The costs are in compliance
Ms. (Froma) Harrop states “our health care system has been milking the taxpayer and the government for decades.” “Health care costs are eating the American economy alive and these reforms (Obamacare) represent the first serious attempt to address the crazy waste and overcharging,” separate billing for every blood test, ultrasound and other routine services. Not so, considering what the provider has to put up with!
Ms. Harrop states that, “one thing that isn’t regulated is waste.” Considering that the medical provider has to abide by all of the regulations, compliance and mandates there is no wonder there is “waste.”
Factors driving health care costs:
1. Cost shifting — Medicare and Medicaid do not pay their fair share. Cost shifting adds approximately 30 percent to “our” cost. The OIC estimates that it costs approximately $1,000 to our cost of medical care to pay for those without medical insurance.
2. Regulations and Compliance — Approximately 35 percent of charges for medical care are due to regulations and compliance. It is these factors that drive the cost of medical care. Example: The Wenatchee Valley Clinic has a compliance department in a room of 4,000 square feet. There are over 139,000 regulations — there are regulations for regulations!
3. Cost of medical care — An example: Assume one sees the doctor at the clinic. The charge is $150. Cost shifting takes 30 percent, or $45, leaving $105. Regulations and compliance takes 35 percent, or $37, leaving $68 for the doctor.
Lastly, there are mandates. According to the OIC there are 14 mandated benefits that must be in all plans. Three benefits must be offered to, or for, an employer’s health plan. There are 10 benefits relating to seeing certain health care providers. There are six additional requirements relating to enrollment, continuing coverage and other requirements. And there are 16 federal requirements — seven of which overlap with Washington state mandates. Compliance is what costs!
Wayne J. Wyse
Automobile manufacturers make vehicles that are capable of causing death because people buy these vehicles. The majority of these vehicles end up in the hands of mentally healthy, law-abiding safe drivers, but not all do. Some end up in the possession of individuals who use them irresponsibly and illegally to inflict horrific damage on innocent people. Sound familiar?
This article is in response to a Safety Valve article that was printed on June 30 in The Wenatchee World. The author made the invalid argument that responsible, law-abiding gun owners are contributing in some part to the gun violence in this country by creating a market for high-capacity magazines and, as the media has dubbed, assault rifles. This philosophy would suggest that everyone who has purchased an automobile, even the most safe and responsible of drivers, would be in some part responsible for the 30,00-plus automobile collision deaths that have occurred every year from 2005 to 2009 (U.S. Census Bureau.) And, according to the Surgeon General of the United States, an estimated 300,000 deaths per year may be attributable to obesity. Has every person who has consumed fast food, regardless of their eating and exercise habits, contributed to this massive number of deaths by creating a market? Most who believe this philosophy have an obvious double standard, applying this ideal only to serve their personal agendas. Unfortunately, lawmakers have used the recent tragedies to promote their own anti-gun initiatives and to sequester votes from a frightened populous, and many supporters have unwittingly followed their elected officials into this faulty mentality.
To save innocent lives we must stop the criminals who commit these horrific crimes, not limit the freedoms of law abiding citizens. Blaming responsible gun owners for the deaths of innocent people is insulting, and erroneous on all counts.