I came upon a post on a blog called The Consumer Healthcare Blog titled 10 Ways To Fix Healthcare, a list culled from 10 experts, though I’m not sure who they are.

I wrote a message on the post, then I decided I wanted to think about it some more afterwards. There’s always this talk about the health care system and how it needs to be fixed, and though I’m going to agree with the premise, I’m also going to say that the overwhelming majority only know as much about the health care system as one or two stories that happened to them, or something they heard about as a complaint from someone else. And many times, when I hear those complaints, I have to admit that most of them are wrong, but because they don’t know how it all works, and because they’re now mad for some reason, it’s just how they see things.

Here’s the first reality; medical billing really isn’t all that bad. Overall, billing gets it right at least 85% of the time; otherwise, no medical entities would be surviving. Now, many of them get it right on a fluke, but at least they get it right.

Here’s the second reality; if a person goes to the emergency room, they have to be treated, period, no matter where they are in the country, even at for profit hospitals. If they don’t treat you, then charges of a violation of a law known as EMTALA can be brought against that hospital, and the burden of proof is on them to prove they didn’t treat you.

Here’s the third reality, the one most people know; healthcare charges are going up, and there’s no stopping it. Those of us with insurance are seeing yearly increases in the double digits lately. More companies are hiring intermediary drug companies, whose jobs are to find ways to cut pharmaceutical costs for the facilities, and that’s been more evident lately as more and more news stories come out about people who either had no or low deductibles or co-pays suddenly having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for what have been classified as Tier IV or higher pharmaceuticals, which means you have a disease that drug companies can’t make any real money on, so they’re passing the cost along to you, hoping you won’t pay it so you won’t be around long and save the businesses even more money.

But here’s reality number four, where I’m stopping for now; in America, if you have some kind of healthcare coverage, and you have a medical problem, you will get treatment fairly quickly. I have a friend in Australia who needs a medical procedure for his heart, and he’s been given a waiting time of just about 8 1/2 months for it; I hope he has no problems from now until then. In America, you’d probably be in within 2 weeks, if not sooner. If you have no insurance but qualify for Medicaid, you’ll be in just as soon.

So there are options. No, it’s not perfect, and we’ve all heard the number of around 47 million people who are uninsured. Most of those people will qualify for some kind of financial assistance, which could range from discounts of 20 to 80% off their medical bills, which, these days, more and more hospitals are adjusting to fall in line with discounts offered to insurance companies. The issue is the lack of knowledge, because many hospitals still aren’t good at making sure patients know about these programs, known as charity care programs.

Anyway, it’s something to talk about and think about some more, and, as we move closer to electing a new president, something to consider when one looks at their opinions on it also.