Healthcare cost, who decides: Doctors? Insurers? Regulators? People? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a general rule, discussions about the cost of health care are focused on particular treatments that you or a loved one might need or be considering. The BioBalance healthcasts, which are posted on a weekly basis, tend to focus on such individual concerns or topics. Our goals in producing these healthcasts are to inform and to encourage individuals to become active and educated medical consumers.
The process of putting these healthcasts together can be quite lively. Often we get caught up in intense and stimulating discussions that happen off camera and behind the scenes. We thought it might be interesting to invite you into such a discussion as a participant. We have opened a mailbox at Costofhealthcare@biobalancehealth.com and would like to invite you to send us your thoughts, your questions, or your commentary about the discussion you will see today. Anecdotes, personal experiences, proposed solutions, and problems are all grist for the mill. We will revisit this topic in three weeks and include at that time the responses we have received from the public. We would like to make this a regular feature of the BioBalanceHealth healthcasts. Thank you for your interest and support.
This week’s discussion focuses on the making of social and tax policy that determine who receives medical care of all kinds and who pays for that care. One cannot address this issue without considering the responsibility of the individual in decision making regarding reckless behavior, diet, exercise, participating (or not) in preventive medicine and immunizations. We note that the rules of successful business do not apply to the business of medicine. Good health requires spending money and addressing problems at and early stage, as well as personal responsibility to take care of one’s own health. There is a disconnect between governmental and insurance companies who pay for medical care and those of us who order tests and medication to take care of individuals. Patients require access to healthcare, medication, emergency care and preventive care to be healthy, but who will pay for that and how we make people financially responsible for their own choices. When one considers whether or not to obtain a treatment, what it might cost and why, who can provide it and who can receive it one inevitably gets sucked into set of concentric rings of consideration.
For example, if an individual makes the decision to smoke and in the late stages of life develop COPD, or Lung Cancer or any of a myriad respiratory problems or illnesses, what responsibility, if any, should the individual have for paying for their medical treatments? Should we just be a society that pays for those kinds of health issues that are clearly outcomes of personal choice? (Even if smoking is an addiction that is very difficult to break, at one point it was a matter of intentional choice by the individual that has now compounded costs for the society as a whole.) The same question can be asked about alcohol abuse, overeating and obesity, deciding not to wear a helmet when motorcycle riding and many, many other topics.
We believe that decisions are made at the institutional and governmental level regarding provision of health care services for individuals that have made these kinds of decisions and we believe that participating in such decision making should be a responsibility of citizens, not just bureaucrats, insurance companies and system operators.
Listen to this week’s healthcast and see if you have something to contribute to the discussion. We would like to hear from you regarding your thoughts, your experiences, or your ideas. Contact us at Costofheatlhcare@biobalancehealth.com.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.