Archived Story

Hypocrisy in health care system

Published 11:00pm Friday, August 23, 2013

If any normal American is unaware of the crisis and debate on health care in this country, then he surely must have been on another planet for the past two years.

Like it or not, we are stuck with Obamacare – warts and all! Are you one of the many millions who are critical and condemning of President Obama for passage of the healthcare Act?

Personally, I do not like the bill and would prefer something significantly different. At the same time, I know that if one is to assign blame for this mess, it lies squarely at the feet of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. If you think back, the Court reviewed the law and it came down to a vote with four Justices firmly in favor and four dead set against its implementation. The deciding vote belonged to Chief Justice Roberts. The afternoon before the vote, Robert strongly indicated a vote against the law, only to vote the next morning to uphold Obama’s Act. If you must lay blame, that is where it rest: with Republican Chief Justice John Roberts! The truth stings doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, I would be the first to agree that our healthcare is in shambles. I probably use healthcare as much if not more than anyone you would meet on the street and I am amazed, bewildered, even shocked and angered at what I encounter. I had a revealing conversation recently with my cardiologist regarding a bill I received for the amount my insurance carrier was billed for the St. Jude’s Defibrillator/Pacemaker implanted in my chest. $65,000! That was just for gadget and does not include and doctor fees, nor the hospital bill. He explained to me that they bill insurance companies retail for the device knowing they will collect only about $22,000 from the insurer. The doctors and hospital will “write off” the difference as a “tax loss.” Cozy arrangement-but is it ethical and honest? Not only does the IRS wink and look the other way at this practice, they, in fact encourage this method all across the medical community!

On the Rush Limbaugh radio program today, August 22, 2013, the host told a very revealing experience he has had paying cash for all medical care as opposed to filing through third parties (insurance companies). He explained how cash payers (referred to by providers as SP or self payers) are able to negotiate doctor’s fees, hospital bills-any type of health care. The end result is mind boggling! Those paying cash enjoy extraordinary deep discounts. The example he gave was for a one day surgical procedure that would have been billed to a third party provider for $23,000. When he told the hospital he was paying cash by a debit card, they were jubilant to advise him his bill was reduced to $3,200! T

his is not an isolated case but the norm in the medical industry. The reason: the medical community continues to be overwhelmed by mountains of paperwork, bureaucracy and a self perpetuating industry called national health care. Under Obamacare, the IRS must hire 16,000 agents just to police compliance alone.

The American public traditionally has a short memory when they enter the voting booth. Please try to express your true feelings next election day

James W. Anderson

Talladega

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