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 a hope to get 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 thirty seven million. Now the tracking puts the number of people without insurance at 47 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 millions 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 have 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, American’s have not really had an increase in pay for 15 years – it’s always canceled 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 frame 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” actually have large awards returned. Insurances pay up (sometimes) and thus increase 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.