Why The U.S. Health Care System Needs Reform

…well, one of the reasons it needs reform.

There was an editorial in today’s NYTimes. It’s about how the numbers which insurers use to calculate “reasonable and customary” rates for health care services are provided by a company that’s wholly owned by UniteHealth Group. How convenient for them. This is why your 80% coverage of an out of network medical service almost universally covers less than 80% of what you spent.

An investigation by the NY State Attorney General’s office implies that major health care companies are rigging the system to shortchange beneficiaries… both patients and doctors.

As I was readying my outrage at this, it struck me that I didn’t really know who was responsible for overseeing the health care companies. What’s the FDA or FAA for health care? Of course I thought first of the American Medical Association, but realized immediately that they’re a private non-profit, not a federal agency. Who has oversight for our nation’s citizens’ health? I dug around a bit on the internet and found Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, but hell… who are they? We have a Nation Transportation Safety Board but no federal organization to oversee the interests of the citizenry in the face of “Big Healthcare”? Not right.

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