Thursday, February 26, 2009

$1.75 Trillion Dollar Debt!

As President Obama had said during his address to Congress and the American people, he would submit his budget shortly. Well, he is doing that today. President Obama is forecasting $1.75 trillion deficit in his budget proposal. The budget sets goals to overhaul the health care system and strengthen the economy. This huge budget will represent 12.5% of our gross domestic product. The largest percentage since World War II.

I'm not exactly happy with this, but I do see the reasoning behind it. Health care is driving up the cost of everything we buy. As I had mentioned earlier, it costs us about $8,000 per person per year. Heath care has been climbing steadily and there is no end to its climb.

Yesterday, I went to see my doctor to talk about my health. After the appointment, Dr. Molina had some time to talk with me about health care and share with me some of the problems he sees. For example, my health care discount program takes about four to six weeks to pay him. I think that is way too long for him to wait. He has staff, rent and equipment to pay for. Why does he have to wait for his money? He has to submit form after form after form to the insurance company in order to get paid. Sometimes, they reject the claim and he has to resubmit. Guess what? The clock starts over again. If he were to offer me a discount program, I would be more than happy to pay him directly.

I read an article a couple of weeks ago stating that more and more people are going without insurance but are able to negotiate discounts on their bills. If doctors and hospitals are willing to offer discounts to their patients, we could end up cutting out the insurance companies altogether. Or, the insurance companies would only be there when there is major health issues like open heart surgery or cancer. If I were to get discounts on my doctor's visit and prescriptions and know that an insurance company would be there to help with the major surgery bills, I would be content.

Take a look at the past. I don't recall a lot of employers offering health care to their employees. Employees were responsible for their own health care. Things worked out fine. They paid their bills to the doctors and there was no paperwork to file. Unfortunately, times have changed. We have grown dependent on health care insurance to pay for everything especially when you consider the costs of medications.

I take a couple of medications for my diabetes. Janumet is the big one for me. Even with a discount, the medication costs me about $170 a month. That's a lot of money. Most of the cost goes to three things: Development cost, Marketing and Product Liability. If I had my choice, I wouldn't take the medicine. I have talked to my doctor about generics and he wants me to stay on this one for a while. When I get my weight down, he would consider generics. Yes, my health care is back in my hands.

Health care will always be in our hands and we need to work hard by telling people to support reform and modernization of the health care system.

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