Healthcare jobs make up 11% of all jobs, and, they have accounted for 35 percent of the jobs added since the start of the recession. Who is paying a good portion of those salaries? Insurance premiums.

Which makes the lowering of premiums nearly impossible.  Why do I say that? Because nobody wants to give up making money. Not the doctors, the hospitals, the drug companies, the testing facilities… nobody. Healthcare is big business, and business runs by statistics. If the graph isn’t going up, it’s going down — at which point all are encouraged to find a clever way to get that graph heading up again. But to put money back in your pocket, somebody has to give it up.

We need to reproportion the pieces of the healthcare pie. If somehow magically nobody got sick, we’d go from pie size to small tart, and that would cut premiums, but it would kill the economy and in all seriousness, it’s not a realistic possibility.

The Republicans want to get rid of medicaid. That is not a premium lowering action. The government pays for that, not the insurance companies. That will not lower premiums, in fact it will probably raise them. That’s what brought on the need for Obamacare in the first place. Skyrocketing premiums forced people to drop coverage. But they still got sick, only instead of going to a doctor, they ended up in the hospital, unable to pay their bill, causing insurance rates to rise, causing more people to drop coverage.

In the pre-Obamacare days an acquaintance of mine ODed and spent a week in the hospital. Her bill was $300,000. Since hers was a suspected suicide, she was comped. She had no money to pay. I guess they figured a bill that size might be reason for her to try again. Who paid her bill? The people who had insurance.  Another friend with no insurance had chest pains. A weekend of tests added up to $40,000. She had no money, they lowered the bill to $2,000. Who paid the other $38,000? The people who had insurance.

We could require the cost of drugs and services be advertised so we could be responsible shoppers. There is no competition when no one knows how much anything costs.  I picked up a prescription the other day.  It was covered by my insurance so there was no price listed.  I checked how much it was on,  a site that discounts prescription drugs. They listed it for nearly four hundred dollars! It listed for $199 less than 2 years ago.  But it was “free”, because my insurance covered it. My sister pays over $500/month for her insurance. Of course she’s going to run to the doctor for every hangnail and not cringe when they order thousands of dollars worth of unnecessary tests. She’s just getting her money’s worth.

My other sister had emergency surgery last Christmas and she spent a week in ICU. The equipment, the medical staff, the support staff… I couldn’t believe it! The place was a massive machine. I don’t know what this hospital would do if we had a week with no illness.  They need to fill the beds with sick people or they will go belly up.

It’s a complicated issue. I have no answer. I do believe everyone should be required to have health insurance. You can’t compare healthcare to other businesses because no other business requires a provider to give their product / service to those who can’t afford to pay for it. One final point if you were on a ship on the ocean and it sprung a leak, those in charge would not choose to scrap the ship and start over. They wouldn’t do that because the people would sink with the leaky ship.  The smart and responsible decisionmaker would simply find a clever way to plug the leaks.

It’s late I’m tired. This subject makes my head spin.