Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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Location: Virginia

I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Monday, December 11, 2006

The Nightmare Continues

If the whole rabid skunk episode were the end of the nightmare I could look back a laugh. The nightmare however is not over. Now comes the bill.

It cost $6 per shot to give our dogs and cats their rabies vaccine. The vet will charge $25-50 depending on the circumstance. I realize that human medications require some padding to cover FDA approval, potential lawsuits and whatnot, but the Fauquir Hospital charged me $4,000.00.

This is not new technology. There has been a rabies vaccine for ages. We have a health dept. that can provide such service, but they are not open on the weekend when my shots were scheduled. Still $4,000? I got ten shots altogether. At $400 per shot I might go into the rabies shot giving business.

Maybe I should become and illegal immigrant so I can just dump the bill on the hapless citizens. It's this kind of nonsense that makes people think socialized medicine is the answer. The problem is the hospital figures my insurance company will just pay the bill and move on. They are still screwing everyone because the insurance company needs to make a profit to stay in business and who do you think pays that bill?


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Anonymous old 'n Cranky said...

Ay Caramba!! You really took it in the shorts! I feel for you, our monthly med insurance premium is now more than the mortgage, and we're basically healthy (but gray).

4:03 PM  
Anonymous PHenry said...

There is deep flaw in our medical system today, one that was, of course, introduced by the Democrats (specifically led by Ted Kennendy, if I remember correctly) that in effect made it nearly impossible to afford insurance unless you get it as a benefit from your job.

Now most people have insurance, but no control over the cost of the policy nor the terms. They take what the employer offers.

And since most people have insurance, the insurance companies pay most of the bills.
Insurance companies make contracts with hospitals and physicians to do certain procedures at certain rates, along with a sort of promise to send a certain number of those procedures their way. Kind of like agreeing to buy a bushel of apples over a month at a discount from the rate of buying them one at a time.

So, since insurance companies are always low bidding, the doctors raise their rates, so they can bargan higher. Like buying a used car, the seller asks for 110% of value, the buyer offers 90%, and they dicker.

But the uninsured or self insured pays the full 110% price. You have no position to dicker, because you are hopefully not getting any rabies shots again next month.

As if that isn't bad enough, prices are inflated even at the insurance companies reduced rates, to cover the vast numbers of uninsured who simply don't pay off. Those write offs come from the providers. They make it up in fees.
And, of course, the bigger the write off is, the bigger saving on taxes... So keeping general rates extra high keep the the write offs coming.

Thus, the cost of a few shots is entirely unrelated to the cost of the medicine or the time of the provider to administer it.
And the vast majority of people don't care one bit, because they "don't pay for it".
meanwhile, insurance rates double every few years, and the uninsured get forced into paying obscene bills. Or defaulting, like everyone else.

These days there are some huge medical conglomerates that are making pretty good money, but the average doctor or nurse is not getting paid all that well. The money is in the stock,not the practice.

In the end, the failure of the system will be used as proof that it just isn't socalist ENOUGH, so the government will take over.

Then if they don't think you need or deserve it enough, you won't get the rabies shots at any price....

1:41 PM  

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