Friday, November 27, 2009

Health Care.

I keep seeing on the TV, "Call your Congressman and tell him we can't afford a Health Care Bill." My question is, "Why can every civilized country in the world afford Health Care for it's citizens - except the wealthiest country in the world, the United States?" Can anyone answer that question for me? Canada, the UK, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, France and on and on, if these countries can afford to cover their citizens why can't we? One of the reasons I believe is that Health Care in this country is so expensive, on the average twice what it costs in all those other countries. The average American spends $16,000 a year on Health Care, the average citizen in all those other countries? $8,000. So my question now is, "Why does it cost more here than everywhere else?"
An investigation into how other countries do it would seem to be an easy, inexpensive way to get the best, least costly Health Care system implemented here. Simply choose the best one or combination and voila, there you have it! Easy.
But to repeat the question, why so expensive here? It seems to me there are several reasons, the main one is that Health Care here is, unlike any other civilized country in the world, for profit. Think about that - should your health be at the mercy of someone who wants to make a profit from it? Unless you are either in the business of making a profit from it or have an extremely low I.Q, the obvious answer should be a resounding NO. Making a profit from my agony? From the misfortune and pain of your loved one? Can you imagine what people looking back a hundred years from now will say? They will be as unbelieving as we are nowadays about very young children working in mines and mills or about . The Health Care Industry is spending $1.4 million A DAY lobbying Congress!! Hospitals and Doctors advertise - spending millions of our health care dollars on advertising costs! Again the only country in the world to do so. Ever noticed advertising for drugs on TV? Of course you have, and you are probably sick of it too (Pun intended!) You'll be even more sick when you realize that the cost of those ads is about half the cost of the drugs! How hard is that to swallow?
Many Doctors own their own X-Ray, Cat Scan and MRI machines. Now, if you were a Doctor and had those machines in the basement or down the road, along with the huge payments to make for them, don't you think that it might be "Necessary" to have at least one of those tests done? I get an MRI done on my brain every year at a cost of $1,500.00. If I lived in Japan that same MRI would cost $98.00. The administration costs in all the countries I mentioned earlier, are around 3% to 4%. The same costs in the US - about 25% to 30%. It costs money to keep hundreds of clerks and bureaucrats sitting at desks figuring out ways to deny coverage and cancel insurance on those who have the effrontery to get sick and need to use their insurance! After all every dollar they don't spend on your care, is another dollar on their bottom line. The difference in Administration cost alone is 25% of the cost of our health care right there that could be saved. Add in the cost of the profit, and the cost of the "administrators" who are paid tens of millions of dollars, the advertising costs for drugs etc - all things not needed to take care of those needing health care and you are getting close to what it costs those other countries to take care of their sick. The Doctors would be helped as well, because they would not have to spend so much of their time filling out the endless forms that the Health Insurance companies force them to use. More savings.
I know, I know, we have the best health care in the world and we don't want to settle for less. Well guess what, yes we do, and so do all those other countries too! At least that is what they all say! An investigation by PBS who sent doctors to examine the health care systems in those countries found that the care was comparable to here. "As good and in some cases better", is what one Doctor said!
The stories that you hear about the health care being substandard elsewhere are just that - stories. Stories spread by the For Profit Health Care Industry here - part of that $1.4 million per day they spend to promote their industry and run down and denigrate others so you will be scared and refuse to accept "Socialised medicine". Or any other label they can attach to highly successful systems accepted by millions of people.
A couple of figures here - on a list of the top 50 countries for life expectancy, the US is 50th! (That is bottom - not top!) For infant mortality we are 33rd. All European countries and a surprising number of countries that I have hardly heard of, are above the US! Even Cuba is way above the US in both categories! Sounds to me like "Socialised medicine" may not be so bad after all, does it? Most of the people interviewed in those other countries were very happy with their health care. In fact some said they would not want their health coverage "To be like the US", they actually said that! They did not see how they would be able to afford it! There were Doctors working in those countries that had worked in the US and who preferred working where they were now.
I just wanted to put a few facts out there. Doing my little bit to straighten out some mishapprehensions.
Lets talk about it.