Americans (without universal health care) pay twice as much for health care as their European counterparts who have universal health care. The key question in the health care reform debate should be, why?
The difference can be explained. Quite simply, U.S. "health care" lobbies persuade Congress to accept:
No more than 30 cents of any dollar Americans pay for health care actually gets spent on medicine and health-related expense. The remaining 70 cents is paid out to fund:
Let a CPA expose three U.S. "medical myths":
The United States already has universal health care provision. By most state laws, all Americans, regardless of whether they are insured, must be treated when there is an emergency. For medical attention, non-payers (the uninsured) must go to the emergency services. They get treatment but do not pay.
By most state laws, hospitals are forbidden to lose money. So how do they "make up" for the services provided for which are not paid? Hospitals administrations "create" overheads to increase the cost of services so those who are insured (those who pay) cover the costs of those who do not pay.
The members of the health care industry who are supposed to be checking costs on behalf of their paying clients simply accept false accounting to keep their insurance premium revenues flowing. So the market is closed, lobbyists (who outnumber congressmen 5:1) want to keep the market protected. The great risk is that the American public finds out how they are being swindled.
If you are not familiar with the $2 aspirin, the $5 tissues, "miscellaneous" excessively overpriced supply drugs and other "medical" charges and the $800-a-day-plus hospital stays, you are not keeping up with the creative (more frankly, dishonest) accounting for "health care" expenses.
The U.S. already has a universal health care system. The problem is that it is twice as costly as the competition elsewhere in the industrialized world!
U.S. "health care" lobbyists understand the power of lies, damn lies and false assertions. The UK and Canadian universal health care systems provide core health care for everyone. No age, pre-existing illness or other limitations. The universal nature of most industrialized national health care covers not just cost (as in the United States) but also the universal provision of core services.
This means citizens in their 50s and 60s who lose their employment do not lose their health care benefits. This means those who leave school and are awaiting their first employment have health care benefits. This means the burden of health care costs is shared across the nation and not skillfully placed upon an ignorant majority.
Readers, especially readers with employer-provided health care, should check out the full cost of their health care insurance: the actual amount being paid, not the amount they pay.
Quite the biggest myth is the idea any Americans have any real idea of health care costs. The unregulated and essentially fraudulent billing of medical services has been going on to cover up the fact Americans who pay insurance already are paying for those who do not (and cannot) pay but continue to benefit from the universal health care provision.
Couple this with the fact most Americans "enjoy" cost unregulated group health care plans with significant contributions to their individual insurance premium costs being paid by their employers. Those who pay as little as $150 or $250 per month (or even less) usually are not familiar with the fact their employer is paying perhaps a further $350 or $450 per month to pay for the actual cost of their individual premiums.
This suits the health care lobby because there is a good chance Americans will not get to know how they are being misled.
Thoughts for the health care debate:
Jeremy Cripps, Ph.D.
is a former city finance director for Tiffin
and is a professor
of management and accounting and Head of the Business and Economics Division
at the American
University of Kuwait.