Growing Health Care Costs Create a Coming Crisis

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altoday.com

Health Editor’s Note:  Growing health care costs are going to destroy the United States.  Currently, people have to choose between seeing a doctor and getting their prescriptions filled or paying the mortgage or buying food. This is steadily getting worse. This is sick, wrong, unendurable!

Everyone should be entitled to affordable health care. With the recently passed tax bill, the federal debt will be over 100% of the gross national product, unseen since WWII.  Hope for no recession. Higher interests rates will devastate the economy. The U.S. needs CHIP, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Acts insurance exchanges to furnish health care.  These programs will be gone or slashed when Congress goes on the search for money to cover their interests.  I cannot say strongly enough, that it is long past time for Congressional hanger-ons to purchase their own health insurance and/or to cease making all decisions about those who are not given the health insurance freebie that comes with the lame jobs they have. How insane is it for someone who pays nothing for health care, to decide how you will be able to obtain health care?……..Carol    

Five Worrisome Trends in Healthcare

A reckoning is coming, outgoing BlueCross executive says

by Joyce Frieden, News Editor, MedPage Today

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — A reckoning is coming to American healthcare, said Chester Burrell, outgoing CEO of the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health plan, here at the annual meeting of the National Hispanic Medical Association.

Burrell, speaking on Friday, told the audience there are five things physicians should worry about, “because they worry me”:

  1. The effects of the recently passed tax bill. “If the full effect of this tax cut is experienced, then the federal debt will go above 100% of GDP [gross domestic product] and will become the highest it’s been since World War II,” said Burrell. That may be OK while the economy is strong, “but we’ve got a huge problem if it ever turns and goes back into recession mode,” he said. “This will stimulate higher interest rates, and higher interest rates will crowd out funding in the federal government for initiatives that are needed,” including those in healthcare.

Burrell noted that 74 million people are currently covered by Medicaid, 60 million by Medicare, and 10 million by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), while another 10 million people are getting federally subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) insurance exchanges. “What happens when interest’s demand on federal revenue starts to crowd out future investment in these government programs that provide healthcare for tens of millions of Americans?”

  1. The increasing obesity problem. “Thirty percent of the U.S. population is obese; 70% of the total population are either obese or overweight,” said Burrell. “There is an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, and coronary artery disease coming from those demographics, and Baby Boomers will see these things in full flower in the next 10 years as they move fully into Medicare.”
  2. The “congealing” of the U.S. healthcare system. This is occurring in two ways, Burrell said. First, “you’ll see large integrated delivery systems [being] built around academic medical centers — very good quality care [but] 50%-100% more expensive than the community average.”

To see how this affects patients, take a family of four — a 40-year-old dad, 33-year-old mom, and two teenage kids — who are buying a health insurance policy from CareFirst via the ACA exchange, with no subsidy. “The cost for their premium and deductibles, copays, and coinsurance [would be] $33,000,” he said. But if all of the care were provided by academic medical centers? “$60,000,” he said. “What these big systems are doing is consolidating community hospitals and independent physician groups, and creating oligopolies.”

Another way the system is “congealing” is the emergence of specialty practices that are backed by private equity companies, said Burrell. “The largest urology group in our area was bought by a private equity firm. How do they make money? They increase fees. There is not an issue on quality but there is a profound issue on costs.”

  1. The undermining of the private healthcare market. “Just recently, we have gotten rid of the individual mandate, and the [cost-sharing reduction] subsidies that were [expected to be] in the omnibus bill … were taken out of the bill,” he said. And state governments are now developing alternatives to the ACA such as short-term duration insurance policies — originally designed to last only 3 months but now being pushed up to a year, with the possibility of renewal — that don’t have to adhere to ACA coverage requirements, said Burrell.
  2. The lackluster performance of new payment models. “Despite the innovation fostering under [Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation] programs — the whole idea was to create a series of initiatives that might show the wave of the future — ACOs [accountable care organizations] and the like don’t show the promise intended for them, and there is no new model one could say is demonstrably more successful,” he said.

“So beware — there’s a reckoning coming,” Burrell said. “Maybe change occurs only when there is a rip-roaring crisis; we’re coming to it.” Part of the issue is cost: “As carbon dioxide is to global warming, cost is to healthcare. We deal with it every day … We face a future where cutbacks in funding could dramatically affect accessibility of care.”

“Does that mean we move to move single-payer, some major repositioning?” he said. “I don’t know, but in 35 years in this field, I’ve never experienced a time quite like this … Be vigilant, be involved, be committed to serving these populations.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. The costs involved with the medical community is the very least of the medical problems in the US. The real problem is the massive corruption. The medical community is bought and paid for by the same people that fund and run the medical schools…the insurance and pharma companies. Anything that could be valuable in the healthcare field is ignored or banned. As others have stated here, what is being allowed by TPTB is the basic causes of disease and their treatment. We are constantly assaulted by poisons, regardless of what they are called ( Chemtrails, medicine, vaccines, etc). It’s been proven time and time again that synthetic compounds have very little efficacy when compared to natural compounds, yet we are not allowed to make such decisions as to their usage. The main thing for the US medical system is, as others have said…money. The well being of patients is secondary, at best. A very good example is serropeptase…used in Europe and the east for a long time. It’s properties are nothing short of amazing, yet because it is not a synthetic, MDs in the US know practically nothing of it and those that do refer to it as ‘unapproved’, therefore they will not even try it on patients that there is no hope for otherwise. These people should continue to call themselves ‘doctors’, as that connotation today is becoming a slur…but in NO CIRCUMSTANCES should they ever consider themselves ‘healers’. The first time they give a synthetic (that is in-effective or counter-productive) that is a copy of a natural compound that works, they have violated their oath. The really sick part is that they do not and will not see it that way, but they will continue to herd the cattle through the death industry so they can afford their ‘white elephants’.

