In regards to the health care/insurance debate...
Ultimately it comes down to every party keeping their own best interests and believe it or not insurance companies (at least good ones) are on the side of the consumer.
Basically what it comes down to is that the hospitals want to get as much money as they can for any procedure. The more they can bill the more they bring in, the more people they can hire, more beds they can provide, the more someone can line their pockets with.. Whatever way you want to look at it. So what ends up happening is when an insurance company/ppo sets a rate of what they will pay for services the hospital will bill exactly that, and usually more just to see if it will work (the process or usually denies the overages). Then they also know that if they do certain things (i.e. Send an RN instead of a CNA) they can get just a little bit more so they do. This method isn't unique, auto garages who do warranty work on cars do the same thing.
Coming back around, insurance companies don't want to pay anything more than they have to any more than the consumer would. Insurance companies need to stay in the black just like any company. If cost get to high either insurers raise rates or go out of business. And trust me, insurance companies don't like raising rates. It requires lots of government regulatory stuff plus hurts sales. Thus it is on the best interest of both consumers and insurance companies that the bloating of healthcare costs are addressed and quickly.
The insurance company I work for seriously considered not writing health insurance recently due to this. We stayed in the market because we feel it helps us sell 'full package value' to our customers.
I could not agree with you more.
However, as a consumer with lots of insurance, I feel helpless to control the costs. I protested the taking of new x rays to no avail. I know if I told the insurance company they were duplicates and they should not pay. The dentist would force me to pay. What can we do?