Monday, July 27, 2009

Dark news from the health-care reform front:

DISPATCHES FROM the health-reform trenches:

  • A friend reports that the medical bill for his four-hour out-patient hospital visit for the replacement of a pacemaker battery was more than $50,000.
  • A middle-management fellow whose overtime has been frozen also faces a 20 pct. increase in his share of health insurance next year. That's a monthly bill of $600 instead of the current $500.
These aren't exceptional stories. So when President Obama says the situation will only get worse if we do nothing now, here's the gruesome evidence. Is Congress listening these days? I think not.


Anonymous said...

There is no incentive for the Republicans to do anything but scare people to insure the insurance companies keep the Brinks trucks rolling. That isn't your health Republicans are talking about, it is "capitalism".

I see Nebraska has joined the new states' rights brigade to ensure their citizens are protected from unemployment benefits and health care.

PJJinOregon said...

Southern politicians - and today that means Republicans - have always pursed a policy of denying society's benefits to various classes.Early on, only property owners could vote, then only males, and then only whites. Northern members of Congress removed these class-based restrictions.

The current Southern strategy is to restrict government assistance to those who hold a job - no welfare for the unemployed and no health care unless provided by an employer. Once again, the North must rise up and provide social equity in our class based democracy.

'Sorry about the rant, but it's hot in Oregon tody.

Mencken said...

When they replace a pacemaker battery, they replace the entire unit, not just the battery. There's also a variety of pacemakers, and some of them are quite sophisticated in their ability to diagnose and respond to a number of different heart arrhythmias.

Pacemakers used to be the size of hockey pucks and now they're quite small. This size reduction and sophistication comes at a price.... about $600 a month over the life of the unit. But that cost vs. the cost of the required treatment and hospitalization
of a patient not having a pacemaker is quite favorable to the patient having the pacemaker.

I'm also guessing that if the hospital billed
$50,000, the insurance company paid off closer to
half of that amount. On the bill for my last round of chemo, the insurance company paid AGMC only 1/3 of what they billed. That's good for me and the insurance company, but not so good for AGMC and the uninsured who eat my discounts.

Not fair is it ? Not sure how to make it fair either.

Grumpy Abe said...

Rant, pant and chant all that you want to, PJ. The weather has nothing to do with it.