Physicians should help to make patients understand why medical care has become more expensive in the United States than anywhere else in the world. This has been accomplished by our HMOs, hospitals, various medical service and insurance providers with at least a little help from the pharmaceutical industry. All of these mighty entities are generous advertisers. Every dollar they spend telling us how good they are increases what we have to pay. The physician’s fees are utilized by numerous entities, all of whom rely on what can be obtained by taking their percentage off the top. A drive along one of the roads that shelters several health insurance companies lends heavy support to the cost of medical care. All of the hundreds of cars in their parking lots are operated by employees of the company they work for and all of the wages they earn are paid for by our patients. All of the individuals that work in the healthcare field state that they want to see the cost of medical care reduced, except of course, if it would in any way effect their income. The drainage of a large portion of the healthcare dollar into the many entities that stand between the patient and his physician or hospital is in a “flood” stage. I doubt that the leak can be fixed or even ameliorated easily. The incomes earned by our medical insurance companies as well as many hospital administrators also supports a very large number of lobbyists who look after their interests with great diligence while doing little for us or our patients.
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