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Andy Richardson: Cracking the Healthcare Code

September 9th, 2009 by Halli

By Andy Richardson of Richmond, VA

Something had been bothering me about the numbers in the health care
graphs I have seen from our representatives. (I majored in
Mathematics, so I have a bit of experience looking at numbers.)

I recently attended a town hall meeting by Representative Bobby Scott
and he showed a comparative graph of total health care costs. On it
was Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.
The graph clearly showed private insurance costing a lot more than the others.
This bothered me a lot, because, what I know of the medical system
tells me that what he showed cannot possibly be the whole truth. As it
turned out, I was right, VERY right.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis and of Management and
Budget, Executive Office of the President we spend around $3,961.55
per person on Medicaid/Medicare.
According to the Milliman Medical Index we spend $4,192.75 per person
on private insurance.

Now, these numbers are pretty close and it seems like socialized
medicine isn’t such a bad idea until you keep reading. The study also
shows that the government UNDERPAYS doctors and hospitals to the tune
of 88.8 BILLION dollars a year.

When the government underpays doctors and hospitals they are forced to
get the money from somewhere else and you guessed it – they take it
from private insurers. They take it to the tune of $447 per person.
So, remember that $4,192.75? Well, make it $3,745.75 – which is
clearly lower than the $3,961.55 of Medicaid. But, wait, we are not
finished. That $447 per person has to go somewhere – so add it back to
the Medicaid costs, because that is just what it is, a cost. Public
health care suddenly costs $4,408.55 per person.
Not good at all compared to the actual cost of $3,745.75 per person on
private insurance.

But wait! We are not finished yet. We have all been told that the
“uninsured” cost us an extra $1,100.00 a year because they simply
can’t pay their bills and the costs are deferred to us.
So, inside that $3,745.75 per person for private insurance there
already exists a hidden tax of $1,100.00 ($275.00 per person) to cover
the uninsured already. I call it a tax because hospitals MUST treat
everyone by law and because hospitals must also cover their costs
somehow – thus they have no choice but to pass that cost onto us.
Therefore, this is a tax as surely as if the IRS took it out of your
paycheck directly.

SO… the actual cost of health care, per person under private insurance
now becomes $3470.75 per person per year. Compare that to $4,408.55
for Medicaid.

But Wait! We are STILL not finished.
People on Medicare don’t actually pay for Medicare. Those people who
are working pay for it – working people generally don’t qualify for
Medicare because they make too much money. Does anyone think this will
change under a nationalized health care system? Nobody? Yeah, neither
do I.

To find out just how much a working family will have to pay for
socialized medicine can be calculated as follows: ((Cost per person) x
(number of people))/(number of working people)
If nothing changes, right NOW we are looking at $4,408.55 per person,
and there are about 300 million people in the USA. That would be
1,322,565,000,000 or, 1.3 trillion dollars.

Now, divide that number by the number of working people not on
Medicaid. Assuming we are talking about a family of 4 the cost per
working family of 4 is $26,451.30 per year.
$26,451.30 per year… I can’t afford that, not by a long shot.

So, what are the options?
Well, we could force doctors to charge less – which means fewer
doctors and long lines.
We could tax lower income families and try to spread the burden across
more people. (Higher taxes)
Or we could raise taxes on those already working through taxing
business and stick the whole $26,451.30 to me and others like me.
“But wait!” You say, “Isn’t that what we are doing already?”

Close, but no.

Right now we are sending this cost on to our children.
Per person our “Unfunded medical liability” Is $132,398.61.
That is the amount our kids are going to be expected to pay for what
we are doing now with medicine.
Does anyone think this is right or just, or are we just not thinking
about it too hard?

It is time to start thinking about it.
Ask yourself, “When is the last time the government took over
something and made it BETTER?”

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