I'm sorry, but exactly what is wrong with having some type of universal health insurance???
The larger the pool of insured, the lower the individual payments.
Insurance companies are not in the business of getting care to their insureds, they are in the business of denying claims to increase their bottom lines. In 2007, the CEO of UHC (United Health Care) took home $1.78 billion (yes, Billion), that is money not spent on getting care to people. The 'overhead' of insurance companies ranges from 15% to 30%, with most being in the 25% neighborhood. Medicare's overhead is 5% to 7%.
The per capita amount that we pay in the U.S. is almost twice what the next most costly country pays, and we are rated 28th or 44th for the quality of care we get, depending on which survey you see. Our infant mortality rate is greater that that of some Third world countries.
We're not getting bangs for our bucks, we're getting fizzles. Insurance companies are getting solid gold bathroom fixtures.
Have any of you been in an Emergency Room? Hours of waiting to see a doctor or nurse, hours more wait for a room, if necessary. If you survive that long.
Most doctors' offices have slightly less than one 'medical records clerk' per doctor to handle all the insurance company paperwork. The same HMO that owns the clinic also owns the testing lab, and therefore mandates that the doctor have as many tests as possible done to increase the revenue of that part of the business.
The system we have now is badly broken. We need to make some kind of change, Doctors are leaving practice because of all the hassles: They can't really practice medicine, they are told what to do by the insurance companies.
The "ambulance chasing lawyers' and 'malpractice reform' mantras are red herrings dragged out by the insurance companies to scare people into letting them increase their rates and limit their awards and exposures to bump up profits. There are bad doctors, but they are very rare. Any true incident of malpractice is to be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.
The 'increase in bureaucracy' and 'bureaucrats determining your care' simply more red herrings dragged out to distract from the real issues. Q) Who do you think makes the determination about care now? A) The insurance company bureaucracy, who gets a bonus depending on their contribution to profitability. (read: denial of care) Q) How many of these bureaucracies are there? A) One for each insurance company. A single payer, non-profit system would DECREASE the bureaucracy. And that one would be in the business of getting people care rather than pumping up the bottom line of the insurance company.
Instead of having to wait until something is gone really wrong and going to the E.R. and costing a lot, a little preventative care can cost a little. And free the E.R. for serious, sudden things. A few bottles of prenatal vitamins and a few regular checkups will save huge amounts for children with birth defects. As my Grandmother said: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Let's get some common sense in here.
For all you Republicans out there: Illegals coming in for care? Bill their government. If their government doesn't pay, stabilize and deport. The problem will sort itself out quickly.
Sorry, having a bad year this month, and am in a bad mood.
Great Post. The sad thing is that the American public is so gullible, so hopelessly uninformed, and so easily swayed by the propaganda blitzkrieg launched by the pharmaceutical companies, AMA, and insurance giants every time someone tries to overhaul the system and threatens their obscene profits, that any change to our existing health care system is highly improbable until it becomes completely unsustainable.
Michael Moore in his movie "Sicko" very candidly and correctly depicted how many people who think they have good health insurance, are simply stunned when they come down with a serious illness and the insurer refuses to pay for certain procedures, and they get hit with tens of thousands of dollars of deductibles, which they cannot pay. Of course, the health industry tried to discredit Moore and his film, but they were largely unsuccessful. They were successful however, in stifling any debate and in sweeping the issue under the rug.
What people do not seem to realize is that our extremely costly and inefficient health care system is the primary reason why manufacturing is being exported to China at at alarming rate. Smaller businesses simply cannot afford to pay health premiums for their employees. This is why national health insurance makes so much sense. As mentioned a large number of insured means better rates can be negotiated, and health cost runaway inflation can be much more easily controlled.