Medical Insurance, Taxes and Short Sightedness

As everyone knows, there is a dire situation going on with medical insurance and the rising costs in maintaining those benefits. This is even true with the State of Washington and their Basic Health Plan. The Governor has stated that approximately thirty five thousand people will lose this coverage under the current budget restrictions. And of course, we as tax payers would just as soon, not have any more taxes piled onto us to alleviate this situation.

But there is a bigger picture to all of this. You see, whether we pay more or not in taxes, these people, if need be, will be seen, and most likely in a much more expensive emergency room as opposed to a doctor’s office or a family clinic. Most ER’s don’t require medical insurance whereas the opposite is true for doctor’s offices and family clinics. So here’s the breakdown of the current situation (albeit not 100 percent accurate in the numbers, but from what I gathered, pretty damned accurate.):

The burden on Washington State Tax Payers is between $10.5M and $28M for approximately 35K people on State Medical (just for doctor/clinical visits). This is a pretty hefty price tag. This doesn’t include the serious situations. We are talking colds, minor contusions, sprains, diarrhea; whatever one might to their doctor for.

So without this current coverage, these thirty five thousand people will most likely be seen in an emergency room. Some will opt to not go at all…Maybe it might pay off, and whatever the condition is, will clear itself in due time. And maybe it might not pay off and the unattended condition will end up costing expediently more. Here are some more breakdowns of where the costs will go when these people do not have insurance in regard to hospital financial burdens:

56M to 140M in costs that tax payers will not have to pay. A rather large bullet dodged.

Or is it dodged?

Hospitals write these losses off. They also adjust their billing to expect these kinds of losses; meaning that when they bill a person, they are incorporating those losses into their bill. Someone has to pay for a hospital to stay a viable operation. And so the people that do pay are paying for all of those other people that choose not to pay.
This simple exercise (although not completely accurate in the numbers) illustrates what is going on in one aspect of the medical industry. My point is this. People are going to go to the doctor, no matter, for the most part, if they have medical insurance or not. Medical clinics don’t take patients without medical insurance. Emergency rooms do. I know that there are instances where as the opposite is true. But those instances are far and few between.

So we either pay now in taxes.

Or we pay more more when we have to go to the hospital to cover the costs of those that didn’t pay which is 2x’s to 13x’s more of a financial burden than the taxation cost.

I already know which one most of you would choose. I mean, I see the current state of our economy.

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