Editorial Cartoon – Healthcare Costs

If Buying Healtcare were like Buying a diamond

So the Healthcare Reform Bill was passed into law today.   Now as Nancy Pelosi said we will finally figure out what was in it.  But I wonder while everyone will now be insurable will it do anything to really lower the cost of healthcare.  And do we as Americans really care?

I put myself in this camp.  If I had a shoulder problem and the doctor suggested a $500+ MRI, I would make a different decision if I was footing the entire bill.  But with insurance, it is a no brainer to pay the $25 copay to get the MRI.

It used to be I would pay my copay to the dentist, he would submit the claim to insurance and they would only pay their negotiated rate.  Well the dentist got wise to that and now he requires I pay the entire bill upfront.  He still submits the claim to insurance but now they send their negotiated rate check to me.  So he gets what he asks for and I get stuck with the leftovers.  All of the sudden I started making different choices for my dental care including asking how much the insurance company would cover for procedures beyond cleaning.   If I feel insurance doesn’t cover enough, I will look at different options including other dentists.

We all want the sports car but only want to pay for the smart car.

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76 Responses to “Editorial Cartoon – Healthcare Costs”

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  1. DadaHyena says:

    Let’s hope these two folks will be able to afford some rhinoplasty!

    (not that I’m ignoring the subject at hand…it’s just…damn, those are some schnozzes!)

  2. Tracy says:

    Can’t I go right down the middle and have decent healthcare at a decent price?

    • Bearman says:

      I heard one story where someone didn’t want an office visit to go through insurance. Instead of the typical $100 the doctor charged $40 for the visit.

  3. David says:

    Man, you nailed male-female mentality on the head! 😀

  4. zac goodall says:

    Sure, you can. It’s not an either-or case, as some would want you to believe (I don’t think Bearman is trying to use that fallacy, but I know others do, on both sides of the aisle). I think that’s the goal of this bill. People forget that right now, without HCR, every insurance holder and tax payer is paying for the insured. What this bill hopes to do is get everyone covered, so that we’re all paying less – and – more preventive medicine and less emergency room medicine, which should also reduce the cost for everyone. That’s not including all the other little things in the bill, like prescription drugs, cost limits (if they’re in there), etc.

    Will it work? Only time will tell. Personally, I wanted them to go a lot further, but then, I’m commie-pinko scum.

    As far as Bearman’s point about having options on how to pay, and whether to use insurance… that seems to be a case of your dentist wanting to get the most out of your visit as he could, which meant going through the insurance company. Since we’re not switching to a single-payer system, you’ll still have the ability to chose how your care if paid for and by whom.

    • Bearman says:

      Love the analysis Zac. The key thing though is “if they’re in there”. I am still holding judgement because I haven’t a clue what all is in it. ex. How bad will the medicare cuts cost seniors?

      And my point about my dentist wasn’t so much that I still have a choice (which I have told him certain procedures he I would go to another dentist if I don’t like my share of the costs) but that it forced me to really take a hard look at what my actual healthcare costs were. It’s a wait and see weather the bill does anything to control insurance fraud, excessive hospital fees, and very doubtful tort reform.

  5. MJ says:

    Ha,ha,ha. Comic gold.

  6. SOme see health care as a right while others see it as a gov burden. I hope after the signing it will reveal its true self.

    Great comic….love the contrast of opinion.

  7. Tony says:

    I think the man is more practically minded. Think of the power tools he can buy with the savings

    • Bearman says:

      The man in my house is as well. Yet my wife’s favorite saying is “Marriage hasn’t changed me much. I still get my way…it just might take me longer”

  8. G says:

    Hmmmmmmm…my personal feelings about this debacle would unfairly suck up a ton of space on this blog, so…….I will say only this.

    I hope the various states prevail in the court system at overturning this piece of sht bill, because does anyone here really want the government to tell you whether or not your health insurance is acceptable, and oh by the way, we will seize your tax refund so that you can BUY the insurnce that WE deem acceptable.


    • Bearman says:

      I have to think back way too far into my b-law class but my understanding is that Federal law still trumps state law.

