Health Care Vs. Health Insurance

July 09, 2012

There have been a lot of terms tossed around in the last few years to identify the crisis surrounding our self destructive health care system. Between Health Care Reform, ObamaCare, Single Payer and Universal Health Care it can be hard to remember what industry the government was actually trying to reform. Truthfully, every name listed above is misleading you to think the health care industry has been the main target all along.

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law back in March of 2010, and recently upheld by the Supreme Court, there has been one industry at the center of all the controversy, that is the health insurance industry.

Today’s rhetoric has mixed the health care / health insurance message so thoroughly that people have no idea where one stops and the other beings. So much so that a mislabeled historic piece of legislation was able to be passed.

What is Health Care?

Health care is the actual treatment of medical conditions like doctor office visits, x-rays or a surgical procedure. Doctors, nurses, hospitals and urgent care centers are all things that make up the “Health Care” industry.

What is Health Insurance?

Health insurance is strictly a means to finance the cost of your health care. That’s it. The health insurance industry is comprised of a number of insurance companies like Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Aetna, United Health One and Assurant Health that offer insurance policies to help finance the extreme cost of certain medical procedures.

The entire law is centered around changing how the health insurance companies finance and cover your health care. It has very little, if anything, to do with changing how the health care industry delivers or charges for its services.

Much like the real estate disaster in 2008, where banks were approving people for mortgages they could not afford. Our current health care disaster finds doctors and hospitals performing medical procedures people cannot afford. In fact a major medical procedure can cost as much, if not more than the price of most peoples homes.

It might seem like I am stating the obvious, but somewhere along the way health care and health insurance started to be referred to as the same thing. While they are two industries that work closely together, they should not be viewed as providing the same service.