If a patient is without health insurance, or with insurance but the coverage is almost good for nothing, service providers are like competing barracudas on the hunt for prey. Pricing of dental services for example is out of control.An elderly who had his fourteen teeth extracted was charged $240 per tooth, and in addition, he has to pay approximately $3,000 for his new temporary and regular lower denture. This does not include $500 for anesthesia. Upon inquiry, the explanation was [a] it was not an ordinary teeth extractions – it was a “surgery”[?!], [b] the patient was elderly and diabetic, [c] the denture was “special”, not covered by insurance.
That was more than a year ago. The patient is not even half way in paying the money he borrowed to pay for this scalping.We know that the poor fellow had been had. But his only remedy is to go to court. He is too old and too poor to do that.
This aging patient cannot even write a letter of complaint to his insurer that happens to be part of the conspiracy to suck the patient’s blood dry to the bone.Every time this patient would contact the insurance people who obviously are also on the take, to protest the overcharging, they would just shoo him away telling him that the denture and the dental services “specialists” had provided were outside of the provisions of his health insurance contract. It was a pocket-cost he must bear.
The victim -- and millions of his kind all over the country -- needs President Barack Hussein Obama to save him. It is time to stop those self-selling talks to get the votes he needed to become president. His non-stop oratory will not save those victims of insatiable greed for profit.
The much ballyhooed “Obama Health-Care Express” is a hustle-bustle in the wind. The problem was seen by those who are viewing the precarious situation in our healthcare industry from the distance at the wrong end of the telescope.While it is true that this nation is short of primary-care physicians, the real problem is the pricing of medical services without limit when insurance is nil or inadequate.
Look … don’t argue with me that competition in a free enterprise system will level the price the market would bear. This theory is valid only if it has a premise to stand on, and that is, provided that [a] goods sold are “elastic”, and [b] there is no monopoly, [c] there is no conspiracy among the dominant players to cabal in pricing and sharing of profits. [See J. von Neumann’s and O. Morgenstern’s “Theory Of Games” in a situation of mixed conflict and cooperation where players may cooperate to increase their joint pay-off.]We must increase the number of service providers to meet the nation’s medical need. At the same time, we cannot countenance this bizarre incentive that in order to attract service providers into practice the few who are now serving the public is encouraged to bill patients without limit [i.e. Dental Rip-Off], putting them at the mercy of insatiable greed for profit.
This strategy does not only distort the market but also increases the number of patients dying because they cannot afford the cost of insurance that will cover their need for survival.
For instance, when patients appeal for a rejected coverage, it is almost 95% sure the insurer will deny the appeal. The idea is to save the money that the insurance company would otherwise spend to save the patient’s life, and later on distribute the pool of money saved, to caregivers in the form of “bonuses”.
In the graph, we may picture the financially-disadvantaged patients’ rate of survival going down while the medical vultures’ fortune is rising up. In the year 2007, fraudulent overpricing estimated within the range of $3-10 billion was lost to dental vultures [Vultures Exposed].It is almost like opium to be addicted to Obama’s attractive oratory when he declared that healthcare is a “right” that his administration guarantees to every American.
I think he forgot that healthcare is a need, and victimized patients are dying. #© Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access December 05, 2008. Posted in The Light To Share 01/31/09/.
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