By Ben Rowley
July 08, 2012 

Policy makers and influencers will tell you the rising cost of health care is a highly complicated problem.

That’s because they’ve made that way, and we’ve let it happen.  The Democrats ill-conceived law is only the cherry on top of a mess that began long ago and has been stoked in one way or another by all of us.

Doctors and hospitals deserve blame. I don’t pretend to understand the ins-and-outs of medical organizations, but it doesn’t take a genius to know they overcharge.

I know from experience that it costs $3,000 to stay a night in a nearby hospital for jaundice treatment. As far as I can tell, that treatment consists of staying in a cramped room, shining a UV light on baby’s back and a nurse checking in every couple hours.

Comparatively, it costs $150 to stay in a five-star hotel just down the road. That room is larger, has a better view, nicer furniture and a flat screen.  Should it really cost $2,850 more to run a UV light and have a nurse say hi a few times?

Hospitals and doctors need to rethink how they go about their business. I don’t doubt that some services are highly expensive. But on the other hand, they made out like bandits on our stay. All I’m saying is figure out how to charge a fair price for what is provided – like most other industries have to do.

The next culprit is, of course, insurance companies. These is also something is fishy going on with this complex system, which happily take folks’ money each month for policies that have hundreds of disclaimers and loopholes.  The average person often wonders what he or she is even paying for.  It’s often an exhausting experience just to process a claim.

It’s a joke at the expense of  people who only desire protection and peace of mind for self and family.

In our family, we buy our own insurance. Our plan has a huge deductible but allows us to have a tax-free health savings account (HSA), which we put a little in each month to pay for our medical expenses. We’ve paid for essentially everything out-of-pocket through that account – even for a pregnancy and delivery.

Like clockwork, the company takes money out of our account each month.  The amount has increased about 200 percent over five years. The company blames these rate hikes on this vague idea of rising health care costs, but our health care hasn’t cost them a dime. Why the huge increases on a customer that already makes them money?  In a land where a fair price for services rendered is expected, insurance companies seem to think they don’t have to play by the same rules.

The final group to blame is the average American who has a wild idea of what medical care and insurance should be. Those who expect to get checkups and surgeries and maternity care all for free are living in a fantasy land. It can’t work that way. Medical care does cost money. It does require people with immense skill to provide it, and we should be willing pay for it.

Everyone has a right to health care, but nobody has a right to free health care or health care subsidized by other tax payers. The more we try to give people something for nothing, the more lazy and bankrupt this country will become.

Insurance has its place – to protect individuals and families from the huge costs that come with catastrophic health problems.  But one cannot expect insurance to pay for regular, everyday medical services without it becoming expensive.

We need to get in the right planet on this discussion.  We need to get back to where doctors and hospitals ask for a fair, sensible payment that is directly related to their costs in providing the specific service, and patients should pay doctors directly for common medical services.  Insurance should serve as financial protection for catastrophic health care problems and be void of ridiculous, arbitrary rate hikes.  And we the people should stop expecting something for nothing.

Can’t we just make it that simple?  Big corporations and big government will tell you no.  We need all this complicated 2,700 page stuff that nobody completely understands, they say.  And say it so they can continue sucking more from our bank accounts and passing power-grabbing laws in order to exact more control over our lives.

Repeal Obamacare and replace it with common sense, honesty, simplicity and individual responsibility.