Monday, February 11, 2013

Billed for unused ambulance service

I was reading today about a case where an individual's family was billed for a late arriving ambulance. By the time the ambulance arrived the patient died. The actual story can be found here.

Given the current state of health care costs in our country I make a promise to myself to never, ever call an ambulance. I would 100% prefer to die than to have to deal with the insurance and health care providers and their insane bills.

When I pay my insurance premiums and taxes -they are both withheld directly from my paychecks- I never have a choice to make it difficult for the insurance company or taxing authorities to get their hands on my money.

However, when I need access to healthcare and government services the government and insurance companies are equally difficult to deal with, even though my money got to them painlessly. Why is this relationship so skewed in the favor of the big 'thugs'?

Our government is a monopoly and I sort of understand that they can do whatever they want, or pretty close to that. But why would insurance companies -that are run by private interests, which are supposed to be responding quickly to consumers- want to be in the same category as the government?

I think it has to do with a monopolistic collusion between government and insurance companies. Government regulates healthcare quite a bit. Insurance companies need to obey the regulations and also make a profit.

So, when I become a healthcare user -by becoming sick, for instance- I become a target of regulation. As such, I am captive and not able to exit the healthcare 'box'. Hence I'd prefer to die than deal with the American healthcare system. 

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