Non-Sense

Boyz II Men, ABC, BBD, The East Coast Family!

Please tell me when the big Chik-Fil-A day is because I’m gonna go buy fifteen pounds of chicken, then back my car up to the drive-in window and dump mounds of cash on them for being awesome. I may also donate to them my collection of Faberge Eggs.

Has the Alex Vanderpool Era ended? I hope so, because I have word from Reliable Sources that it is now the Pat Vandapool Era. Motownphilly is definitely back again.

The Affordable Care Act plus HHS Mandate are coming our way soon! Terrible. But I do hope that something in Obamacare actually helps people who aren’t currently helped, but I’m not holding my breath. Recently I received an insurance notice that a hospital had billed my insurance $114,000 for a (not that out-of-the-ordinary) procedure and stay.  Yes you read that number right. Totally disproportionate to any sane measure whatsoever.

I would have panicked but the insurance negotiated discount was about $105,000, leaving $9,000 or so left, some of which the insurance picked up and some of which we picked up ourselves. If we didn’t have insurance, what would we have been billed? Would we have gotten some discount? Either way, it makes no sense. My guess is that the hospital knows that it won’t get that amount but bills enough to where from insurance and medicaid it will get enough to pay for the actual cost plus some profit. I don’t know what Obamacare will do about these outrageous costs but my guess is absolutely nothing.

We’re getting ready to move from One Place to Another, something we are looking forward to very much, one step closer to our agrarian goals. We are leaving an incredibly hot, dry locale to move to a hot, humid one. But at this point we relish rain so much that it seems a great trade. More on our new location in the future, God willing.

Sorry for this post full of non-sense, but I’ve been wanting to include that link between Alex Vanderpool and my friend Pat for a while. 🙂

18 thoughts on “Non-Sense”

  1. My daughter (one year old next week) Magdalena was a preemie. Boy howdy you should have seen the bills for her weeks long stay in the special care nursury. ***$$$WOW$$$$****!!!! The amounts of money were so large they were just laughable. When numbers get that big they don’t even seem real, because there is no way on earth I could ever pay.
    What also was strange is that the bills they sent before she was put on my insurance were much lower too. The “non-insured” discount was at least 50% off or more if I remember right. Weird. The whole system makes no sense.
    I hope they get going with that Catholic healthcare program solidarity health share.

  2. We do hot and humid here in NC… wherever u end up in humidity, know it is doable and not as miserable as you would think 🙂 my young daughter dreams of moving just outside of town and buying a farm. She tells me there will be chickens, horses, cows, sheep and a huge garden. I figure that if she is 10 and dreaming this way I should be grateful her dreams are so good. I would be with this plan…just have to figure out shifting my skills and career a bit to work from home so I can homeshool. 🙂

  3. ” I don’t know what Obamacare will do about these outrageous costs but my guess is absolutely nothing.”

    Oh Obamacare will do something to the costs… it’ll make ’em go up even further.

  4. I was passing a kidney stone and went to the ER for 3h. For the privilege of being drugged for the pain and a physician seeing me for 10min, tops, the hospital billed the insurance company for $12000. The insurance payed also about 10% of that and we, some pocket change. This approach baffles me.

  5. I currently have health insurance solely because of Obamacare. I’m a wife and mom, and like many people in their twenties, neither my husband or I have jobs which come with group health insurance. But we are both under 26. Because of Obamacare, we are able to be on our parents’ plans – both of which are group health insurance plans, provided through employers. In our particular situation, we don’t even have to pay anything for mine because my dad’s company is amazing enough that they cover ALL the costs for the health insurance. The alternatives in our case would be pretty bad and would not cover maternity, except for the recent changes also prompted by Obamacare. So, here’s one person who is being directly benefited by Obamacare.

    I’ve heard of other cases, too – people whose children have serious congenital diseases, who would be refused insurance on the basis of “preexisting conditions” were they *EVER* to lose insurance coverage as adults. People whose children were about to reach their lifetime limits on their insurance after a year of life – but Obamacare removed those limits, so those parents have a bit less to worry about.

