HEALTHCARE ADMIN – An absurd Cost

Senators are stumped as to how to lower healthcare costs. They seemingly have no idea why, what, how or when it all spiraled out of control. These elected officials just can’t seem to figure it out. Why? Because they are afraid. Mice of men.

Doctors are not reaping the benefits. Nurses are most definitely not reaping the benefits. So why are the costs so exponential? Administration.

As of 2012, it was estimated that the US spends $361 billion on Healthcare administration.   When Obamacare went into effect major health insurers scrambled to create hundreds of different plans, each unique in their billing, services, and costs. Each requiring substantially more administrative duties, billing, and modeling. The cost to implement these scramble plans created a spiraling market that was soon out of control.

Once upon a time, when a person bought a plan, there were two available – major medical catastrophic, and full coverage. Today we have Platinum, Gold, silver, bronze, copper and toilet water. And within each of those categories is a whole multitude of options designed to supposedly meet a plethora of needs. There was no “max-out-of-pocket”, a deductible was $500 or $0, and billing was pretty straight forward.

If you want to lower costs, standardize – again. It worked and we broke it.

Too often, analysts attempt to align administrative costs with a single payer system, utilizing Canada’s state run healthcare as an example. The obvious problem with such a notion is the fact that Canada’s healthcare system is now in such a shambles, their government pays for Canadians to come to the US for treatment.

The move to socialized medicine has been the go-to answer for years despite the overwhelming proof that it is an abject failure.

When comparing the medical costs of the 1960’s to today, Politifact asserts that the out of pocket costs for those who had no insurance was a whopping $938 or $7000 in today’s dollars. Which would compare to the average “out-of-pocket” deductible all plans have today. The difference is – everyone pays instead of just the minority uninsured.

It also does not factor in the increased cost of premiums which now can range upwards of $20,000 annually for a family. That represents about 38% of the average family income in the US. Tack on the max-out-of-pocket and the percentage climbs to 57%.

The entire point of Obamacare was to make Socialized medicine appear to be so cost effective by comparison, everyone would clamber onboard! And the US would be one step closer to a Socialized nation as a whole just like the success we see in such countries as Venezuela.   Or Poland in the 1980’s. Or Cuba. Or France where the burden of immigrants has completely unraveled the system.

Oddly, when supporting the new and improved healthcare system, the elderly are frequently cited as their health fails and they can’t afford to visit the doctor or buy medication.   But medicare is deducted from wages, we already pay for that! So why is that even an issue? Maybe it’s the mismanagement of those funds. Or maybe it’s the – administrative costs associated with those funds?

In either case, it doesn’t relate to the topic of healthcare insurance which is a completely separate entity. It’s like saying we need to revamp the auto insurance industry because of airplanes… they both use gas.

It should also be pointed out that standardized healthcare insurance does not mean ‘standardized healthcare’. Between 1970 and 2009, healthcare administrators rose by about 3200% whereas the number of doctors remained relatively constant, rising about 100%. That equates to a rise of 32 administrators for every doctor.

All those administrators need to be paid, and The People are left to carry the load.    

Quick math: if the increase in hospital administrators is 32 per doctor, and the average salary is roughly $65000, that would equate to an increase of $2,080,000 per doctor. Given there are about 1,050,000 doctors in the US, that would equate to an awfully big number that patients and health insurance payers have to absorb.   Over $2 trillion per year.

Before Admin’s get in a tizzy, this does not mean we don’t need you, it simply means an increase of 32 per doctor is – well – Absurd.

The Obama Legacy

With the Obama Bathroom Gender on the agenda as a crowning moment for the President’s legacy tabulation, I decided to find out exactly what accomplishments are being attributed to his term – and was completely, utterly shocked!

A site, albeit one that is must be written by Obama’s personal PR magnates, lists no less than 358 actionable achievements that Obama is credited since taking office – and they claim that each one is accompanied by a ‘citation’ of proof!

YIMINY!

