Thursday, January 28, 2010

HEALTH INSURANCE BILLERS REFUSE TO GO QUIETLY

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA ON BEHALF OF ALL PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE BILLING PROFESSIONALS NATIONWIDE

Dear President Obama,

For months now, my colleagues and I have watched you with trepidation. We watched as you and your Democratic majority in Congress rammed through a health care reform bill that threatens to upend Americans' control over their lives. Although Scott Brown's amazing Senate victory in Massachusetts promises hope for the future, we nonetheless feel it necessary to voice our concerns as Americans and health care professionals.

During your State of the Union Address last night, you vowed to continue the fight to reform health care in America. You said that millions of Americans remain uninsured. You declared that "private health insurance companies" reap "massive" profits while "common people" struggle to pay inflated bills. You claimed that privately-administered health insurance is the reason why America fell into a "health care crisis." You even suggested that America must move closer toward government-run health care to curb the influence of insurance companies and lobbyists.

Mr. President, you are gravely mistaken. Government is never the answer. Only private enterprise can deliver quality goods and services to Americans at reasonable prices. Only vigorous competition between rival economic interests can ensure the innovation Americans expect from any industry. Just because the health care industry deals in human illness does not make it different from any other business enterprise. People who work in health care need incentives like anyone else. If government starts meddling in health care, doctors might not earn what they deserve. Inventors might not enjoy the protection they need to profitably guard their discoveries. And every day Americans will certainly lose the cherished freedom to choose where to seek health care. As Americans committed to liberty, we find this appalling.

But health care reform will not just destroy liberty. Health care reform will also destroy jobs. Mr. President, our American health care system works because it runs like a well-oiled business machine. Like any good business, the American health care system has great accountants. Everyone pays what they owe; no expense ever falls through the cracks. This encourages both responsibility and financial discipline. Americans know that they must pay for everything they receive in a hospital or at a doctor's visit. That encourages them to be judicious in seeking medical care, as well as to make prudent economic decisions when addressing their health care needs. Health care is a consumer product in America. And stringent health care billing practices are the reason why American health care is so good.

Health care reform will curtail private health care opportunities. If the government intervenes to pay medical bills, there will be little need for private health care insurance billing professionals. If government suddenly steps in and says: "This man has diabetes. We are handling his care and paying the bill," that man will not receive a private bill. Consequently, there will be little need for hospitals and insurance companies to employ hundreds of accountants, actuaries and typists to draft thousand-page itemized bills for every patient. Yet thousand-page itemized bills are precisely the things that make the American health care system so wonderful. Thousand-page itemized bills make the health care world go around in America. If health care reform succeeds, thousand-page itemized bills will become unnecessary. And so will the millions of American workers who make them possible.

We are Private Health Insurance Billing Professionals. We refuse to allow President Obama to destroy our jobs. We refuse to allow Obama-Care to eradicate our livelihoods. We refuse to stop itemizing charges for 5g of hospital pudding on 4/3/08 ($459.90), 30cc of Titrium Chloride on 4/4/08 ($1,983.08), one night, hospital room (standard special rate) on 4/4/08 ($7,000), and lower rhomboidal surgery plus anesthesia on 4/5/08 ($497,632.26). We went to school to do what we do. Billing is not easy. Yet it is essential to run any business, including the American health care business.

Mr. President, screw your health reform. As professional health billers, we say now: "Hell no, we won't go." If health reform means giving up our Excel® spreadsheets and expense logging software, we say: "Hell to the naw-naw, mah niz-aw."

Leave us alone. We are productive American workers. We stay up for days at a time tabulating hospital meal costs, hospital linen charges, surgery costs, financing charges for doctor visits and outpatient anesthesiology service payment schedules. We even tack on progressive interest rates for all this shit. We do not have an easy job. But we receive good wages and we pay good taxes. We support families on the wages we receive from sending angry collection letters to penniless amputees. We send children to school on the cash we receive for mailing book-sized bills to destitute underinsured cancer victims. And our taxes help keep this Nation strong. How dare you introduce reform that threatens our jobs?

Mr. President, you must not reform health care because reform impacts private health insurance billing professionals. American life is all about paying bills. Some even say that the meaning of life in this country is making timely monthly payments on this, that and the other thing. If you attack health insurance billing, you attack the very meaning of life in America. Where would Americans be if they no longer had to fret over insurmountable medical bills? What reason would they have to live? Health care bills dominate American lives. If your "reform efforts" sweep them away, you will open a tragic void in every American's life.

What good will flow from that void? After all, bills keep Americans honest. It keeps them at work. It keeps them responsible. If Americans no longer live to fear bills, they will lose all respect for authority. They will no longer look for employment. They will begin leading debauched, wasteful lives. Only bills maintain order in our society. Think seriously on it, Mr. President. Any effort that reduces the influence of bills on Americans chips away at our country's very core.

And any effort that eliminates bills means that important people don't get paid. When that happens, God help us: I quake to think what a radiologist would do if he knew he would no longer receive $925,000 a year due to "health care reform." Radiologists are not schmucks. As a Nation, we cannot allow radiologists to receive a meager $800,000 a year for their work.

Stop disrespecting professionals. We are private health care billing professionals. We might not be as important as radiologists, but we are nonetheless professionals. We learned how to meticulously track fees and expenses. We even read textbooks, listened to lectures and took exams. We went to school and we learned how to bill like pros. We don't deserve unemployment for our toil and study. No, we deserve a place in the economy. More to the point, we deserve a hallowed place because our efforts keep every American responsible. Our work reminds every American that there are no free lunches in this country. In fact, we remind every American that every little piece of the lunch has a specific price--and they need to pay every penny to avoid financial ruin.

Mr. President, we urge you to scrap health care reform at once. It makes no sense to sacrifice America's commitment to responsible free market principles in order to grant charity hospital stays to a few stinking beggars. More pragmatically, it makes no sense to destroy the private health insurance billing profession. Professions are valuable; government should support them, not destroy them. And our profession is much more significant than most people realize. Without us, no doctor would get paid and no American would fear bills.

For a moment, think about how dangerous our society would be if every American suddenly stopped worrying about bills. It is too terrifying to even consider. That is why you must abandon health care reform once and for all.

Defend private health insurance billers. We remind every American that everything has a price. We keep every American fixed on his duty: Paying prices. The next time you get a thousand-page bill for a two-day hospital stay, thank us. We are actually doing you a favor by maintaining the American economic system as we know it. And you have to admit: It's pretty damn good.

That's because everyone fears bills and works to pay them. You can thank professional billers for that.

Mr. President, forget about reform. Think about jobs and responsibility for once. Enough with the justice rhetoric. Americans don't want hope. They want accurate bills, secure services and competitive prices.

Think about your poll numbers. If you really want to be popular again, drop this foolish health care crusade. Give power back to the private health insurance billers. It is the only way to save America's economic soul.

Yours very sincerely and truly,

Prof. Gabriella F. Trackett-Goode, B.S. (Health Care Billing Systems)

Assistant Professor, Medical Accounting & Billing Science
Amboy Community College, Perth Amboy Twp., N.J.

Consultant, The Bayer Group LLC (a Fortune 100 Company Specializing in Effective Billing Strategies for the Pharmaceutical Industry)

1 comment:

Timoteo said...

"Those STINKING beggars!" Laughin' me butt off again !