We all know that the cost for health insurance continues to rise, which is really nothing new. It has been for a decade now. Unfortunately, this is felt even more when we experience a period of prolonged economic challenges (e.g. the recession of 2001-2003, and then again from 2008 to the present). So after decades of people not having concerns about private health insurance, why has it become so in recent years? Why now are many people feeling it is necessary to have health insurance be government controlled?
In conversations within my circle of family, friends, and clients, the finger pointing always seems to be towards the insurance companies. I hear comments ranging from, “They don’t care about anything but profits“, to, “They are robbing us”. True, privatized health insurer’s DO have profit motives but last I heard, businesses need to profit or they will go under. Is this an accurate statement for business in general?
Of course, what most of these people don’t realize is that health insurance has been a heavily regulated industry for decades now. Meaning, any rate increase from an insurer must be approved by state insurance departments first before it can be implemented. The fact is, Cancer and Diabetes kills millions every year worldwide, and costs trillions of dollars globally. With these kinds of numbers, I find it truly amazing that people don’t understand why the cost of health care has gone up in recent years. But then again, I can, as we are not provided with these statistics via prime-time news broadcasts very often, if at all.
For this reading, let’s put aside the fact that health insurance is a business like any other (even though we DO live in the USA). In fact, we can even consider the possibility socialized medicine if we want to…it doesn’t matter, as the focus of this article is “Why” have prices gotten so high for health insurance? From my chair, the reasons couldn’t be more blatantly obvious:
Longer Life Spans
It is common knowledge that people today are living longer lives than say 30 years ago. Credit advances in medicine, technology, medical treatments, and surgical procedures for this. Thus, if we live longer on average, the chances we will become inflicted with a dread disease (e.g. Cancer) increases over time. In case you didn’t know, cancer treatment is one of the most (if not THE most) expensive treatments in the medical industry today
For me, this is the most disturbing part of the article…
Over the past 10 years, we have seen more scientifically engineered foods being placed on our store shelves than ever before. Simple sugars are now being replaced with engineered substitutes such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (or HCFS). Then you have the pesticides that are used on the vegetation we eat. Then there are the E-coli issues that spawn from cattle, poultry, swine, and now even fish, that are raised on corn diets.
This is to say nothing about the other negative impacts associated with consuming these foods. We ingest ammonia, antibiotics, bacteria, and who knows what else, which cannot possibly be healthy for us. If over time we will get sick or unhealthy (e.g. Type II Diabetes or Cancer) due to the foods we eat, who’s going to pay the bill to treat us? Clearly, there is an overwhelmingly lacking awareness of how MUCH we eat and WHAT we eat.
Over 60% of public water supplies in the US purposely fluoridate water. Seems harmless right? Well, here’s a little research project for you…
Tonight when you brush your teeth, read the back of your toothpaste tube and look for a warning label to the effect of, “If ingested, get medical help right away”. Fluoride is a chemical made for external use only. Therefore, why would our water supplies be treated with fluoride, which we ingest? Think of the long term consequences of ingesting fluoride and how it relates to medical costs.
From Private To Public Health Coverage…Will It Matter?
As you can see, we can expect future increases in medical care costs due to a number of reasons. So I ask everyone: Will it REALLY make a difference where our coverage comes from? Whether you are paying for it via increased privatized health insurance premiums, or via increased taxes to cover the cost of socialized medicine, I see no difference at all with regards to controlling costs.
The only difference I see is who we make our checks out to…BlueCross or the IRS? Oh, that and the fact that our choices of providers will vanish completely. But who needs choice anyway…it’s only human life we’re talking about right?