Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?

August 17, 2012

Asking why health care is so expensive is like asking how they make hot dogs or how Demi Moore looks as vibrant and youthful as she did when I still was in grade school. We ask these questions without really wanting to know the answer. Largely because the truth would ruin our enjoyment of these pleasures.

So you still want to know? It’s too late now, we have come too far. We are going to breakdown the main reasons today’s health care costs are astronomical.

Take it down a notch

First, overuse. Do you know how much your last doctor's visit really cost? How about that minor surgery you had last year? Did you do any price comparisons before you made those purchases? It sounds silly to say you purchased a surgery, doesn’t it? But its the truth, and we rarely treat our health care with such rational thought. If everyone started to care how much they actually spent on health care, like they do everything else, and stop leaving it up to doctors and insurance companies to dictate and settle the bill, we would all probably be in a better place. 

Lets say you went to a car dealership to buy a car. You tell the salesman that you are having trouble keeping your tank full and that you cannot fit your children and all the stuff associated with taking them anywhere in the vehicle. What if that salesman said, “I have just the thing for you” and puts you in a brand new fully loaded hybrid SUV. Who cares about the price, you are too busy massaging the mahogany steering wheel, this is exactly what you need. Also, never mind the fact that another car company makes the exact kind of car for $10,000 cheaper. But this is your salesperson he should know what’s best for you.

Obviously this outlandish and ridiculous scenario would never transpire. Why? because people are never going to trust a car salesmen as much as they trust their doctor. Oh, and people actually have to pay the full amount for the cars they buy.

Next time you see your doctor and he prescribes a medication or recommends a test, ask him how much it costs. I bet you they fall off their little wheeling stool.

Wait, is that right?

Second, misuse. We want anything and everything available to us at all times. Have a headache? Go see a neurologist. Chest pains? Cardiologist. Having trouble relieving yourself? Urologist. I think you get the gist, pun intended. The point is these are common symptoms that can usually be addressed by your primary care doctor. But living in a society that wants everything right now, funneling your health care through the proper chain of command is considered a cruel and tortuous restriction.

If we could get a handle on what doctor we need to see when and dial back the, kneejerk, over reactions we could pay for what’s needed when it's needed in the most efficient manner. On paper it sounds great to be able to see any doctor whenever you want, however the truth of the matter is, most of us are not nearly qualified enough to make such a decision.

I will stop there for now, but these are just two main contributors to why our health care cost are more out of control than a best-of TMZ highlight reel.

Are you going to start being more conscience about how much your treatment costs?