On Call with Dr. Lyons
Ifind it interesting that the average American is held accountable for their financial blunders. Because there is accountability, we think a little more clearly about the financial decisions we make, because the consequences for a bad decision can be devastating. Maybe that’s why politicians think differently – and not always so clearly. If they make a financial blunder, they pass a tax and let the taxpayers pay the consequences. I bet if their annual salaries were penalized for bad decisions, their thinking process would be dramatically different. Looking back, the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare as we passionately now call the popular healthcare disaster – would be a totally different program if politicians were facing financial penalties for its shortcomings. As a physician, it was obvious to me -- and virtually all my colleagues -- that Obamacare never had a chance. Doctors deal with insurance and the outrageous cost of health care on a daily basis. Most doctors will tell you the best way to offer an affordable healthcare plan is to reduce the cost of health care itself. When a prescription drug cost $750 a pill and cost less than a dollar to produce hits the market, somebody has to pay. The cost of that overpriced drug is passed onto the consumer in the form of higher insurance premiums. When a hospital procedure costs nearly $10,000 and a similar procedure costs less than $2,000 at a surgical center, somebody has to pay. Once again, the consumer gets the bill in higher insurance premiums. Affordable care is a wonderful concept that could improve the health and longevity of so many who need health care in this country, but frankly with so many special interests and so much money on the line – the concept is more a dream than reality. Special interest groups and their influence peddlers are lining pockets daily, hosting elegant parties, taking exotic trips and more. To the victor goes the spoils and not too many politicians are giving up the lifestyle when a bailout can solve so many bad decisions. Oddly, when the subject of health care comes up, the political brokers very rarely listen to doctors, perhaps because they are afraid of the truth. Yet, the Affordable Health Care is going broke. Co-ops are folding, insurance companies are pulling out of the program and Congress is being asked to approve billions of dollars to keep the sinking ship afloat. Frankly, throwing money at a broken product makes no sense. The real answer is in controlling the cost that makes health care a trillion dollar industry. Doctors can and should be part of the solution. We know health care. I would encourage all our readers to write their representatives and senators and tell them the taxpayers are not going to pay for Obamacare. We don’t need another tax or another bailout. Still, I know there are so many out there who need and want health insurance but are confused about the choices. Beware, what could seem to be an affordable policy could be merely money wasted. Knowing how to pick the right policy is essential. Over the next several issues, we are going to provide our readers with some basic on healthcare policies including terms, costs and more. We know you need health insurance but we want you to make the best financial choice. After all, if you make the wrong choice, you can’t pass a tax to fix the error.
Until next issue.