What Things Cost: Healthcare


Back in July, I had a sudden, severe headache and thinking I was having or about to have a stroke, I went to my local, rural emergency room. Thankfully, not a stroke, but very high blood pressure, now resolved with a combination of mainstream and alternative medical intervention.

My bill for that emergency room visit was $4300. Ouch.

But when my insurance explanation of benefits arrived, I saw that the discount to my insurance was more than 75 percent. Actual payment for the visit was less than $1,000.

So I was dismayed when I read a financial agreement at a new-to-me medical practice. I’m paraphrasing, but it basically said, if your insurance doesn’t pay within 60 days, you pay in full.

Yes, the IN FULL was the kicker. Why am I–a not-rich individual–expected to pay full-bore? Why don’t I get a discount?

Consistent with my resolution to complain when things seem wrong, I added an objection to the financial agreement and only then signed it.  Hopefully, my insurance will pay within 60 days …


Alternative Medicine


I’ve had such amazing results with alternative medicine.

In less than two weeks: Blood pressure, lower. Blood sugar readings, almost normal. Headaches, gone. Discontinued the proton pump inhibitor medication. Granted, that one was painful but the pain diminished gradually in a relatively short period of time.

Getting to the root cause of a health issue makes more sense than masking symptoms. Now if only we can convince mainstream medicine to expand its thinking.




Simplify Healthcare, End Greed


The way folks talk about healthcare seems overly complicated to me. Maybe that’s because I worked in healthcare–sort of–for more years than I like to count.

The problem with healthcare in the US is profit. Too many middlemen have their fingers in the healthcare pie. And we let them.

Say you’re sick and go see the doctor. You have insurance that you’ve paid for in premiums. Your insurance tells you to pay the doctor a bit up front. Your doctor sees you, helps you, and then …

The provider bills the insurance that covers you for the premiums you’ve paid. Your doctor needs a special ‘insurance’ clerk, able to ‘work the system’ so that your insurance pays. Seem complicated? You’re right.

Why so complex? Simple answer. Insurance isn’t there to help you or your doctor. Insurance is there to make a profit.

How much simpler would it be to have single-payer healthcare? You show up with a health problem and the provider helps you. The doctor gets paid. And no one makes a profit.

Now before you start singing hallelujahs, single payer health isn’t free health. It’s paid for in taxes. But you and your employer will no longer pay the premiums, copays or deductibles that support insurance company profits.

When no one’s making a profit, healthcare gets cheaper, and people have a better chance of getting the help they need.

Oh, the flower? An African Violet hybrid called Bob Serbin.