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posted: 11/26/2013 5:00 AM

Exorbitant health care costs at root of problem

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While the fortunates with employer-provided health care options are reeling over the changes in expense and coverage, the rest of the world rushes to prejudge Obamacare. What is missing from the examination of health care in America is the expense at its core.

I recently visited my physician for a routine physical in a newly constructed palatial complex where the health care group offices. As always, I am impressed with the professionalism and care provided. Including wait time, I was back in my vehicle 30 to 45 minutes after I arrived, which is great. The total tab for my visit exceeded $2,100. I am insured and not responsible for the entire amount, but my insurance provider is.

I am not crying for insurance companies or myself but aim to shed light on the exorbitant expense we all bear on some level. I know that doctors spend years in school and nurses are underpaid; we can't hear it enough apparently. Facts are facts, and if every patient through the office generates $2,000 per half-hour, the revenue per day is $32,000 per doctor.

Now that gunshot victims and illegal immigrants will have insurance, hospitals will theoretically begin collecting from "everyone." Those who are insured and pay will no longer bear the expense of the uninsured and those who will not or cannot pay.

As the hospitals, doctors and conglomerate health care systems are reimbursed at a much higher percentage in 2014 and beyond, one would imagine our cost of care per individual visit, incident or accident will fall dramatically. Don't hold your breath.

Brian DeValk

Palatine

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