What is HEALTH INSURANCE do we NEED it?
Before anyone gets “defensive” about their “can’t live without” precious health insurance, let’s take a serious look at the WHOLE topic of “Health Insurance.” Prior to 1965, if anyone wanted “insurance coverage” for their “health needs” the only options available were bundled packages of “AFLAC” type health coverages. Simply put, you might find a company offering specifically limited coverages for medications and doctor services and they were priced accordingly. I can assure you the company names were not recognizable and they did not have fancy buildings for company offices. As a pharmacist, I worked with the patients that owned this type of insurance to provide them with the necessary receipts so they could be a least somewhat reimbursed by the insurance companies. Never did I have any dealings directly with the companies prior to 1965.
Then came 1965, when politicians in Washington DC decided to get involved in your health. Why would they want to get involved in your health? That’s a good question. The experiences I lived thru provided me the knowledge to share this with you. This is how you and I became saddled with an expensive government program call “Health Care,” which by the way, did not appear as a definable term until after 1970, according to Webster’s Dictionary. The first step in the government’s involvement in Health Care occurred when politicians campaigned to provide free medical services to needy children. The American people are a compassionate people and they thought helping children was the right thing to do. Well, this opened the door for government involvement.
The politicians learned there was money to be made with their “hand” in the health care pile of money. Plus, they could buy votes, and the government pays the tab. This worked so well, the politicians now want to help “senior citizens” pay their medical expenses, thus a new expensive government program was born. The government now had their foot firmly placed into health care, so more programs were created that cost the American people more in taxes. But this created more problems for the government. The government is not capable of keeping records of the comings and goings of the American people and these health care programs created big problems for the government. Enter the insurance companies to bail out the government.
As a brief review, remember insurance companies were called into health care as a “book keeping” solution to the government’s inabilities to keep records. But the insurance companies saw an opportunity to make some serious money. Their hand is now in the pile of government health care pile of money and they know nothing about how to fix your health. They do have nice new big buildings, while doctors and nurses (the real health specialists) “make do” with less income. To make this set-up even more questionable, the insurance companies charge you insurance premiums before you are even allowed to see a doctor. Oh, you could pay cash to see a doctor, but the insurance companies force the doctor to charge you so much for service, you cannot afford to see the doctor. And good luck, if you are looking for a chart letting you know the price for medical services. Even the pharmacies do not display a price list of prescription prices.
To prove my points here, let me relate to you a recent experience I had. My doctor may place me on a different blood thinner medication. So, I did a little “research” on pricing for the new medication I may be taking. I called a local chain pharmacy about the price of a 30-day supply, and was told the cash price would be $39.00. But, if I drive less than 10 miles to a “big box” chain, I can pay cash for the same drug where a 90-day will cost me $9.00. Stay tuned for more to come.
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