Health Care Reform? Don’t Let The Wealthy Suffer

We don’t need health care reform. At least, that’s what Republican senators like Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma would have us believe.

Of course, McConnell was paid $2,000,000 by the health industry to say exactly that, as part of his campaign financing.[1] Coburn was paid $193,000. The health industry was, by far, Coburn’s greatest benefactor.[2]

A couple of weeks ago I was bothered by a persistent belly-ache. Eventually, it drove me to our local doctor. After poking and prodding around he sent me to the hospital for a CAT scan – “just to make sure there’s nothing seriously wrong.”

It took three attempts before they got the needle in my vein and I eventually walked away with bruised forearms that took a week to subside, but the scan itself was all of ten minutes. It required a few more minutes in the waiting room before the nurse person came out and said everything was fine and I could go home.

Yesterday we got the bill.

Before proceeding, let me assure you the Adams’s have one of the finest health insurances available – Blue Cross Blue Shield’s policy for Federal employees. I’m told it’s one of the best.

The hospital presented the insurance company with a bill for the CAT scan of $6,034.11.

This is, of course, what an uninsured person would be expected to pay for a similar procedure.

Blue Cross Blue Shield said, “Up yours! Our plan only allows for you to charge us $3,113.65 for that procedure,” so immediately wrote off $2,920.46.

By a complex and mysterious process that no layman could ever understand, they then concluded that of the $3,113.65, they were only responsible for $2,391.66. The rest was down to me.

So, despite paying an enormous sum in health insurance premiums every month, a ten minute CAT scan still cost me $721.99.

Had I not been insured, the hospital would have dumped the full $6,034.11 at my door and I’d have had no-one to stand up to them and say, “Up yours! You’re grossly overcharging.”

Is Senator McConnell right in his assertion that health care in the US does not require reform? Is Senator Coburn right, as a representative of the people, to hold the views he does?

You decide.

[1] OpenSecrets.Org Mitch McConnell 2005 – 2010.

[2] OpenSecrets.Org Tom Coburn 2005 – 2010

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7 Replies to “Health Care Reform? Don’t Let The Wealthy Suffer”

  1. GROAN!!!! Oh dear, RJ – that’s dreadful!

    And here’s some more ignorance from our 2nd Senator – James Inhofe

    He says he’ll vote against reform without reading the bill – and he’s proud of that?!

    I do not know where the heads of Oklahomans are, voting in these two time after time – or I do know – their heads are up their… knows. GRRRRR!! These are paid representatives of the people for god’s sake!

  2. Twilight – both these so-called ‘representatives of the people’ have conveniently forgotten that Obama was elected on his promise to reform healthcare. But then, it’s also slipped their memory how George Bush was responsible for the economic crash (deregulation of the financial industries and the horrendously expensive and unnecessary Iraq war). Or, perhaps they haven’t forgotten, after all. Maybe they don’t care about the people, or the country, so long as their own pockets are being well-lined by the healthcare industry?

  3. Agreed, RJ.
    I’m linking to your last two posts in my blog tomorrow (Saturday). Can’t not say something about these two charlatans. I doubt many Okies will read my blog, but it’ll all go out into the ethers, along with my angry thoughts. 😉

  4. Thank god I live in Australia and not USA. That’s all I can say as a comment under your post.
    So sorry you got hit by a 700+ dollars for a CAT scan. Here it’s something like $250 and even if you don’t have private insurance, you can claim about half of it. My housemate had tummy issues and had to get a CAT scan or MRI. We bitch about the health system failing the citizens here Australia. When I hear stories like yours or even worse, I am grateful we have what we have.


  5. Gaye – US Medicare only applies to over-65’s. The craziness is it’s a very successful government-run system for seniors, but the idiots who oppose healthcare reform here conveniently forget to mention that when they’re spouting at their town hall meetings.

    Fortunately, $700 is no more than an inconvenience to me, but for many Americans it could force them even further into poverty.

  6. Oh there IS Medicare but just for 65+. That’s sad, though for seniors it’s a good thing to have.
    I think the opposing America’s problem is not with the healthcare reform per se, but with the word “reform” itself. They are so ignorant, these people are the same people who labeled Obama, socialist, communist etc. It is result of the seeds of fear and hatred sawn not too long ago. The brainwashing worked well on the gullible, naive people. That and also continuous media and politic efforts to keep people in the dark about the stuff that matters.

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