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. Coburn was paid $193,000. The health industry was, by far, Coburn’s greatest benefactor.
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?
 OpenSecrets.Org Mitch McConnell 2005 – 2010.
 OpenSecrets.Org Tom Coburn 2005 – 2010
Filed under: Pocket lining