Preventive care: It’s free, except when it’s not

From USA TODAY:

His insurance company told him it would be covered 100%, with no copayment from him and no charge against his deductible. The nation’s 1-year-old health law requires most insurance plans to cover all costs for preventive care including colon cancer screening. So Dunphy had the procedure in April.

Then the bill arrived: $1,100.

Dunphy, a 61-year-old Phoenix small business owner, angrily paid it out of his own pocket because of what some prevention advocates call a loophole. His doctor removed two noncancerous polyps during the colonoscopy. So while Dunphy was sedated, his preventive screening turned into a diagnostic procedure. That allowed his insurance company to bill him…

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EDITORIAL: Preventive screening is but the first positive step towards single payer health care that is available in other advanced nations but not here in the USA. With medical professionals, hospitals and insurance companies all feasting, many earnings in a million a year or more, our national health care costs are 18% of Gross Domestic Product, as compared to the highest elsewhere, 11%, in France which is considered to offer the best care in the world. The USA is ranked far down the line, about the same as Cuba.

A quick and efficient answer? Medicare for everyone. The government already far more efficiently provides health care to 52% of the population. Why not the other 48%? Fund it with a Value Added Tax and allow the $3 per hour cost that employers and employees pay go into wages.

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Updated: December 31, 2011 — 11:57 am
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