Sunday, August 30, 2009

health care reform

I have been thinking a lot about it, as I recovered from the flu. I keep wondering why someone doesn't show me how much money I will be saving with reform?

Right now, if you work they take medicare payments from your check - and you are not able to use it - so you're paying for insurance you can't use. When you can "qualify" for Medicare you still have to pay for it, and then pay out of pocket for the things that Medicare does NOT cover.

Then, if you are not on Medicare and still working, you are paying a premium for health insurance from a private company to insure yourself and your family. Most medical insurance policies dicatate that you have to pay a co-pay and a deductible when you do use your insurance, and there are limits on who takes the insurance, which hospitals you can go to and how much of your illness will or will not be considered "medically necessary" so you might have to pay even more. Some even are specific to locale, meaning there is no coverage, or limited coverage if you venture out of the "service area"

If you have a previously diagnoised illness it might not be covered, no matter how much you have paid into the system.

Some medical insurance has attached a prescription plans, others do not. Some cover glasses and dental work. No insurance I know if covers hearing aids, yet just as many people have hearing aids as do glasses any more. You don't get your medications for free, instead American citizens have to spend retail dollars to keep the American drug manufacturers "solvent" by paying the highest prices in the western world for drugs that can be bought much cheaper in other countries. Ah yes, you can get them discounted at specific pharmacies, but my question is if ONE pharmacy can sill make money selling the drugs that much cheaper why are we allowing other pharmicies to charge more for them?

So we let the pharmaceutical cojmpanies tell us what we can use and how much we can pay for it. We let the doctor's dictate where we can go for treatment and because they all don't accept the same insurance, and if you want Dr. X you have to go when he allows you to go when you need hospitalization. We have to stay within a rationed system of care going only to the places deemed acceptable to the insurer and doctor. And even doing so, we have to decide how much care we can afford to "buy".

Now...which part of this grand system seems better to you than paying ONE insurance premium via taxes and receiving 100% fee free care for ANY and ALL medical problems? Additionally , we would not be limited to location of service or the number of times that service is rendered.

How much,I wonder, does the accumulated cost per citizen in medicare cost, medicare usage fee, supplemental insurance, private health, dental and prescription premiums differ from any citizen paying no other fees, but their taxes for comprehansive health care? Has someone compared the numbers? The costs? If so, why the hell NOT?

There are some available comparisons of cost between the cost of government supplied insurance for all versus the mess of private and public programs we have in the USA. The USA currently spends 17% of its Gross National Product for health care and only effectively covers about 68% of the population. All other industrialized nations have government supplied healthcare and cover 100% of the population. As a portion of Gross National Product Japan spends 7%, France 11%, Netherlands 9% with the other nations running 8% to 11%. In essence the US current system costs would cost about 260% of any other industrialized nations costs to cover 100% of our population.

The solution of government supplied healthcare is obviously much more efficient but this would hurt the insurance companies and their Republican until the politics change we will continue to send the insurance companies TRILLIONS of dollars....
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