We Can't Afford to Keep Paying for Everyone's Healthcare


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In the words of comedian Bill Burr, “At least 85% of you need to go. Our planet cannot sustain the sheer numbers… LET ME FINISH!”

Now, Bill was joking about population control, but this theory can be applied to anything where you see extreme excess that cannot remain unchecked. For this article, I want to focus on healthcare costs.

Over the last couple of presidencies, we’ve seen our national debt ballooning in what looks like a logarithmic exponential upward curve. At nearly $20 trillion now, it’s truly a horrifying sight to behold.

Here are some of our annual budget spending statistics:

  • 25% Healthcare programs (Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Obamacare)
  • 24% Social Security
  • 16% National Defense
  • 6% Interest
  • 3% Education
  • 2% Transportation Infrastructure
  • 2% Science and Medical Research
Sickening! We now spend more on healthcare entitlements than we do on social security... and here we thought that was the ticking time bomb.

Now yes, these are statistics for our annual budget, but we are chronically overspending on our budget and adding to the deficit, and these programs are the main culprits.

 

You might be asking yourself, “What the hell is going on? Why is this happening? What are we gonna do?” Those are all good questions, but I’m afraid I don’t have any good answers.

What’s going on is we simply have too many people taking too much out of the system and not putting enough back into it.

 

Medicare is rampant with fraud, and we have an ever-increasing aging population as people are living longer and longer with the advancement of modern medicine. I’m hopeful that with a good audit to erase the fraud, and by reforming the program so it can sustain itself, Medicare can be saved. I’ll even go as far to extend this sentiment to CHIP, because what heartless bastard would not want to help children?

Medicaid, however, is essentially forcible government charity on behalf of you and your tax dollars, and ought to be heavily reformed to limit those applicable, or scrapped altogether, as it is a giant negative on the budget and the debt.

Obamacare has basically extended Medicaid to include more people and offer assistance to those who are at least contributing somewhat to the system, but it’s still not a sustainable solution and therefore it has to go or see serious reform. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure Obamacare is going to disappear with the new administration, so I won’t harp on it.

 

One of the main issues we see day-to-day in the hospital setting are patients who use and abuse the system for entirely free healthcare. These are individuals without jobs, credit scores, or bank accounts, and they often either have one of the government healthcare entitlements like Medicaid or perhaps don’t have any insurance at all.

By law, we are forced to treat these individuals and cannot turn them away based on their inability to pay for their healthcare bill. And as if it isn’t bad enough that we have hoards of Americans leeching on the system, we also have illegal immigrants that have figured out how to get “free” healthcare.

 

Of course, these are also typically the patients that live in the hospital as if it were their home, complete with mail, Amazon Prime, Chinese delivery, Wi-Fi, room service, wait staff, and all the drugs an addict could ever want.

So if you are a responsible, productive, tax-paying member of America, you are paying for deadbeats to live in hospitals across the nation. With HCAHPS in place, these patients are more demanding and controlling than ever before, encouraged by the patient-centered care movement. And if you’re a nurse, you’re paying for these patients’ existence while essentially working for them… how messed up is that?

 

Hopefully, with the extreme updating and/or gutting of these healthcare entitlement programs, we could save substantial amounts of money and start making a dent in this near $20 trillion mountain of debt.

If we act now, we might still have time before we end up like Greece.

References:

http://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-01-25/health-care-programs-contribute-to-increasing-federal-deficit

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddhixon/2012/02/09/the-u-s-does-not-have-a-debt-problem-it-has-a-health-care-cost-problem/#2fa31d327f6f