      And while I get the argument that the government shouldn’t have the right to force people to buy insurance two things:

      1. Liability Insurance is already compulsory so there is a precedence.
      2. Insurance companies can’t afford to start putting on people they used to reject b/c of medical history without the benefit of all the young and healthy people to even things out.

      • Hmmm … I don’t know much about liability insurance but aren’t these varying state (not federal) regulations? And in the case of auto liability insurance (for example) the argument could be made that if someone chooses not to drive they aren’t required to buy insurance in an effort to ‘pump up the pool’ (so to speak). Again, I really don’t know … I’m guess I’m just making trouble ’cause I’m tired today.

        And can I get my diamond in a platinum setting? You know how it is … I don’t like my band to fight with my ice! 🙂

        • Bearman says:

          You are right, they are state to state but it still speaks to the government requiring you to get insurance. I guess if they don’t drive they aren’t required but I guess if you don’t breathe now you won’t be required to get health insurance.

      • G says:

        I don’t think liability insurance is compulsory. In this state, I believe one can easily drive a car legally w/o insurance, by simply registering their car in a state that doesn’t require it.

        As for point #2, Obamacare simply don’t get it.

  9. jammer5 says:

    Part of the problem is doctors are so scared of getting sued, and seeing their insurance premiums rise mare than they are now (Insurance premiums for emergency physicians grew on average by more than 50 percent from 2002 to 2003 to $53,500 (AMA 2003), with some paying more than $100,000 annually. Other medical specialists, such as neurosurgeons and OB-GYNs pay $200,000 to $300,000 annually.) That’s a lot of money.

    I questioned one doctors test and he changed it to a less expensive one, saying the results might not show what he was looking for (it did). But I get your point.

    Premiums will not go down but what I find as critical is insurance companies will no longer be able to 1) kick you off the plan for getting sick, 2) Ban you for a pre-existing condition, and 3) Use their built in death panels by saying you’ve exceeded your limit. I know my COBRA runs out in August, and finding insurance after battling Cancer twice would be impossible without it. Nobody should be denied coverage because they got sick.

    • Bearman says:

      Absolutely agree. It’s like paying into a system but then when you need it they say we don’t want your money now that we have to pay you.

      I think many doctors order tests that they know is not right for a patient for fear of being sued for not doing it.

  10. Bo Lumpkin says:

    Good comic Bearman. I’m just going to have a wait and see attitude. For the last twenty years I have spent most of my money on medical bills (and I have always been insured) so I don’t see where it makes a whole lot of diffenece what’s in the bill. It is still going to take most of my money for medicine and medical bills. I could quit going to the doctor and die I guess but I don’t have burial insurance so that wouldn’t be fair to my wife.

  11. Dan says:

    Bearman –

    You should definitely wander over to my site and check out today’s post. We are on the same wavelength. 🙂

  12. jynksie says:

    IF they had tackled the issues of rising healthcare costs first, then the diamond she’s holding might be more affordable for all of us!! As it stands now, I’m trying to find a foreclosure sign so China knows their purchase of our debt has no financial return! o.O

    • Bearman says:

      Well I just read that China’s real estate bubble might burst soon and then we would be screwed b/c there would be noone to buy all our debt.

  13. Reiko Eoh says:

    Oh I think the new HCR law will drive down the insurance rates! Anything we get will be a lot less than with the health insurers running amok! Those jerks!

  14. souldose says:

    Love the cartoons, as a South African I know nothing about this topic

    • Bearman says:

      Well thanks for stopping by. I promise not all my stuff is about American Politics. In fact, maybe I’ll scroll through the SA news and see what I could come up with from there. If you have any ideas, pass them along.

      Glad you stopped by.

  15. As usual, it’s a good idea turned bad!

    They always take the “IDEA” of something good, and then do everything wrong resulting in a massive crap pile.
    The bill is a joke and we all will pay the price for it.

    The Gov’t can screw up a sunny day….


    I guess we’ll see…….

    : (

  16. jill says:

    being that we own our own business and been subjected to the outrageous increases over the last decade, i am hoping this reform will work to our benefit to some degree. i don’t believe our premiums will go down, but i do hope we will be able to receive more coverage for about the same cost and not have to hold our breath each September when we receive the new costs for the upcoming year. what we’ve been paying into insurance hasn’t come close to what we should be getting out of it.

