Consume this, consumers!

 - 
08/17/2010

If you've read the Executive Session blog lately, perhaps you have an opinion on Mike Moran's suggestion that maybe certain items could be paid for—wait for it—with cash. By the consumer.

It's no accident that I say consumer, rather than beneficiary. No matter who is paying for the product or service, it is a "consumable."

I consume diabetes supplies and medications (and books, dinners out, theater tickets, a lighthouse bookmark and a fun set of bowls to give as a birthday gift, all just in the last week).

I willingly forked over the cash for everything but the strips and insulin, which, fortunately, are mostly covered by insurance. Still, the copay chips into my disposable income and I resent it. I have for 11 long finger-pricking years.

I think a lot of people hate paying for health care just on principle and I don't know why that is. For me, it's partially just diabetes fatigue, the knowing that I will continue to spend thousands annually for the privilege of a diagnosis.

Meanwhile, my mom rants and raves about having to pay certain health care costs, but does indeed own a flat screen TV, and a shiny red sports car. She's also a bit  jealous of my Dad's Medicare plan (the "Cadillac," I believe she called it.)

But, as provider Ron Frantz said in a phone call this morning: No matter how sick people are, they are going to do what they want. In his area, that seems to be vacationing, attending sporting events or gambling at the local casinos.

"If you've ever sat down and looked at the price of (football) tickets, it's unbelievable," he said. "But people will do it."

He's right, and Mike is right (frame this, Mikey). Most people—I said "most,"—can find the cash for what they need and often, for what they want. The trick is working health care products into that equation.

Theresa Flaherty

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Comments

How very true. I am a Service Tech. or as most of you call "driver". I recently has a man refuse delivery of a seat lift chair because of the Co-pay cost. Before I left he insisted on showing me the second of his two sports cars. Just that week he paid over $20,000 cash for it, and has plans for upgrades in the amount of about $5,000. Yet he continues to complain how hard is is to stand up off of his living room sofa.

Well that is a way of taking a look at things. It's great to have ones ideas shaken up once in a while so that you can re-examine your individual bias and habits in thinking. I might not really agree with almost everything, but I appreciate your personal insight.