Thursday, January 25, 2007

Health care costs

Last night I took a Tylenol PM because I'd had a headache for a day and a half. It just wouldn't go away. Headache is gone, yay, but I feel cotton-headed now. I'm drinking a lot of water to get rid of the fuzzy wuzziness.

The passage I liked so much is not in Exodus, but in Ezekiel 34:1-16. Verse 16 is the one that struck me - that he will call all his sheep and his sheep will know him. Very cool. Basically it means the Spirit of God will lead us and God himself will be our Shepherd. You have to be able to hear God to get led anywhere though. You have to be still.

Health care costs. There's an article about it at NYT. One part reads,

"The national grocery chain Safeway, for example, says the $1 billion it spent on employee health care last year exceeded its net income. By next year, that will be true for most large businesses, according to Safeway’s chairman and chief executive, Steven A. Burd, who cited a McKinsey & Company study."

I don't want to see the government fix healthcare but it won't keep going forever as is. Look at how the pharmaceutical companies are getting richer and richer. They want everyone on something! Older Americans are on expensive meds to live longer, middle aged American are getting meds because they want to live longer, young adults are getting meds because everything is a disease now, and people are putting their kids on various meds, so it's prescription drugs all the way around. Schools want to force kids to eat right but it's not the school's job. It has to be taught in the family. Kids have to be exposed to good eating habits when they're growing up. I've seen people so overweight they can't stand up for five minutes. Obesity, not chubbiness, is increasing in kids. The last time we went into a McDonald's we saw an entire family of obese people: dad, mom, teenaged and young children. These people are going to need a lot of health care in the future. They don't eat right, they don't exercise, some smoke. They see every ache and pain and cold as a sickness. There are illegals obtaining emergency care and cannot pay; low income, especially single mums, who cannot pay; transplants are more common than ever; and heart surgery is epidemic (two people just in my own family have had heart surgery), and who can afford to pay? And why does it have to be so expensive? Is it due to the technology used? Case in point...

When we had dental insurance we noticed on our bill two columns. One was the charge for insured people and the other was a charge for uninsured. Which do you think cost more? The column for uninsured was far higher, by several hundred dollars for a crown, than for insured. I guess the insurance company said we'll agree to pay this amount and not the higher amount if you want to do business with us. We have no insurance for dental now. We pay the higher amount! Crazy, huh. That's what it be like.