More on Medicare for All

Like its equally well-intentioned cousin Obamacare, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicare is not set up to tell you how much you will have to pay before you go for medical care.  Medicare has to wait for the doctor’s bill to see how much you owe.   The “provider” bills you directly and then, sometimes months later, you get what the insurance industry calls an Explanation of Benefits.  The EOB sets out what the doctor charged, how much Medicare agreed to pay, how much they actually paid, how much you owe to the provider as your 20% or “out-of-pocket copay”.   Only in America, boys and girls.

How this odd arrangement jives with the Patient Protection part of Obamacare, where the patient may be billed several times for an amount that is unknown until the EOB eventually arrives, is hard to work out, except that it is an improvement over being disqualified for health insurance by the proverbial “pre-existing condition” and things like that.   Don’t let the fairly shitty but better than the past thing be the enemy of…

Under the gold standard of American health insurance, you instantly get a bill, like this one.   

You will get it repeatedly until the EOB arrives.  If you ignore it until the EOB gets there, certain providers will turn the billing over to collections attorneys who threaten you with debt collection techniques to get their client’s dough.  When the EOB comes you are finally informed of you how much you legally owe.   It is often less than the initial bill you receive from the doctor.   

When you’re talking a trillion or two annually for the U.S. health insurance/medical industry, why quibble over a few hundred extra bucks a hungry corporation is trying to get from you for your medical care?   Everybody’s got to eat, especially hungry cannibals. 

It’s not like affordable health care is any kind of human right, or right of citizenship in the wealthiest, freest (that free-est doesn’t look spelled right) country in the world, you hateful communist.  What next, a whine that your record low student loan interest rate (3.75%) is 375 times higher than the interest banks now pay customers, almost 40 times higher than the highest rate wealthy corporations pay to borrow money? Commies, always carping, never satisfied with a status quo that’s pretty good for people living the dream. Lah dee dah…

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