  2. You want to live a healthier life? You can start by banning ALL GMO food, banning ALL chemical pesticides, banning ALL vaccinations that cannot explain their ingredients, banning ALL Rothschild Chemtrail flyover sprays, banning ALL oil fracking which poisons our water supply’s, and banning ALL EMF exposure which suppresses our immune systems.

  3. Intelligent leadership has vanished in our corrupt government on many fronts. In addition to the problems already mentioned many others are not being properly addressed. When I grew up in the 1940’s our neighbor had a daughter who was quarantined with TB. Then there were no concerns of overuse of antibiotics. Today political correctness has prevented forced isolation of patients who recklessly use drugs and engage in dangerous sexual conduct leading to horrible diseases due to sharing needles and negligent sexual practices leading to a crisis in antibiotics today which is growing. Frankly drugs should be legalized and regulated as intoxicating liquors were in 1933. That would largely address the sharing needle problem and the improper drug dose problem as well. But we know that won’t happen if government is selling drugs on the black market as articles on VT indicate they are. Interest rates are artificially low right now shafting senior citizens out of life savings. Why? Because government only pays interest on the massive debt and wants the lowest payments possible. This also encourages purchases of homes and cars at costs beyond what are sustainable when the economy tanks leading to repossessions later. It also aids the billionaires like Trump in NY selling junk for millions of dollars. A three BR piece of junk in LA is also $ 1 million. Rates should be increased immediately to 10% or more right now.
    The people running America today are insane and belong in an insane asylum.

    • Prevention is the best cure for disease. Much more is known today about disease prevention. However one of the great achievements in the early part of the 20th century before the FDA could obstruct it, was the addition of iodine to common table salt to prevent goitre, an unpleasant growth in the neck due to iodine deficiency of the thyroid gland; this happened mainly in areas of the country called the “goitre belt” in States of the Northeast like Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York and on across the Atlantic to Swizerland and countries over there too when people consumed foods grown locally in soil deficient in iodine. This horrible condition has virtually vanished due to this simple, safe and easy fix where the salt companies cooperated as well. A top medical doctor in Cleveland, Ohio was mainly responsible for doing the fabulous scientific studies to prove this would work. Today, we know Vitamin C at high doses provides many benefits beyond cure of scurvy which only requires about 60 milligrams per day the only trivial amount approved by the corrupt FDA. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. cured all childhood viral diseases up to and including polio before 1949 with high dose Vitamin C mainly administered intravenously in order to get a high enough concentration into the bloodstream. Taken by mouth, it leaves the body quickly in the urine in about 2 hours. Many other valuable uses were also proved such as simple, safe and cheap treatment for poisonous snake and insect bites. The criminals in the FDA have obstructed all this knowledge. Essential fatty acids are now known to have many physiological benefits to human health. For example the late Otto H. Warburg, M.D., Ph.D. discovered the prime cause of cancer to be oxygen deficiency to living cells. Brian Peskin, who majored in Electrical Engineering at MIT but got interested in medical problems, has researched essential fatty acids and calls them “oxygen magnets” and proposes using them to fulfill Warburg’s discovery to prevent cancer by saturating cells with oxygen, a big job for a human with about 100 trillion cells. The corrupt FDA has obstructed this great idea too. Many more could be suggested. Our country is broken because government has gotten in the way of the truth due to corruption. Oxygen is also essential for wound healing.

    • Everyone should keep this point in mind when discussing Vitamin C: All higher animals manufacture Vitamin C in their own bodies in high amounts much higher than the trivial dose of 60 milligrams approved by the corrupt FDA. Humans do not manufacture Vitamin C for reasons unknown. However the fact that the higher animals make it shows its importance to humans as well. The corrupt FDA has ignored this argument as well. For example Fred Klenner, M.D. also delivered many babies in his career at Reidsville, NC where his wife was also an RN who graduated from Duke University and was his nurse. He gave the pregnant mothers much Vitamin C. The resulting babies were called “Vitamin C babies” by the nurses in the delivery room and were among the healthiest on the planet as is documented. Many of the problems with pregnant mothers are a result of Vitamin C deficiency because humans do not manufacture it and the corrupt ignorant doctors at the FDA do not understand this basic knowledge. This is all a shameful disgrace in this day and time. The late Fred Klenner, M.D. was much more than just a country medical doctor; he was a genius level research scientist; but the criminals in our FDA have obstructed his great discoveries in Vitamin C now for about 70 years and counting! By the way this giant of a physician never asked a patient for money. If they did not pay and got sick again, the was right at their side. Dr. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. was a true medical doctor true to the Hippocratic Oath unlike many doctors today who care only about a five letter obscene word MONEY.

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