Tuesday, December 15, 2009

German Health Care

Germans have this fear about their universal health care program. They’ve just about maxed out on what people are willing to pay monthly on their insurance costs.

So everyone is sitting there and waiting for this announcement of extra fees as they actually use health care. Well....that day has come.

The state-run health insurance (GKV) budget folks....are now predicting a loss of some €4 billion ($5 billion dollars) in funding in 2010.

Somewhere in the midst of their own 2,000 page document.....German law mandates that health insurers charge members extra fees when the numbers don’t match up.

The suggestion of the GKV folks....is that this upsurge of fees....will occur in 2010.

The amusing thing here....the government guy in charge of health care....kinda jumped into this mess and said that a deficit of €4 billion wasn’t a big deal. It’s always interesting how guys now working for the government see a billion dollars of problems....as no big deal.

What does this fee business mean? Well...when you walk in....instead of paying $20 a quarter for the first visit of the quarter you make....now you will likely pay something for every visit (maybe $15). If you require any kind of bandage....maybe $6. It doesn’t hurt the first five to ten years of this game...but you can already imagine where a visit will run $40. You start to get nickel and dimed to death.

The medical business…is just that…a business. It’s not charity, or cheap, or compassionate. Someone has to make a profit….for the business to work. And the minute you start to think it’s a “right”….you start to lose focus over how the system really works.

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