I Cant Afford to Get Sick! I Have No Insurance!

By: TJ Hall

Unfortunately, you are a member of a 46 million member club (and growing) here in the United States. The pandemic is so bad that the President of the United States addressed the issue in his State of the Union address and the governors of several states are wrestling with the issue every day.

The problems with the health care system in the Unites States are very well documented. In fact, the documentation with fill several libraries. Unfortunately, while this issue keeps growing little is or can be done to correct the problem. Insurance companies, lawyers and the medical community have political lobbies second to none. And while they even realize that medical reform will happen, their lobbyist are determined to slow it down at least, stop at best or maybe water it down in between. All this means is no real reform any time soon.

The cost of medical care is forcing consumers into bankruptcy or major debt to pay bills and in some cases causing some consumers to go without treatment or insurance. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the cost issue; the number of persons who went without coverage from the year 2000 to 2005 was seven million. It was not confined to either end of the age spectrum either with the majority of the uninsured being between 18 and 65 years of age. Now this is just the uninsured – not the “under insured” – which would add million more to our undesirable membership.

So what is causing this pandemic? Well some of our old friends and some new twists are shaping up in the health care industry. The number one reason for people going without health care coverage is COST. Double digit increases year after year how outstripped the economy, stocks and bond market, industrial growth and our income. In fact, it was reported recently that because of this increase of the cost of medical care, Americans have not really had an increase in pay for 25 years – it’s always cancelled by the rise of medical care.

This comes amid poor quality care and lost value. Many manufacturing plants could take lessons at the way that “production” at a hospital or doctor’s office is managed. The envy of the manufacturing world is the “in the door, out the door” time that has been achieved by insurance companies and hospitals. Yet, these groups still complain that they make no money and are being forced into bankruptcy themselves. Is it possible?

Outrageous lawsuits sometimes bordering on the “silly” actual have large awards returned. Insurances pay up (sometimes) and thus send up the costs of premiums to doctors and employers. As a result, employers are dropping or reducing the medical coverage of employees forcing them to go without or to shoulder more of the cost of insurance premiums.

A recent article by Dr. Karen Davis proposes strategies and efforts already under to achieve a health care system that provides affordable, accessible care for every American. And while these efforts are laudable it will be some time before they are widespread enough to make an impact.

Finally, the business market is taking control in an effort to force lower medical costs in the United States. “Medical outsourcing” has started to take hold. While not a new concept it has finally reached a point where their services are “preferred” over local hospitalization.

Savvy consumers have decided to turn from traditional hospitalization methods. They have found coordinated healthcare, five star treatments at costs almost 50% of the normal price in the United States. These outsourcing companies have added value to the field of insurance, medical and of all things – travel.

A recent interview with Global Health Care Facilitators (GlobalHCF.com) of Nashville Tennessee gave me an insight into the new wave of medical treatment. Coverage by CBS, NBC and several talk shows indicate the interest in this growing trend.

Companies like Global HCF specialize in 3 areas: medical procedures overseas, assisting employers and insurance companies reduce costs and by assisting families in need of assisted living homes. The success is measured in the number of companies that are reaching out for their services and the number of people they have helped.

Many companies have asked their employees to take advantage of the opportunities of off shore medical help thereby saving premiums and enjoying a small vacation. An interview with Steve and Carrie C. summed up the number of people who have followed this new business. They told of the cost of Carrie’s back surgery in Tennessee at $32,000 plus and the cost that was arranged for them. Global HCF was the lowest cost at $10,450 USD. This included a trip to India, recovery, all doctors fee’s, visa’s, taxi’s, food and a five star rated hotel for Steve while Carrie went through recovery. The quality of hospital, service and medical staff is excellent. Carrie said that as a registered nurse herself she found the “cost and care equivalent to that of the U.S.”

It is time that businesses, insurance companies, and insurance companies have to face the free market and economic pressures like their consumers. With choices the consumer will choose the best value for their money. Before we loose this edge in the United States we need to put a more realistic and affordable price tag on health care.

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