Tuesday, January 15, 2013
My son is in the hospital at this moment with a catastrophic illness. He nearly died. I've been thinking a lot about the problem for the last few days.
There's a push to concentrate on preventative care. I understand that. But I suspect that could be dealt with on an ongoing basis if hospital coverage, lab tests, and pharmaceuticals were eliminated from the equation. I'm not saying it would be EASY.
In my own case, a hefty proportion of each office visit bill is comprised of necessary blood tests and the occasional EKG. Then, there is the drug store on my office shelf. And God forbid I have to go back into the hospital. With careful budgeting, I could pay my office visit. But that other stuff? That sends the cost up into the stratosphere.
I wonder...what if instead of the "preventative care", the subsidies were aimed at the lab tests and hospital cost? And what if the Congress imposed a limit on the drug cost and subsidized the research portion? Isn't that what pharmaceutical companies are always harping on? How the cost of our drugs pays for research?
WHY are lab costs so expensive? If you have the whiz-bang machine already, exactly what are the labs charging the patient for?
See...I'm wondering where the expenses are coming from. What part of it is really the patient's responsibility? If the lab has had that whiz-bang machine for ten years, surely they've made enough money to pay for that sucker? So, do they then have the right to keep on charging stratospheric fees, just because? It reminds me of toll roads that charge us to use crappy roads. And bridge tolls we pay for bridges that are falling down.
Does anyone really know what we're paying for?
On another note, I want to thank my daughter-in-law for braving snowy, icy roads to drive my son to a decent hospital an hour and a half from their home. I'm soooo grateful for her courage and determination.