    • Bearman says:

      You need to work part-time at Walmart so you can get benefits. j/k

      • lynn says:

        yeah but just dont get disabled while you work there. all their employees of walmart are covered by dead peasant policies. look it up, it’ll scare the hell out of you! each person signs the proper documentation when they get hired. youtube’s got some info if you search dead peasant policies, walmart.

  17. FJ says:

    I agree with your assessment (I know how boring), I just hope the HCR bill works better than I fear it will.

  18. lynn says:

    doctors = sports cars, patients = smart car. i agree with this post. the excess of the bill is always passed down to the patient via co-pays and deductibles. it’s like a surprise that comes months after the initial appointment. i hate that!

  19. Bschooled says:

    I like this one, Bearman! (And not just because of the size of the bling.)

    Everytime I think about moving to the States, I remember what you guys go through re: Health Care.

    That’s probably why God gave you guys better junk food…

  20. Friggin Loon says:

    Hmm, so will Health Care cover the cost of flying me to Thailand on a Medical holiday. Evidently they do all types of surgery for a smidgen of the price.

  21. susispice says:

    im going to say this in the most sensitive way i know how…

    how capitalist pigs can sit there and essentially pick and choose who gets health care and who doesnt by how much you can pay is atrocious! then you have the morons who barrack for those capitalists pigs who are using them to make themselves rich by ensuring that a USER PAY system for health care are even bigger ignorant morons. So you have insurance lobbyists who are creating this marketing bullshit saying “oh how communist of you to even suggest that everyone should be entitled to health care… COMMI! COMMI! traitor to our country!” then you get those morons, who all they hear is, “communist!? omg im against that! i must be against getting the much needed medical care i need for my toothless mouth, gout, the tumor in my brain and the leukimia treatment my 5 yr old needs because THEY POLITICIANS SAID ITS COMMUNIST”. IDIOTS!

    I Hope that the contents of this legislation is helpful to EVERYONE. EVERYONE is entitled to health care and has a basic human right to seek care. I dont mind paying more tax as long as I know that if my family members, friends and neighbours and whoever needs it can access a no-cost or low-cost dialysis treatment, dentistry, chemotherapy etc etc.

    I hate egocentric selfish people who think that they should literally pay with their lives if they cant give all their money and lifetime of savings to big greedy corporations like insurance companies and those who profit from the USER PAYS system.

    When will people learn..capitalism doesnt always work best for everyone….


    • Bearman says:

      Don’t disagree with anything you said except..Ok…not to be picky but don’t Government run healthcare systems pick and choose who gets treatment and when also??

      • susispice says:

        yes bearman, HOWEVER, u cant have everyone getting the same treatment at the same time. but isnt better to get some help even if its a little wait than not getting it at all???

        so they do pick who gets treatment first BUT it is after assessing if they are critical or NOT. The vantage point in Australia is that if you are classified as critical level 1 you will be pushed into the front of the queue for operations and treatment etc, if there is a wait list, but at least everyone gets treatment.

  22. WriterDood says:

    There are a lot of problems with the health care system, obviously. Starting with the small number of primary care physicians, the gouging of insurance companies, and the high cost of every single thing even remotely associated with health care.

    You’ve got to start somewhere though. And you’re cartoon is correct. That’s exactly how it is. But, one way or another, people are going to pay for that big diamond. You get health care through your employer? That’s money that could have been in your pay check. You pay for your own health care? It’s fricken expensive, but you generally get paid more. You don’t have health care – you’re going to be screwed sooner or late. Bottom line – we all want to pay for the big diamond, or we get the little diamond, and then we bitch about it and wish we’d paid (or could pay) for the big diamond.

    No one wants shitty healthcare. No one wants expensive health care. And no one wants NO healthcare.

  23. Nate Fakes says:

    Jeez…my comment is way down here in the 70’s! Where have I been?

    I officially am avoiding talking health care. I left my post (which you saw) and have no more to say about it, but am just curious to watch what happens. I really hope free band-aids are included in this whole thing.

  24. 25BAR says:

    Cost over quality?

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