Thursday, May 04, 2006

Resolved That Third Party Payors Should Be Abolished

I spend way too much time on the phone with insurance people, hence I have decided that if I were not such a nice person, I would do something very irritable to insurance companies.

Yesterday, I spent over an hour trying to talk to this guy and talking to him. He then proceeded to get all uppity and annoying and said he didn't think he should do what I wanted him to do. I just want the insurance company to pay for some health care for one of their patrons. I mean, hello, did this person not pay into the company for years and years? What's so bad about them using some of those benefits? Isn't that what insurance companies are for? Spending money?

Whoever came up with our third party payor system ought to be tarred, feathered and then forced to find an insurance company that will pay for medical attention to whatever burns they acquired in the tarring.

I know what you're thinking, well, if only the government paid for all our health care like in other countries . . . NO! That's another accursed third party payor system. Furthermore, I work with Medicaid and Medicare on a daily basis and I know for a fact that they are more difficult to deal with than most other insurance companies because they are totally incompetetent. The government overcomplicates these things. Take Medicare Part D for example. It sounds simple enough, Medicare will now pay for prescription drugs. But, wait. Medicare is a Federal and state plan. The Feds give some money, the states give some. In order to come up with a coverage plan for prescription drugs each state contracted with a variety of insurance companies. In Indiana, there are 20 different companies/plans. Each one of those 20 has three or 4 different subplans. Each one of those subplans has a different list of what drugs they will cover. We end up with over 80 different lists of drugs and you get to decide which one you want as your plan. What's more, each one of those lists could be 80 to 100 pages long! Now, tell me that having the government involved in health care is a good idea? I have spent hours and hours making a database of drugs that would only be prescribed in a mental health clinic. I have entered 3 lists total out of the 80 that need to be entered, and I'm damn fast at data entry. Moreover, those lists are going to change every 6 months.

Another major problem of the third party payor system is that instead of health professionals who know the patient or the patient making the decision, we have little insulated people in cubicles, sometimes half a world away, making the decision as to whether that patient needs treatment. How the hell are these people supposed to know if you or I need medical attention? They've never even met us, what's more, they can listen to all the clinical information on the problem and then refuse to write it down and say that they do not think that sounds like a problem. I'm always tempted to go off on these people. They are so outrageously arrogant and they disgust me. It disgusts me that I as a patient cannot decide if I need treatment. I have to wait for the insurance company to say they will pay for it, or suffer the monolithic consequences. It disgusts me that insurance people act like they're in charge all the time. One insurance person once got angry at me because I asked for the last of a person's benefits. "What are you gonna do when the insurance won't pay anymore? Kick him out on the streets?" she demanded. Hell, I don't know, I'll probably come up with an easier way for the guy to pay for his treatment. This woman, on the other hand represented an insurance company that won't pay for his benefits anymore! How did I become the badguy? It's so complicated and so stupid, it just makes me angry.

This is why I propose a solution. Abolish all insurance companies, including Medicaid and Medicare, and start over with health care being in a market system like everything else.

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