So, instead of pushing for a bill that would attempt to reign in medical costs like say, a public option or maybe medicare buy ins, we enact a health insurance reform bill.
The Administration has released data today to show what a folly this law will become. It turns out that costs of medical procedures are completely arbitrary and in many cases inflated by the health care facility to get higher payments from insurance companies.
Just read this article on HuffPo. I don't even know how to begin to express the exasperation I'm feeling.
Hospital Prices No Longer Secret As New Data Reveals Bewildering System, Staggering Cost Differenceshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
The charges are the prices hospitals establish themselves for the services they provide. Although Medicare and Medicaid don't base their payment rates on these figures, private health insurance companies typically do, which means they usually pay more for the same health care than the government does. That translates into higher premiums for people with insurance. And uninsured people are expected to pay the full list price or a discount from that number, which tends to mean they pay more than anyone else.
When a hospital doesn't get paid as much as it wants from one source, it tries to make up the difference in other ways, such as billing so-called self-pay patients -- almost always the uninsured -- for the full list price of a service, said Robert Huckman, a health care expert at Harvard Business School. Even when hospitals agree to huge discounts for patients who can't pay the bill, those discounts are taken from inflated prices much higher than those the government or private insurance companies pay, he said.
So I can already hear the proponents, "but more people will be insured so they'll pay less". Less than what? An exhorbitant price pulled out of thin air? What the hell does that do to stop the arbitrarily inflated prices charged to both insurance covered patients and the non-insured? Notice, they both pay more than medicare and medicaid patients.
Frustrated beyond belief.