Many years ago when I took the boring civilian Basic Emergency Medical Technician course to supplement my military experience and training the textbook was the AAOS Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured.
Many years later and after the implementation of the ACA parts of that title seem to scream loudly the predicament that is facing me and my fellow Americans.
My personal experiences provided much empiric data that I was indeed being screwed financially. My rates increased as did my deductibles and co pays to a point that my plan adopted the idea of co-insurance. To mitigate some of this my employer started a HRA program that I don’t pay into,these moneys pay the deductibles etc. Bottom line my employer has foisted upon us what is called a Consumer Driven Health Plan. These types of plans are the fastest growing plan in the industry. Essentially these plans are meant to make one a good medical care consumer. Like tourists looking at menus outside a restaurant or the like. Well like how US restaurants don’t really post prices outside the dining room the US healthcare system totally doesn’t. Most people accept that which their physicians say and in no way is it believable that the patient now a consumer has lab tests as a potential line item issue on their mind when they are ill or injured.
In fairness to the health care clinicians they have heavier concerns when chasing down what is hurting their patient so when it comes to do no harm they still believe that a good idea. The billing humps ? Not so much. Tasked with getting the money that moves the health care economy the crunchers find inane new ways to get money. When they can’t get it from the now shackled,befuddled and oddly free from implications insurance folks they turn to you the consumer.
Fees and charges above and beyond what your plan covers and delivered in the unethical way they are often leaves people on the hook for thousands at times. This is quite simply too fucking sick to dwell on but dwell we must.
Thrust into the arena as consumer gladiators we need to get something started to end this practice.
Of all the things wrong with the ACA the potentially irreversible damage it has done to the healthcare system and general economy is something we better get a bead on. Fire at will people,fire at will.
For an article that really pushed me over the edge on this issue please check out the NYT piece here