Money Magazine Weighs in on Healthcare costs; worth reading.
It is no secret that health care costs are out of control. The value prospect does not exists. Recently, The Star Ledger in NJ reported that people who were injured in Boston from the attack on the marathon now face high healthcare bills, from 20k for an amputated limb (think of someone removing and cauterizing and sewing in its most simple form) which is absurd and more for catheterizations, pacemakers, and more.
Years ago, a low co pay took care of the cost. Now, more people have higher deductibles and the pricing has no basis in reality, and seems to start with the drug companies and Hospitals (see Stephen Brills article here). The problem is that healthcare is a monopoly, and monopolies have no competition. Until we have an alternate medical system, or perhaps, until people can no longer pay for insurance which would force hospitals to be more forthright in their pricing structures, so that people can comparison shop for what they need, pricing will continue to be a problem.
There is one other thing that goes unsaid; the current healthcare paradigm is very problematic, with its basis on symptoms, vs. systems. We are the sum of our parts and when one is problematic, it is usually the system that is the problem, yet we remove the bad organ rather than fix the system, and since the musculoskeletal system overlaps many organ based complaints, and since most doctors do not know how to properly rule out those problems, there will continue to be tons of unneeded tests that come back negative.
Read the article here.
80 million victims of sickeningly high medical costs
Nearly half of working-age Americans are avoiding doctors or skipping medications because of the spiraling expense.
That represents a 27% jump since just a decade ago, when 63 million people said they went without medical care because of cost. Even worse, it’s not only the uninsured who are cutting corners on their own health because of high prices, the study said.
About 28% of people with private health insurance reported avoiding treatment because of the price, an eye-opening statistic about skyrocketing rates.
“Costs of health care have gone up faster than wages,” David Blumenthal, president of The Commonwealth Fund, told CNNMoney.
The study comes on the heels of a scathing article published in the journal Blood, which questioned the astronomical cost of leukemia drugs, with some pharmaceutical companies charging more than $100,000 for a year’s dose. Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA +0.55%), for one, introduced a $138,000 annual treatment, the study said.
“We believe the unsustainable drug prices … may be causing harm to patients,” the study said. “Grateful patients may have become the ‘financial victims’ of the treatment success, having to pay the high price annually to stay alive.”
That is, if they have insurance and deep pockets that allow them to cover the costs.