[A USA Healthcare Rant] by RobHolecko
So do you think my opinion on Health Care is totally unrealistic? After we talked I did some research into costs of health care plans, and this is what I found...Aenta, for example offers plans to individuals with a deductibles of from $1000 (expensive) up to $2000 $3000 and $10000 (slightly more affordable). You can't even buy a plan from them with no deductible....
Now I understand that that's going to help me heaven forbid if I have major health problems, but that's not what I'm talking about. Assuming I'm healthy, I'm looking for a plan that's going to cover an annual check-up, an office visit... I'm perfectly willing to pay $20-$30 a month (or whatever comparable amount a company with 1000 employees is paying per employee for that privlege), and also even a $25 co-pay to go see a doctor (let's say a $130 when you add in office visit, blood work, etc.. If the only insurance I can get has a deductible of $1000 - that's going to be totally useless for me as long as I'm healthly. It's only going to start covering something if I get majorly sick or hospitalized or whatever.
When my dad worked at General Electric in the 1980s, he'd go to the doctor, show his Blue Cross/Blue Shield card, and pay a co-pay of $15, everything else was covered. I'm perfectly willing to pay, like I said $20/$30 a month for that type of plan. But that's not available to me. I can buy a plan, but only with a large deductible that's not even going to come into play unless I get sick. If I want to find a zero-deductible plan, it's available for (get this!!! Only 4 dollars a day!!!!! That's $120 a month!.... I'm going to pay $120 a month! (That's $1440 a year) so that they'll pay for a $100 office visit?!?! I might as well just pay for the office visit out of my own pocket and get an (somewhat affordable) plan with a high deductible to cover if I get majorly sick, and harbor no illusions thats it's going to do me any good as long as I'm healthy..... This type of set up is discouraging people from getting preventative check-ups. Don't the major medical insurance companies (and the Obama Administration for that matter) know that if they pay for a little preventative now, it might save them from having to pay out millions for cancer treatment or other advanced treatments in the future for conditions that could have been prevented?
The current system discriminates against people that don't work for large businesses as more and more small businesses can't afford to provide affordable health care for their employees.... (not to mention self employed or under-employed or unemployed people)
Is it silly to think that Americans should be entitled to purchase affordable health insurance that will encourage them to get annual checkups? Instead you can buy insurance that's prohibitivly expensive and it will only do you any good if you get sick. If you want to get checkups you've got to pay out of your own pocket and the great unwashed masses are too busy spending their out of pocket money on extravagances such as food and electricity.
Oh and another thing there is a difference between being "poor" and just not having any money. Just because I'm broke doesn't mean I'm poor. Poor people go to the "free clinic" down there across the railroad tracks where they can go get their free condoms and the black teenage girls can go ask questions like "I can give oral sex and still be considered abstinent, right?" And they go down there with three screaming babies, ages, 3, 2 and 8 months, and they yell things like, "Be quiet, your Mama's gots to take a number, and I can't hear the lady calling the number if your screaming all the time!!!! Quiet or I'll whup you!" I'm not racist, I'm just sayin'.
That's all I want -- affordable health care so I can afford to go see my own doctor (in a safe suburban office setting, not in a state run "clinic" where I feel I have to sanitize my hands after touching the counter).... so I don't have to wind up down there on welfare row with all the unwashed masses. Again, I may be broke, but I'm not poor.
(I mean even my example's not totally realistic or particularly helpful, if I pay the $20/month as in my example, I'm still going to pay $240/year so I can save on a $120 checkup? It just doesn't add up, I might as well just pay for the damn doctor out of my own pocket, to heck with the whole system... What does that say to the really "poor" people that couldn't possibly afford the $120 for a checkup? Either a.) don't get the checkup b.) save up and pay for the checkup just go without food for a week or c.) take your chances down at the clinic, just hope you don't get shot on your way down there or worse yet, get hepatitis or AIDS from a dirty needle. No thanks, I prefer my medical care on this side of the railroad tracks in a nice office with a fern in the waiting room and the musak playing Barry Manilow songs.....
The thing that frightens me about this is they can say all they want that the people who are happy with their insurance can keep the plan they have, while millions of uninsured use the new "govt" plan -- in about five years all these private plans will be out of business because they won't be able to compete with a massive government plan and then we will have "socialized health care" whether we want it or not. (If socialized health care is so good, how come Canadians come here to have surgeries?)
I have no problem with government putting money into sectors of the economy that need it to help on a short term basis, just the ultimate goal should be for those sectors to get healthy and not need government's help, not for government to get bigger and bigger. I don't care if you're talking about health care or the auto industry or whatever.... The Clinton-Obama liberals seems to think the ultimate goal, the perfect utopia, would be to have everything run by the government, and they must be right about everything, since George W was such an idiot over the last eight years, Democrats must be right!!!!!
If the government wants to help, privatize all the medicares and medicaids and everything now (and by privatize I don't mean give huge contracts to companies owned by Dick Cheney, either), and put all the money (tax money, ahem, "our" money) that it would cost to administrate these plans into subsidiszing the health care providers (so that after the insurance companies cut their reimbursement rates, the doctors can still afford to pay their overhead and pay off their enormous student loan debt from all those years of medical school and still make their Mercedes-Benz payments) , and let free market economy rule as the Aentas and Blue Cross/Blue Shields of the world compete to provide full coverage at competitive rates for every American at any safe clean independent providers offices all across this great land of ours.... (And another thing: Leave the decisions about what treaments to choose up to the doctor and the patient, in other words if after an x-ray the doctor thinks you need a CT scan for further detail, the insurance company can't say "We're not going to cover that" if the doctor thinks this patient needs it, then it's covered.
