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Sun., April 14, 2013

Cost containment missed

While it’s easy to blame Obamacare for the rising cost of health care in this country, Dr. Roger Stark needs to read Steven Brill’s article in the March 4 issue of Time titled “Bitter Pill.” Maybe the rising costs are due to the fact hospitals mark up one acetaminophen tablet 10,000 percent, or charge $77 for a box of gauze pads given to one patient cited in the article or that hospital executives are some of the most richly compensated people in any given region. Maybe it’s because the health care industry has lobbied Congress to the tune of $5.36 billion since 1998, more than the defense and aerospace industry.

The complaint that Medicare doesn’t pay doctors and hospitals enough to cover overhead only applies to the ones who don’t own their own clinics, or aren’t working as drug or device consultants. That’s why in Central Florida, overflowing with Medicare patients, hospitals are expanding and advertising for more.

The problem with Obamacare is that, when it was written, there were too many seats at the table to ensure profits remained obscenely high rather than making sure patients weren’t forced into bankruptcy following a medical procedure.

Rick Gallinger


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