LINKS: Rage Against The Healthcare Machine

h gilbert welchIn case you needed any more reasons to get incensed with healthcare’s exorbitant costs, The New York Times has you covered. First, you’ll want to read their piece about how ridiculously overpriced it is to have a baby in this country (“American Way Of Birth, Costliest In The World” via The New York Times).

According to the article, “Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.”

And that’s just the start. We recently shared an article from Time Magazine about arbitrary chargemaster activities, where hospitals and insurance companies colluded to charge uninsured patients insane rates, while insurance paid hospitals far less for the same service. Now H. Gilbert Welch of The New York Times has written an op/ed piece claiming that there’s insufficient rage against what is “less help than highway robbery,” saying, “Medical care is intended to help people, not enrich providers. But the way prices are rising… [it’s] the providers — hospitals, doctors, universities, pharmaceutical companies and device manufactures — [who] are the ones benefiting.”  READ WELCH’S OP/ED.

The momentum didn’t stop there. Doctors and care providers wrote letters to the editor in response to Wells’ oped piece. Some cried out for universal healthcare, others called it a shame that the uninsured are charged full-price, while insurance companies pay heavily discounted rates. There was no mention of direct care. Not that we’re here to revive the entire industry. But there are practices offering healthcare at fair prices. We’re still of the ilk that not that many people know, or are taking our model seriously, though. And that needs to change. READ THE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

(Image of H. Gilbert Welch courtesy of dartmouth.edu)

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