Everyone is all atwitter about the final showdown in the health care debate. I have an image in my head of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid standing 25 yards from John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor on a deserted dirt street in front of a saloon somewhere in Arizona...
Speaking of Arizona, my wife and I visited the Grand Canyon last October. The day after we landed in Phoenix, I felt an earache coming on, so I decided to nip it in the bud so it did not ruin our entire vacation.
Long story short: I went to a local emergency room. After waiting two hours, a very nice doctor saw me, told me to take some Sudafed and sent me on my way. The whole exam took about three minutes.
I paid my $150 deductible and left.
Five months later - FIVE MONTHS - I have finally closed out this medical bill. It came to a total of $487.00. My insurance paid for exactly NONE of the cost.
My friend and colleague Joe Eckert tells this all-too-familiar tale of his recent ordeal shopping for health insurance for his family. Scary.
It seems to me, however, that so much of the debate in Washington has been about health insurance and not about health care. Or, more to my point - the cost of health care.
Can anyone tell me if the president's proposal does ANYTHING to deal with costs? Or are we just going to insure a few million more people, without any regard to what we, the taxpayer, are getting for our money?
If we "fix" insurance without fixing the cost of care, it seems like trying to use sunscreen to cure skin cancer.
Don't get me wrong. I believe that most insurance executives are incubi from the bowels of hell. But unless we cure the cost disease, we're just throwing more money down their fetid maws.