Do you wonder, even with health insurance, why the bill you get for a doctor visit, or a procedure, or any other thing health care related is so dang expensive? I understand that health care is one of those things that every American needs, so is there a way to make it a bit less expensive. I see the bills my insurance pays, and I wonder, how in the hell can they even justify charging that much for all the tongue depressors I stole from the office when no one was in there but me for thirty-seven minutes and I finished playing with the bed and the blood pressure cuff and spun myself dizzy on the stool. I mean jeez, it was like twelve popsicle sticks, surely those cost less than $138.92. You combine that with the $1500 x-ray of back and the $500 consult from the physical therapist. The guy who stuck his head in the room and told be to stretch more, that was $500 worth of advice? I get the same advice at the gym. That is expensive, but I am still all up in arms about those depressors. I mean, crap, isn’t that the going rate for a screw the government buys? But really, why so expensive?
Well, let us tie this little chart on why don’t we and dissect it just a bit. I mean it only covers the last forty years or so since 1970. In that time the amount of doctors have increased by what looks to be a very modest hundred or hundred and fifty percent. Okay, the U.S. population in 1970 was a modest 203.4 million people, roughly. Today that number, as of the 2010 census, is 308.75 million people. That is an increase of about 66% over the last forty years. If you factor in the average age of these extra people you will find there are many more people reaching advanced ages, remember the ones sucking up all the social security you want to have one day. Well, we all know that older people tend to have more health problems, and need more medical care, so I can see the amount of doctors trained up to fill that geriatric void, along with all the specialists that come along as the medical profession learns, grows, and advances medicine. That is all fine and dandy. But that mauve color on the chart, that is really distressing. What is that giant mess all about?
Since 1970 the amount of administrators in the healthcare field has increased by an astronomical 3000%! What! Um, people, I think I’ve found where all that price increase has come from. Let us say your town had 50 doctors in it in 1970. You live in a fairly large town, so now the amount of doctors has risen to somewhere around 125. That’s still not a giant amount of doctors. Say again you had 50 health care administrators in your town. You now have 1500 health care administrators. Wow, that is more than ten fold the amount of doctors you have. My question is what are these administrators doing to get paid? Do you think there is a problem with doctors salaries as the government keeps cutting back medicare and medicaid reimbursement rates, or is it more likely the cost increase is found in the out of control growth in the General Administrative area of medicine. You know the people who file that papers, do the studies, order the supplies, stock the supplies. Pretty much everyone except the health care providers, doctors, physicians assistants, nurses, therapists and the like are driving the cost of medical care through the roof. It is some racket to be a hanger-on to someone who is actually providing a service and like some parasite, able to benefit from the labor of others.
Do you think that the Affordable Health Care Act, or whatever they are calling it, is going to reduce the cost through the controlled firing of many of these dead weight administrators or is it just going to pinch the pocket of the doctors again through reducing the amount they can collect from the insurance companies. Don’t try to tell me that some reform, restructuring, and some slimming down of the healthcare system isn’t needed. You want to cut costs, you want to make health care affordable, get rid of some of that dead weight slurping up cash behind the scenes. That is the first step to fixing your problems.