Healthcare: The Naked Truth


By Brooke Strickland

Health care.  It’s the never-ending debate.  This topic is a hot discussion topic and gets people fired up quickly.  And when it comes to paying medical bills, families are going into debt to pay for them.  They’re struggling to get healthcare, and when they do, they have a hard time paying for it.  When my daughter had surgery, I was thankful for our insurance paying for it, because when I got the bill, I saw it was nearly $70,000.  Without insurance, there would have been absolutely no way that we could pay for that.  How could an average, working family come up with that kind of money?

Sadly, many American families can’t pay for health care.  They spend an average of $19,393 every year for health care coverage.  And 60% of personal bankruptcies are linked to medical bills.  Americans pay twice as much in healthcare as Japanese citizens. And numbers indicate that by 2030, health care costs will exceed the average family household income. [1] Disturbing, isn’t it?

Why?

Hospitals overcharge.
Hospitals in the United States charge 200% more for medication compared to other countries.  Hospital visits are an average of $3,181 versus $1,050 for the rest of the world.  Having a baby in the U.S. costs an average of $7,473 versus $3,400 for other parts of the world.  Hospitals also offer incentives for outpatient services so they can treat more customers and in turn, make more money.  Statistics show that 90% of health care price increases are because of outpatient care services.

Overpaid doctors.
14 out of 15 of the highest paid occupations in the United States are those in the medical and dental field. Doctors are simply being paid more for doing the same job that other doctors in other parts of the world are doing.

Wastefulness.
The U.S. spends nearly $2.6 trillion on health care, and nearly $1.2 trillion of this is wasteful spending.  Hospitals in the U.S. spend charge up to $1,000 for a toothbrush, up to $140 for a single Tylenol pill, or up to $100 for Saline solution (salt water). t

Insurance companies overcharge.
In the last decade, insurance companies have increased premiums by more than 131% and in 2011, the average annual family premium was $15,073.

These numbers are staggering and pretty disheartening.  Finding a way to pay to keep our families healthy is becoming more and more of a challenge.  We may not be able to change some of these numbers, but we can change how we live.  Eat well, exercise, and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.  The healthier you are, hopefully the less you’ll need to visit the hospital emergency room.  This will be your part in creating change. 




 

[1] “Decoding Medical Bills.”  http://medicalbillingandcodingcertification.net/decoding-medical-bills/.  Information obtained and created by Medicalbillingandcodingcertification.net


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