    There is SO much wrong with our medical system. Obamacare is far from fixing everything, but at least it puts a couple of bandaids on. I personally think that only single-payer/universal health care will come close to fixing all these problems. I do not trust the free market with health insurance, at all. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

    1. I believe the free market would work it were allowed to but it is overburdened with government regulations and the ramifications of frivolous lawsuits.

    2. Hannah,

      Yes one of my brothers also had an expensive procedure done under his father’s insurance that he would have had to pay for otherwise. I know my company’s expenses have gone up by a ton of money because now even children of my coworkers who could have insurance through their own work waive it and get it through my company’s because ours is better. I guess the thing is that someone has to pay for the costs, and companies that do provide better insurance will bear the brunt of it.

      It still seems the main problem is the out of control costs, which Obamacare does not address. It is ridiculous that even a simple procedure costs tens of thousands of dollars and can bankrupt someone. If that remains the case then the system remains broken. If what medical professionals and hospitals charged was reasonable, people could pay it themselves and only need catastrophic insurance for when actually severe things happened. I’m not blaming doctors here per se; my family member is one and I know she is not getting rich.

      I am not sure the free market is to blame. Realize the current health care reality is a mixture of government, regulations and laws, and the free market. So for example, doctors have to determine whether they want to go through the hassle (and sometimes financial loss) of taking Medicaid. Medicaid doesn’t pay well and will reject claims for any kind of silly reason and make doctors continually re-file it. I think that the amount Medicaid pays ends up influencing strongly how much hospitals and doctors charge, too, such that they get paid at least that minimal amount.

      I am not someone with blind trust in capitalism. Far from it. Without moral behavior and putting people ahead of profit, capitalism can be bad. But it doesn’t seem we can lay the sole blame on it here.

      Anyways, just a few thoughts. I’m far from an expert on the subject.

      1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Devin. I’m far from an expert
        either!

        I was under the impression that the regulations in the health industry occurred to prevent abuses which had happened – things like insurance companies dropping people when they got sick, or refusing to insure people based on any sickness whatsoever, or refusing to cover “preexisting conditions” when a person did get insurance – like, if a person had had cancer, their insurance would not cover any cancer if it came back. All of these things are reprehensible, IMHO. The free market is about business and making a profit. It is wrong to make a profit out of screwing up people’s lives, which is exactly what these companies were doing in a very direct way when they treated people so horribly. The regulations prevented some of that, and Obamacare has provided more regulations to stop that. Personally, I don’t trust these for-profit companies to really have any person’s best interests at heart.

        I think that insurance companies also contributed to the crazy medicine costs and differences in costs – they each negotiate a price, and they differ so drastically. From what I understand, two people undergoing the exact same procedure at the exact same hospital could have hugely different bills, depending on their insurance or lack thereof. It’s crazy. Utterly crazy. I have no idea what the solution is, but it’s clear we need one – and I just don’t think any free market solution will work in this case.

        As for Medicaid, I was on it during my pregnancy, and my daughter was on it for a year and is now on CHIP. We had no problems whatsoever because of this, and in fact have access to the same doctors my siblings do – and my siblings have some of the best health insurance money can buy. But Medicaid varies a lot depending on where you are and what your situation is.

  6. Adam said:
    “I believe the free market would work it were allowed to but it is overburdened with government regulations and the ramifications of frivolous lawsuits.”

    Personally, I think that seeing healthcare as a “market”, whether free or otherwise is the root problem. The first hospitals were certainly not built for profit. They were built by Christians to take care of people. I realize the hospitals have bills to be paid, and I don’t have all the answers to the problem, but I am quite confident that there are many aspects of human civilazation (including healthcare) that just simply can never be seen in terms of money… ever. If someone is sick, it is the duty of the body of Christ to help them. Period. End of sentence. Money does not enter into the thought, nor should it. If we do the first things, God will take care of the rest.

    1. You cannot avoid discussing money if we are talking about health insurance. Healthcare in practical terms (and I agree with your statement) is another subject.

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