Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Why is Healthcare So Expensive?
Healthcare reform has been in the news for years now – and long before the Affordable Care Act, it was an issue that returned every few years, and with good reason. The cost of healthcare has continued to increase faster than inflation, meaning that it is objectively growing more expensive for individuals to acquire medical care. Meanwhile, we aren’t getting any younger, and more and more people are requiring that increasingly expensive healthcare. Consequently, many people are wondering why it is so expensive to go to the hospital or see your doctor or receive basic medical treatment, and a lot of finger-pointing has resulted.The Easy and Incorrect Answer Most people like to blame doctors. They make so much money, goes the thinking, and a lot of that must come from overcharging their patients. This has turned doctors into the bad guys of the industry, but the truth is that these accusations are inaccurate, and made by individuals who know little of how the medical industry actually works. The truth is that doctors are yet another victim of how medicine is practiced in America today. A large part of a doctor’s salary goes towards insurance – in some cases, 60% or more will go towards insurance payments. Many doctors are sued on a yearly basis, with the overwhelming majority of those lawsuits thrown out of court the second they arrive. Still, lawyering up for a malpractice battle can initially cost a fair amount of money, and so it is important for a doctor to have the insurance to cover that. Because of the common need for the insurance to be used, insurers have jacked the cost of that insurance up. Those costs, then, are passed on to you.