Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The medical care we need

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Today, with front page news everywhere of a soon “make or break vote” vote by Congress on President Obama’s health care overhaul, I’m taking a day off from my busy work schedule to accompany my wife to the San Francisco area for her doctor’s visit. She’s consulting with an expert we found and are paying with our own money after an extensive search last year.

In addition to missing a day of work - I’m self-employed so if I don’t work I don’t earn – today’s doctor’s visit will cost $295. She visits this doctor about three to four times a year. There’s lab work required for each visit and the lab work ordered for today’s visit was $155. The 240 mile round trip will cost some pocket change for fuel in the gas tank. The prescription medicine she is taking is relatively inexpensive so let’s add another $30 per month for it.

All these costs are paid by us because we’ve chosen a high-deductible health insurance plan to assume some risk to “save” money with a lower monthly premium of "only" $883 per month! It's real money we pay every month from our personal checking account.

Having said all this, you think I’d be tickled pink in favor of President Obama’s health care overhaul with its promises of making health care more affordable and available for Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We pay for our health care with our own money because we know there’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. We don’t expect our government to pay for our medical care, nor do we want our government to interfere or limit our choices of the medical care we seek.

What my wife and I have learned from these experiences is to be good consumers of medical care and this is no easy task. Take a nation and insist that its millions of people be good consumers of medical care and watch what happens. Medical care quality will improve and its cost will decrease.

The health care overhaul our nation needs is that which gives us ownership of our health care decisions, aware of its cost, and makes us shop smart for the medical care we need.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum


fishhead said...

Amen to that.

I hope your wifey is feeling better and I hope this Dr. can help her to be even better.

Illness/sickness sucks.
Those of us that are healthy should be thankful everyday.

Best wishes to you both,

Jim Carlson said...

Yesterday I paid for in cash a blood panel and lab consultation fee of $199.00 from Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center. Thanks for the referral. I am on my way to a natural medical treatment and prevention with excercise and diet. I won't need this health insurance from the federal government, I will just go ahead and pay for it in cash.