…the prices your insurance company pays are based on a set of values listed in a phone-book sized directory of billing codes. Those codes are pretty much the economic hierarchy of modern medicine… And those values are set by a closed-door committee of the American Medical Association.
At the Marketplace Health Desk at WHYY, Gregory Warner has been trying to figure out how that committee works.
Gregory Warner: It’s called the Relative Value Update Committee, but everyone knows it as the RUC. It’s a committee of the AMA. It meets every four months in a hotel conference room. And right here — this being a radio story — is where I’d play you the sound of one of those meetings. You might hear heated debates between some three dozen doctors over which procedures should be worth and which ones Medicare should pay higher prices for.
But I can’t play you that sound because RUC meetings are invitation only. Observers are sworn to secrecy. Even the names of the doctors on this private committee were — until recently — kept confidential. For those who have been before the RUC, it’s a powerful experience.
Why is this legal? Why do the American people pay a 90% tax to the insurers’ and doctors’ medical business criminal conspiracy? Why is 19% of US GDP siphoned off into the medical cartels when no other nation pays more than 10-11%? Why do doctors in the US earn twice what the earn in any civilized nation in the world?
It’s simple. Because the mob bosses of the medical business are deep in the pockets of the US Government. They own it, and they make you pay through the nose because of it. They make the rules, they skim the cream, and more Americans are financially ruined, or even die, under this medical business sham of “health care,” than in any civilized nation on Earth. Everywhere else, government delivers or insures the delivery of “health care.” Here the medical business enriches doctors, and insurance and pharmaceutical industry kingpins. They care only about how much of your money they can stuff in their own pockets, not about whether you are sick or get well.
Most Americans who have health care coverage through their employers or through the government don’t see the costs. The employer nanny system has been set up brilliantly to hide them. But make no mistake, the siphoning goes on day in and day out. It feeds the political machines, the propaganda, the brainwashing, and mostly the pockets of those that run the system, the insurers, the pharma drug lords, and the AMA doctors who are at the top of every one of these structures.
It’s time for the Justice Department to go after the AMA just like it went after La Cosa Nostra. Break up the medical crime syndicates. Put the godfathers in jail and put the system under 100% of government control. Every other civilized nation has proven beyond a doubt that this is far preferable to the death and destruction wrought on the American public, and to the enrichment of the medical mafia by the current US system.
This must end.