Given that all the soon-to-be president said on the campaign trail it is hard for me to determine just what he is for or against. He has nominated a backer of the “balanced billing” as head of the DHH so I assume he is in favor of putting a major chuck of healthcare expenses on the backs of us seniors. Here is a story about that:
Perhaps the most monstrous thing about the American medical system — and the bar for that title is high indeed — is predatory billing.
A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent, often with preposterously inflated charges for things like aspirin and bandages. A 2015 study looked at the worst price gougers in the country and found 50 hospitals that charged uninsured people roughly 10 times the actual cost of care.
Key to this practice is something called “balance billing,” and it’s why the American Medical Association is strongly supporting Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare. Balance billing is forbidden for Medicare enrollees, but Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.
So what is balance billing? It’s the practice of billing the patient for the difference between the sticker price and what insurance will pay. So if a hospital visit costs $1,000, but your insurance will only cover $300, some providers will “balance bill” you for $700….
But allowing balance billing in Medicare is a straight-up evil policy. Republicans will attempt to camouflage it as allowing “free contracts” between patients and doctors or similar nonsense. Don’t believe a word of it, seniors. They want your retirement money.
Will Mr. Trump actually back this idea of turning seniors over to the mercy of healthcare providers? I hear stories of the uninsured being billed several times more than the insurance companies pay. To allow people who can’t afford insurance to be gouged in this manner seems out and out evil to me but that is what some of the folks in the GOP intend to do.
I’m sure they will take advantage of it with a Medicare change also. The Republicans like Mr. Ryan would love to completely eliminate Medicare but they realize that it would be a death sentence to maintaining their political office.
But as I said at the beginning of this post we really don’t know where Mr. Trump will come down on this issue or any other for that matter. I mainly bring up this topic so that when seniors hear a term called “balanced billing” hidden inside the upcoming Medicare debates they will understand it really means gutting this protection for us and future seniors. But that has been the agenda for the right wing of the GOP since Medicare’s inception fifty years ago. Unfortunately now could just be the time that they actually do it.
GOD SAVE OUR COUNTRY