There has been, for some time, debate in the United States regarding healthcare “reform”, as our current system does not serve a fair percent of the population, and out of those served, many are “underinsured”. From Michael Moore’s Sicko to Howard Dean’s offer to present the issue in front of Congress, there is no doubt that the system is horribly, horribly broken.
I believe the issue is a systemic one, hinging on the broken premise that “private insurance”, that is, pay-for-play insurance funded by either direct periodic payments or employer contributions, is a far superior method of providing healthcare. A publically traded company has a primary obligation to its shareholders and their dividends. This is a bit of an issue with health insurance, as the “proven way” of increasing margins is denying coverage to people.
Health insurance (otherwise known as “coverage”) is meant to provide healthcare without substantial out of pocket expenses, in an effort to keep your average worker from going bankrupt in the case of a medical emergency. Unfortunately, ever since Dick Nixon handed us over to the HMOs with the “HMO Act”, we as a people have been at the mercy of an industry whose sole purpose is to deny the majority of claims for coverage. There have even been deaths reported when insurers have failed to cover life-saving procedures. Many, many more slip through the cracks in the form of people who cannot received preventative maintenance through regular checkups, instead using emergency rooms and clogging that part of the healthcare system when their problems have reached a critical point.
Unlike other civilized countries, the United States says that it supports the “free market”… except when it doesn’t. Supports fiscal responsibility … except when it doesn’t. The “free market” and government administered health care are not mutually excusive — just that private insurance has much higher cost due to its profit margins. Of course, the jackholes at the CATO institute would like you to believe that it’s oh-so-much-more-expensive … because “Private insurers incur administrative costs to make sure they (and their customers) aren’t getting ripped off.”. Sure does sound like you’re going to get *way* more false positives, as if you weren’t dealing with a “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” situation to begin with.
The fact of the matter is that as long as private insurance companies have to make a profit, their best interests are simply not to make you healthy or pay for anything to help you get healthier. Anything to that effect is purely coincidental. Their primary motivation is to juice you for money to feed their shareholders, not to make you healthier. Don’t listen to them, they’ll do their best to speak in reassuring tones and tell you about the “social good” and the “free market”. But trust me, they’ll step over your rotting corpse on the way to the bank, and won’t even give it a second thought.
Single payer insurance. Say it with me …