Two other areas of health care reform: 1. ) Malpractice tort reform......set a price on a human life at $500,000 --- if a doctor screws up so egregiously that someone dies, the most they can be sued for is $500,000 -- everyone says you can't put a value on human life, they why should they be able to sue for $8 million if there is no "value" on human life. Some doctors, particularly OB/GYN and neurosurgeons, have to pay so much in malpractice insurance that no wonder the whole system is screwed up. Doctors are human, if they are so negligent then bring criminal charges, otherwise there should be some common sense in the system.
2.) End of life care... we spend so much money on end of life care in the US as opposed to ther "civilized" countries. If for example someone is 86 years old and four organs failing, why do they spend so much keeping them alive for another three months when the quality of life isn't there. Do what they can to make them comfortable and not do unnecessary procedures to prolong the inevitable......Why anyone would want to lie there in a coma for four months with a feeding tube down their throat when they are going to die is beyond me, it's inhumane is what it is. I'm not saying withholding treatment for people who have the potential to get better. I'm talking about when there comes a point where someone is dying and they are spending money prolonging the suffering...
Just my two cents....
I mostly agree, but...:
First off, be very careful of your racism and your stereotyping of what you consider to be the "wrong side of the tracks" some ignorance shows.
The problem: Healthcare makes huge amounts of money for "mob-type" corporations, and as long as it is allowed to be abused in this way, healthcare in the USA will be nothing short of highway-robbery.
In my opinion: Healthcare needs to be totally limited to a private agreement between a patient and his/her physician(s), period. The government needs to subsidize that private relationship for those who need help. All thieving middlemen need to be taken out of the picture entirely, and the government probably should run all hospitals.
Medical lawsuits: It's easy to judge when you are not on the receiving end of blatant malpractice. That being said, a patient should be required to sign a contract where the patient agrees that medicine is not an exact science and that it has certain risks that the patient agrees to, therefore after signing, the patient has no recourse for lawsuit accept in certain "blatant malpractice situations".
Letting the elderly die: This is a huge problem of certain individuals of families who are selfish and do not wish to let their loved one die. Mostly, this is a problem of the more religious members of society, even though they declare not, they are horrifically afraid of death.
Compared to other countries, it seems we are getting a bad deal. We pay a larger percentage of our GDP into health-care, but get uneven service. Some who are against a government option fear a slippery-slope even though they don't like the current system. The slippery slope fear is that choice will go away and/or that they'll be subsidizing the poor. (Ironically, it's the Christian-led right who are often afraid of being the "good Samaritan".)
My thoughts? You ought to do more research into what public healthcare is like in actual respectable countries instead of just buying into the right-wing antigovernment narrative. In addition, realize that socialism isn't a dirty word and the free market isn't the solution to all the world's ills.
With all the profit made by providing nothing for something (try actually using your policy and see how long it takes for them to drop your coverage), insurance companies have been able to spend gobs of money lobbying (about $1.5M/day) to make sure public options are killed quickly and spread FUD about public health systems. Really, just try talking with a Canadian, Australian, anyone from western Europe, or anyone from one of the Scandinavian countries and explain to them what you have to do to get routine healthcare in the U.S. Expect a combination of shock, derision, laughter, and pity.
But from the general tone of your rant (glorious suburbia, KKKlinton, dirty HIV-infected poors/blacks, damn gummit, stupid lieberals) you're probably beyond help. All I can say is that you should stop identifying with Republicans (who have nothing but contempt for you anyway) and try to educate yourself. In my more naive days I used to style myself a libertarian, scorned Democrats/liberals, and bought into all the elegant-sounding nonsense about the free market. Reading a little history, psychology, and sociology is all it took to cure me of that.
That's $120 a month!
I'd envy that. I pay about $700 / month, plus copays and have a significant deductible. That's a huge chunk of my pay. But it's insurance. It's there to ensure that myself and my family have a chance to survive and react if some major catastrophe happens, not to subsidize our routine checkups. I've not had insurance most of my life, and had no trouble paying the doctors cash for things like that, even when I was poor and broke. But if I'd had to pay cash for a major surgery (while missing weeks or months of work, assuming I'd have a job and be able to work when I recovered), I'd've been out of luck without the insurance. It would be like the opposite of winning the lottery, only much more likely to happen. Insurance is gambling, and the odds are always in favor of the house, but having it may at least help if you hit the negative jackpot.
When I was poor and broke, I had state socialized healthcare (TennCare?) for awhile. I'd rather pay a large fraction of my income for real healthcare than that state-subsidized HMO. I think that the most modern treatments that they would allow were leeches and bloodletting, administered by spastic elementary-school dropouts, and then only if scheduled 6 months in advance (when do you plan to get sick next?) and only if all the forms had been filled out in triplicate and witnessed and notarized. It may be better in other countries, but here in the U.S., socialism has a long way to go to become effective. I'd prefer it for some things (including healthcare), but not unless it can be done reasonably. "Managed care" - thinking that you can schedule people's health problems, and have administrative clerks rather than doctors make medical diagnoses and decisions, is unreasonable.
in about five years all these private plans will be out of business because they won't be able to compete with a massive government plan
They can, do, and will compete favorably. They provide better care and customer service, including such things as access to relatively recent medical technology, capable medical professionals, and life-saving medications. True, it costs an arm and a leg, due to the fact that the whole system is built upon layers of extortion, middlemen, and lawyers, but most people have two arms and two legs. With the government plan, they'd probably get amputated by accident anyway.