Wednesday, September 23, 2009


As we move forward on the health care debate it is almost impossible to follow the debate. We have gone from “health care is broken” to the insurance companies are evil capitalist money grabbers. The argument seems to rest on what the pollsters say people will buy into or think is true; the action words are think is true.

It appears that a growing number of Americans do not trust the federal government and with good reason. In short Obama is in trouble and the glitter has come off “the hope of change”. Part of the problem is he hasn’t come off the campaign trail yet and settled into being president. I have a simple understanding of this and that is he knows how to be a candidate but not president; so we don’t have a real president only a real candidate and a growing number of people are seeing this and do not trust him. This is what is happening to the health care debate.

Let’s remember that hospitals set the rates for health care. Insurance companies set the insurance rates. These come about by direct negotiations between the insurance companies and the hospitals/health care providers arguing over what the lowest prices the hospitals/health care providers will take as payments from the insurance companies for each procedure you have to go through. There are a lot of games played in between, even after an agreement is reached and a contract is signed. What we have dealt with in the legislature is the insurance companies not paying their bills to the hospitals in a timely manner, repeatedly claiming the hospital/health care provider used the incorrect code for billing purposes and generally just fooling around to delay payments.

As far as hospitals go the trend seems to be not about health care delivery; but, re-imbursement rates and payments. I’m sorry but the patients come second CEO bonuses come first. Hospitals put large sums of money out to the NH Hospital Association to lobby for the hospital issues, PR people and then they hire private lobbyists that know their way around the Concord political scene to push through special issues.

We are not dealing with brand new special problems dealing with health care; what we are dealing with is the age old problem of greed. Remember the famous question I asked at a health care study committee, “why is the cost of health care so expensive in the Seacoast” because people in the seacoast can afford it. Very revealing answer and truthful, no pussy footing around, right to the point.

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