Wednesday, February 27, 2013
My Fellow Americans ~ You Do Need To Read This
Those of you who have read my blog for a while know I don't get on the soapbox to preach very often. As you also know, I am a naturalized American citizen who has lived here for over 50 years. There are many things I love about living in America, but I have never understood the greed and cruelty that prevails in the American health care system - from insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical supply houses, and the hospital industry. The health care system in this country simply astounds me.
These problems have never affected me because I have always had good health insurance, thanks to the University of California where I worked. But I do care about people and people get ill with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and so on. And unless you are wealthy, on Medicare, or have good private insurance, you are pretty much toast should you get hit with something major or need to visit an emergency room, hopefully not being transported there via ambulance.
So this guy, Steven Brill at Time Magazine, took it upon himself to dive into it and write, not just an article, but practically a whole weekly edition of the magazine and fill it with extremely shocking, but still very, very valuable information for anyone who does not have adequate health insurance and for the rest of us who like to stay informed.
For example, one woman was left with $902,000 in medical bills after her husband passed away from lung cancer. She made about $40,000 a year, running a child care center from her home. America promotes entrepreneurship, but what if you don't make enough to be able to afford good health insurance? Just one example. What I didn't know is that there are lots of things a person can do to get their hospital bills discounted. Hospitals apparently don't expect to get paid in full, yet they will never let you know this. And have you ever heard of a charge master? Neither had I.
I am bringing this magazine, on the stands this week, to your attention because it includes so much valuable information. And a lot of stuff that will shock and astonish you. At least it did me, but we do need to know.