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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The cost of healthcare rises yet again!!!

Most of us who have health insurance have an incentive to not seek help unless we truly feel we need it.  Most of us with healthcare plans are forced to pay co-pays, or a minimum price for seeing a physician.

I think the idea of paying a co-pay is good. It forces people to think twice about seeking help for common sniffles and sneezes and bumps and bruises.  Yet this co-pay should not be so much that people are discouraged from seeking help at all.  
However, as of January, 2015, the cost of healthcare for many of us has nearly doubled, if not tripled.  In my case, my co-pays have nearly doubled, meaning office visits are $30, urgent care is $75, and emergency care is $150. To me, at humble RT wages, this is a pretty steep price for healthcare. 

This, coupled with the fact that my healthcare premium that I am required to pay per pay period has doubled to $300 a month, makes for a major ouch!  That's $300 a month that I will not be spending on other things I need or want.  That's $300 I won't be spending on a car.  That's $300 I won't be spending on food and clothing.  That's $300 I won't be spending toward air conditioning I need because my kids have allergies.

Add into this that most people are in the same boat I am, and you can see why the economic situation in this country is far from any euphoria dreamed up by certain members of the Washington elite establishment. 

On the other end of the spectrum, people receiving medicare and medicaid do not have to pay anything.  They have no incentive to think twice about seeking help, and it's because of this that our emergency rooms are full of people with ailments that you and I stay home with. 

Economics 101 teaches that as the demand for a product (in our case healthcare) increases, and the supply stays the same (number of nurses, doctors and respiratory services) the price increases.  So it only makes sense that the cost of heathcare have skyrocketed since these programs were created. 

Yet instead of fixing the problem, politicians continue to make it worse by creating even more laws meant to fix it "for our own good."   

There is a reason that the co-pays are stacked the way they are, because a person should first, when the decision is made to seek help, call their family physician.  If the family physician is not available, urgent care should be the next logical choice. Emergency rooms, which are expensive, should be reserved for (drum roll please) emergencies.  

I completely respect that some people need governmental assistance, and I'm not against it, not even in the slightest.  Still, there should be some kind of incentive to force people on such programs (some call it welfare) to think twice about seeking help for common sniffles and wheezes and bumps and bruises.  

For instance, they should have to pay $5 to see a doctor, $10 for urgent care, and $20 to see an emergency room physician.  This way they would be forced to consider that there is a cost for health care services.  They would see that an office visit is the same as a carton of cigarettes or a 12 pack of beer.  

Now I know there are people reading this blog post who are thinking: "But many of these people don't have $5.  They can't afford to pay anything."  Look, I understand this.  But there has to be some sort of incentive to force people to think twice.  There should be some price to pay  Make it  a buck.  Make it 50 cents. Make it a pack of cigarettes.  Make it a weeks worth of cable TV or cell phone service. 

Likewise, the fact that governmental programs require no co-pays is part of the reason that my healthcare premiums and co-pays are so high.  Since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires that all people have healthcare, my fees have increased to pay for this, and I can't afford it.

Surely there are those who say that it's not fair for people to not have healthcare. What those people fail to see is that it's not fair to me.  I can't afford it.  That's why more than half the people in this country don't support Obamacare. It's not even that we don't want to pay for it, it's that we can't afford to.  

I understand Obama promised that my healthcare costs would not go up, but it was an "unintended consequence" of his "good intentions."  Many people in my position are having a tough time making ends meat as it is.  Yet double the price of healthcare, and now it gets even tougher.  

Ever hear the story of the forgotten man?  Some people think of the poor and needy as the forgotten man. But the true forgotten man is the man in the middle class.  The light has been shining on the poor and the needy for the past 60 or so, and the people asked to pay for it are us.  Sorry, but we can't afford it anymore. 

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