I've been thinking about writing something on health care for awhile now, but I've put it off since it doesn't really fall into the nature of this blog. I was just reading over at: Thinking Out Loud and her recent post on the topic made me think I need to put thoughts out there.
I'm tired of all of the insanity surrounding Health Care. Why can't some people get it through their heads how necessary it is, and stop trying to just tear it down? I was taught long ago that if you can't at least bring an idea to the table about how to improve something, then keep your yap shut, because you're just complaining (i.e. whining) and some people have things to get done.
The Republican's favorite spin is "responsibility". The adage, well I have health care (read insurance), so I don't know what your problem is. The implication is always that I'm too lazy to get it, and wasn't bright enough to get a good enough education to afford it. Until the recent layoffs I had a decent job, nice salary, company vehicle, they even paid for all the fuel. However insurance for just my wife and I, cost $250 a month. Tack on nearly another $400 a month if I want to include my kids. If you've got that kind of extra money floating around, good for you. But to top it all off, the corporate offices were in another state. So, that's where the insurance group was acquired and, pretty much, where the only considerations were made. If I wanted to see a doctor covered by my insurance, I had to travel to another state. So I'd better plan at least one day off for anything requiring a trip to the doctor. Not to mention I couldn't afford the out of pocket expenses until I met the deductible.
Or how about all the political bs that insurance companies do, because they are PROFIT run people? They don't exist to help you, they exist to make money. I worked for a hotel a few years back. The place got bought by another company. During the "transition" everyone was dropped from the previous insurance (Naturally!), and the new one wouldn't kick in for 30-90 days depending on your pay grade. There was a nice lady who worked in our restaurant who did have insurance with the previous company and now (like many) no longer did. She had already signed up for the new plan, but during the waiting period her daughter got sick. She couldn't afford a doctors visit, and they figured it was probably just the flu... By the time it was so bad they finally broke down and took her to the ER, it was to late. She died the next day of spinal meningitis. Think any insurance companies lost sleep over that one?
Also, more and more companies don't even offer benefits to their employees. You don't have to give benefits to part time employees, so you hire 2 of those instead of one full time employee.
My next favorite argument has to be the "I don't want to pay for other peoples health care, I'm already paying for my own!". Why can't people see that THEY ALREADY PAY FOR IT!? And they pay far more than is necessary. Sure, your "taxes" aren't paying the $50 doctor visit. Instead they're paying for the $1,000 trip to the ER, the money for tests, for fluids, for more doctors etc. Because when people are finally sick enough to force them into the ER, it's far to late for a simple visit and some antibiotics. Or the ER bill for the parent that brings their child in with an earache. These people STILL don't have the money for the doctor, they just don't pay the bill, because the hospital is required to see the patient. So maybe we should just get the word out "Free health care at ER's", bet that would get some health care reform moving. Think the problem isn't that big? I live in a small town, about 20,000 people. Recently our little small town hospital had to up their budget to help cover uninsured people. They raised it to nearly $16,000,000. That's not a typo, that's $16million, for my tiny little town. Do you think they did that out of the kindness of their hearts? Of course not, some of that they will get back from your TAXES, and the rest they'll get from your INSURANCE when they have to charge you more than they used to. YOU PAY FOR MY LACK OF INSURANCE. So you tell me, your taxes for a doctor visit, OR your taxes for the Emergency Room, hospitalization, and surgeries that would have been unnecessary if I had seen a doctor when I was just "sick".
This is a big part of why the U.S. pays more per capita on health care than any other country...and why we're the only industrialized country in the WORLD without a national health care plan. So how is it we pay more, and cover less? The new census bureau data release in August says we have 47 million people uninsured now. That's 15% of Americans. That's more people than the population of the entire state of California. That's more people then the combined population of 24 states AND the District of Columbia. If you rounded up the entire population of nearly half the states in this country, that would be 1.3 million people SHORT of the total number of uninsured people in this country.
Some people point to Canada to try to say universal health care is bad. Well, lets start with, "This is the US, and if we're lucky we could do better than Canada". But lets also point out that you don't see Canadians in a hurry to try to switch to our form of health care. Let me point out again, we are the ONLY industrialized nation in the WORLD without a nationwide health care plan. Are we dragging our feet because we didn't do it first?
"But we don't want the government running health care!" and "We're not socialists" are kind of the same argument in one. My first response is, aren't your kids in public (government run) schools (and many of them are). Sure the school system isn't perfect either, but we're not trying to wrench that out of the hands of "big brother" because we think a country full of "for profit" schools could do it all better. We think its our RIGHT to an education, and we'd say the same thing about health care if our founding fathers had known to include it in the constitution. You are right about us not being socialists though...we're fascists. The government is mostly run for the benefit of corporations, places that make money and can donate millions to their campaigns, of which insurance companies are one. Aetna made $1.8billion in 2007. Wellpoint $3.3billion, and the list goes on. Whose best interests are being served by NOT having a national health care plan? From 2000 to 2007 Wellcare reported an increase in their bottom line of 1,380.3%. Does it sound like these guys are looking out for you, or for your wallet? Don't you think these companies could provide us with insurance that is if they only made say...$100million a year? If I made that much, I think I'd be fine... These numbers are part of a complete listing as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
And lets not forget that all these politicians that are spouting all this rhetoric have insurance-really good insurance, supplied by the government, ran by the government, and paid for with our tax dollars! The bottom line is health care reform is absolutely necessary. It was necessary when Theodore Roosevelt said so, and its just as true today. Lets look beyond the myths. Lets rise above the selfishness of "my tax dollars", and "my insurance".
Most of this entry has been reposted by me at my hubpages site.