.
Which brings me to the next point. Prices were way too inflated with the old system. Having been in the system all my life, there are a few reasons why this could be.
A) Hospitals treat and then bill and you never know what you are going to get until three months down the road, when you are still recovering and they are demanding payment from some doctor who looked at your chart in another room and sends you a $200 review bill. It’s really aggrevating when you get 15 of them from the same hospital. It’s like free money. Look at the chart, bill the patient, pay for your golf trip. It has happened to me frequently, in some hospitals more than others. I’ve tried calling to contest the bill and this practice, and the receptionist promptly sent me to collections.
You want to reduce costs? Require an upfront cost to the patient or their family and have them sign off before being allowed to proceed with any procedure or treatment (emergencies excepted, of course). Let the patient decide whether they want the doctor from the third floor looking at their chart.
Disclose upfront all of your costs for standard procedures such as bone setting, colonoscopies, xrays, etc. Let the patient then go to the hospital with the best combination of rates and service. This will drive costs down. Competition always does.
B) Cut frivolous and false malpractice lawsuits. Anybody can file a suit for whatever contrived reason. Often they are settled out of court, even if the doctor is sure of his innocense, just because it’s cheaper than taking it to court and winning! I have an idea. Let whomever brings forth a lawsuit do so knowing that if they lose, they have to pay the doctor’s and hospital’s court and lawyer costs. This will kill the incentive for fake lawsuits. This will lower malpractice insurance dramatically, which the doctor and hospital can then pass on to the patient.
The problem with Obamacare is that neither A nor B can really be found in those 2700 pages. Simple fixes we can implement right away that will start to lower overall costs. Why aren’t they there?
American has the shortest waiting time of any industrialized nation. Those countries that have national health care have wait times that are 5 times or greater. For a country that is as large as ours, imagine how long those wait times will end up being. This could be the difference between life and death for me. I might have to outsource my healthcare overseas, like everything else the government meddles in.
Obamacare also promises rationing. Obama himself even said Granny should take the pain pill once she hits a certain age. For somebody who is a perfect candidate as an individual who should allow natural selection to finally do me in, you can see why I’m not jumping up and down for joy.
Obamacare is now the law of the land. I’m hoping that because we are Americans, that somehow things will be different. Maybe we will still have the greatest healthcare in five years from now. In which case, I hope to still be around to entertain you with my latest cartoons.