What Can We Do About Our Ridiculous Medical Expenses?

Medical expenses in America are shocking. This probably isn’t news to you. Thankfully, most people only know about it because they hear about it through the news. But for many people, they’ve found out the hard way, with first-hand experience.

In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at these expenses. How did we get here? Is it fair? And what can we do to help ourselves?

Why is healthcare so expensive in this country?

Most countries that we would referred to as “developed” don’t charge people for generic healthcare. And the countries that do charge for generic healthcare don’t charge anywhere near as much as America does. The prices in Argentina, Canada and France are eclipsed by American prices.

Healthcare is a business. This is true, to varying extents, pretty much everywhere you go. But in America, healthcare is seen by the government as a business first and foremost. The government make no attempt to drive down the prices that pharmaceutical companies charge for their products. It’s a hardcore for-massive-profit system.. You can see the relevant statistics at http://www.theatlantic.com/.

Another thing to consider is that fact that free healthcare was seen as a socialist idea back in the 1940s. (In fact, this idea is perpetuated to a lesser extent even today.) Back then, people weren’t willing to see differences between benign socialism and hardcore communism. The two were usually conflated. Essentially, free healthcare sounded like a communist idea to much of the public. Politicians used this to their advantage. Anyone wanting political power with free healthcare on the agenda was often dismissed as at least a communist, and so was unpopular.

Don’t we have enough financial worries?

Consider how expensive the act of simply living in America can be. When you consider this, it becomes increasingly disheartening to know just how much people have to spend on medical bills.

I’m not only talking about the costs of day-to-day living. Groceries, after all, are often priced competitively. But think about your rent. Has that been decreasing in cost over the last few years? I doubt it. Property prices are on the rise in a big way. There are also the other long-term worries to deal with. Paying to get your kid through college – or paying to get through it yourself – takes a massive financial toll.

Photo by Visual Hunt
Photo by Visual Hunt

And what about those saving up for retirement? Do we want people to be saving up for all those years only to have to spend the bulk of that money on a medical emergency? The elderly, after all, are more likely to need such care than the younger generations are. With all of this in mind, it’s not as if American aren’t already under enough financial pressure.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t enough

You may have heard the Affordable Care Act being referred to as Obamacare. No-one in their right mind would say that the ACA isn’t a mostly-great idea in theory. Even in practice, it’s done some tremendous things for many people. An estimated twenty million Americans have been able to get the health insurance that they were unable to afford previously. This has caused many to believe that a large amount of this problem was solved. The sad reality is that the Affordable Care Act barely scratched the surface. Read more about this at http://www.usnews.com/.

What this act highlights is the power of the government to bring about change. So part of dealing with the expense of medical bills is looking up. And by “up”, I mean “at the people in charge”. When we talk about dealing with medical expenses, we usually only talk about our own immediate circumstances. But these are problems that government reform can fix. This is why the power of your vote can help with this issue!

Unfortunately, people in this country don’t seem to appreciate that prospect very much. People seem to have actively voted against the only presidential candidate with healthcare reform on their bill. Maybe things haven’t changed too much since the 1940s, after all!

Injuries aren’t always our fault

Okay, I’m going to go with a really outlandish example here, just to help drive my point across. Let’s say you’ve decided, on a whim, to buy some extremely impressive fireworks. You didn’t take the time to read the safety instructions. Who needs those anyway, right? You’ve heard these fireworks are amazing. But you don’t want set them off outside. Fireworks in the sky are too far away to see in detail, right? So you decide to set them off in your bathroom.

Photo by Ethan
Photo by Ethan

I’m honestly not sure what compels people to set off fireworks in their bathroom, but that was my guess. In any case, any injuries that take place as a result aren’t going to get you a lot of sympathy. They were your own fault.

But let’s face it. When people get ill or become injured, these sorts of reasons are a rarity. Most of the time, it’s through no fault of the person in question. It’s just incredibly bad luck. And that adds some considerable sting to the entire problem.

The circumstances in which you end up needing medical assistance may help you, though. That might sound like an odd thing to say, but consider this. Let’s take injuries, for example. A general illness or disease is a bit tougher to deal with. But if an injury wasn’t your fault, and you’re able to prove this, then you can take legal action. Let’s say, for example, that a distracted driver struck your vehicle and caused you an injury. Working with the right attorneys could see all of your medical bills being paid off via compensation. It’s important to remember this if high costs are projected. Find out more at https://www.joelhschwartz.com/boston-car-accident-lawyer/.

Is it possible to spend less on our bills?

That paragraph above wasn’t meant to suggest to you that only car accident victims can get help paying their bills! Little known to most of the public, there are actually several ways in which you can reduce your medical bills. Like with most businesses, the healthcare system takes advantage of the fact that customers don’t do enough research.

Whatever you’re going in for, get yourself armed with the right information. It is actually possible to “haggle” with hospitals and insurers to help reduce your bills. It’s not a perfect solution, but it can go a long way towards helping you out. Check out the guide at http://billadvocates.com/slash-medical-bills-7-ways-haggle/.

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Santiago

I've got so many tattoos and you know what? I'm still scared of getting them. Oh, and I love writing about the weirder stuff in life. You'll see.

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