Headline: “County faces rising costs of health care.” Be it ever thus.
The medical industry is similar to the tobacco industry with cost increases. The tobacco companies raise their prices every six months no matter what is going on in the economy. An addict will pay the price. I have heard that a pack of cigarettes now costs over a dollar a pack. Wow.
Medical costs are not quite so obvious to the public in general. Eighty percent of us have a third party payer and we do not see or feel the impact of any particular bill. Because of our system, the medics are somewhat free to refer us to this, that and the other tests and procedures and we just go along with it.
They are in a “free market” to charge whatever they think they can get. There seems to be a lot of maneuvering behind the scenes on paying these bills. I am told that insurance companies and hospitals have agreed upon charges for certain procedures. Some are considerably lower than the original bill.
And what if you do not have an insurance company to negotiate for you? In some cases, just call it bankruptcy. Any question as to why the medical industry fights so hard to make sure they do not get into any free market. Just do the math.