Too Big To Fail?

Updated on August 28, 2023
Harvey D. Kart

In America, more and bigger is always better. Or at least, that’s the perception.

Are the best ballplayers always the champs? Did you think the Cardinals would win the World Series this year? Or were you among those who believed this was the Phillies’ year?

Do the biggest and brand new stadiums always produce the best teams? How has that worked out for the Dallas Cowboys so far?

We also believe that the company that advertises the most must be the best. Budweiser spends millions a year advertising on TV. Would you rather have a Bud Light or a Guinness right now?

How many of you think spending a billion dollars on a presidential campaign means they are the best candidate?

In Pittsburgh these days, we’re having a war between two gigantic non-profit healthcare organizations—both are probably among the largest in their industries. It’s really a shame that we are putting up with this. This should not be about which organization has a bigger network or which employers they choose to work with. Instead of trying to work together, they are messing around with our health and putting the citizens in harm’s way.

When you start allowing health care systems to take sides, it has nothing to do with you and your family, it has everything to do with those companies and how much money they can make off of you.

And it’s not as simple as changing your insurance company as some would have you believe. As an employee of a company that offers you health insurance benefits, you don’t have the option to change your insurance company. Your company tells you what to take.

Every healthcare facility should open the door wide for the public to use. We should’t be limited by the plan we have. Imagine going into an Eat N Park with your best friend, and each of you receive different menus because you have different “restaurant plans.” Let’s say, your friend’s rates were less than yours because you are “out of the network.”

Or how about when you list your home on the real estate market and the commission that the agent charges you is different from mine because we have a different “real estate plan.”

What if we went to Heinz Field for a Steelers game and buy game day tickets at the window. Even though we’re sitting side by side, my tickets were $50 less than yours because we have different plans.

Ridiculous? Sure it is. As consumers, why do we accept this in today’s healthcare market?

These are for-profit businesses I mentioned, so if they want to do that, they can, I suppose. But in healthcare, we’re talking about non-profit organizations, who are gouging the public.

Also, since healthcare is a personal matter, we’d like to all stay with the same physician or practice that we’ve been going to since we were kids. But at any given moment, we could lose our longtime physicians when a new player moves into the marketplace. You think every physician stays with the same healthcare system? When a physician group chooses to work with a new insurance provider, we will either have to pay “out of network” prices or find all new physicians for our healthcare needs.

It should’t be that way.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could follow our physician to whichever healthcare system he decides to become affiliated with?
I keep hearing people say no one has the money to fight back or they are afraid to fight back. Hmmm, what’s that telling you? We see our country suffer as a result of gridlock in Washington. We can do better than that. The community needs to exert pressure on all sides to come to a resolution and start focusing on patient care and positive outcomes as opposed to the next ad campaign or next legal maneuver.
Feel free to comment on this issue. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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