While I won’t/can’t list them all without losing my mind, I thought some were rather inventive and could elicit a comedy routine or two:

  1. Signed an Executive Order ordering an audit of government contracts in order to combat waste and fraud, and appointed a Chief Performance Officer to oversee and make certain that federal spending was efficient.

Waste #1: a $750,000 soccer field for Guantanamo detainees

Waste #2: $500 million to train 4 Iraqi’s to fight ISIS

Waste #3: $24 million for internet routers in West Virginia designed for thousands but servicing a few hundred

Waste #4: $104.5 million for an Alaskan town to build a harbor and an airport when the town doesn’t even have roads and a population of 75 residents

So who was the first nomination for this whiz Chief Performance Officer who manages all our tax dollars at work? Jeff Zients, who got a Bachelor of Science degree and apparently worked in ‘consulting’ before landing the coveted position of COO of DGB Enterprises. But DGB doesn’t even have a website, and according to Bloomberg, has no competition, no information, no formal explanation of who or what they are, except that they have an office in the Watergate Complex in DC. Manta claims the business is categorized in ‘magazine publications’ and employs between 1 and 4 people.

Not exactly a rip roaring resume COO position to be suddenly nominated as Chief Performance Officer overseeing all federal spending to eliminate fraud and waste! During his tenure as Federal Chief Performance Officer he single handedly overhauled the plaguing tech issues for Obamacare by ‘insisting’ that one person be appointed the General Contractor so only one head would fall when it all tanked. Everyone else could then say, ‘not me man, I got no responsibility…’ WOW – impressive!

  1. Signed an Executive Order demanding that federal agencies review all regulations and remove all unnecessary and burdensome regulations:

Oh MY! As of 2012, just over 11,000 new pages of regulations were ‘added’, and by the end of 2014, the sum had increased to 21,000 additional pages. While all these pages do no necessarily mean 21,000 new regulations – the Order was to ‘remove’, not add.

  1. “Through His investment in GM, returned the company to its place as the premier car company of the world”.

OUCH! The GM ‘plan’ was created by GM before Obama assumed office and was approved by Bush in 2008. And even though the company is now profitable, despite the fact that our tax funds bailed it out of bankruptcy, they can offset their previous losses against their current profits and wipe out all taxable income – ie, they pay no taxes…as in ZERO on profits of billions.  Wait – since we paid for their return to solvency – shouldn’t we get the Tax Credit?

  1. Obama ‘scolds Congress and gets passed a $305 billion Highway Bill which will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs’.

The 1300 page Bill will use the current gas tax to fund the $305 billion over a period of five years – $61 billion per year. But wait, the gas tax only generates $34 billion per year, so where will the rest come from? And Obama hardly drafted or even proposed the Bill, it was orchestrated by Bill Shuster, James Imhofe, Barbara Boxer and Peter DeFasio. What Obama accomplished was writing his name…

  1. And last, for me, but not least, Obama dropped inflation in Healthcare costs by 50% as a result of the Obamacare initiative:

Fancy-pants way of ignoring the Truth. Healthcare Insurance premiums have risen to ridiculous levels with out-of-pocket deductibles reaching ten to twenty percent of income for the middle class, and premiums reaching 25% for middle class. I could give a dang about the inflation rate when I’m personally paying thru the nose! Not to mention that the quality of care in the US is teetering in the bottom of the barrel when compared to other developed countries.

Personally, I found that Cuba might just be the new go to for US citizens looking for quality and affordable healthcare… But then, maybe that’s why Obama dropped the drawbridge.

Of course, the most recent legacy that will be added to this lengthy 358 will be the Bathroom Bill, an achievement worth mentioning given that we are “playing chicken” with China and Russia. But then, that’s not important…and Bathrooms take precedence.

FYI: For those who don’t remember, ‘playing chicken’ is a game in which 2 players engage in an activity that will result in serious harm unless one of them backs down. It’s a game where the one who backs down is referred to as a chicken and is thus humiliated.