For the last three years we have heard all kinds of debates about health care reform in the United States. It has been called Obamacare, Socialized medicine, death panels and the only other option is a free market solution. All these are just talking points and no one is getting to the real root of the problem, we have the most expensive health care system in the world with the worst results. That is only partially true, we do have the worst results, but that’s because we don’t have a health care system.
What we have in America is not a health care system, it’s a sick care system. We have some of the best doctors and medicines in the free world, yet we don’t live as long as they do in other countries and our infant mortality rate is 50% higher then other civilized countries. What are the other countries doing right that we are doing wrong? Our government spends more money on health care then countries like Canada, Japan, United Kingdom and most other countries. The difference is these countries have a universal health care system while our government only insures seniors and the poor.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain told the story about how he was diagnosed with cancer and treated, he said if we had universal health care he would be dead. That lie would be funny if it wasn’t sad that people have to make that choice every day in America. How many people ignore the symptoms because they lack insurance, wait till it’s to late and then go to the ER to find out they have cancer. After they find out that they have cancer, like Mr. Cain did, they will have to decide if they want to get treated. To someone like Mr. Cain who is rich and has great insurance that is an easy question to answer, to someone who lacks insurance they have to decide between getting treatment knowing that it will cost them their home and leave their family in debt. If this story happened in Canada or any other civilized country they could have seen a doctor when they first started feeling sick and been diagnosed early.
The big lies told by people who oppose universal health care is that it’s to expensive and lead to rationing. The rationing is the easiest to explain, right now you get right in to see a doctor because millions of Americans are not allowed in that line to see the same doctor. Is it really important that you get your care today and not have to wait one extra day if it means that 100’s of lives can be saved? The biggest lie about price is easy to prove wrong. Right now health care is almost 16% of all costs in America, it is much higher then any other country in the world and the US government already spends more money to cover a small percentage of the population then countries that cover every citizen.
When you cover every person with insurance it allows you to have a true health care system and do away with the sick care system. Diseases will be caught early and can be treated for a fraction of the price it will cost for end of life care. Right now the people who are lucky enough to have health insurance are paying for the millions who do not, if someone without insurance goes to the ER for treatment someone has to pay. If everyone is covered the costs of healthcare will immediately drop and the country can start moving toward preventive health.
What keeps us from moving in this direction? Money
Health care companies make record profits off the health of people, they can decide to let you die if it’s best for their bottom line. Former heads of insurance companies have even testified before congress that they deny coverage, knowing that the person will die, just to save some money and get a better bonus. Over 40K people die each year from health insurance decisions or lacking health insurance, that’s 10x more Americans then killed by terrorists each year. Why is it ok for an insurance company to kill someone to save money, but if a citizen kills someone it’s illegal? The answer is money, the health companies can spend millions of dollars to buy off politicians to allow them to keep their system in place. Politicians accept this blood money with open arms because they have the best health care in the free world and don’t have to ever worry about going millions in debt from getting sick.
Until we take money out of the equation things will never change, America is the only civilized country in the world that people have to choose between staying alive or the future of their family. We spend more and get worse results then countries with universal health care. I for one have no problem waiting an extra day or week to see a doctor if it means a mother will get to spend more time with her children, or a child will grow up and not have to worry about staying at a job they hate because it offers insurance. Our system makes us slaves to the big insurance companies and they get to decide who lives and who dies and not company should have that power. Making money off of the health of another human being is the lowest thing anyone can do and any insurance company that allowed a person to die to help their bottom line and increase their bonus. If corporations are people then they should be put in prison and given the death penalty, as should all the politicians who accepted their blood money to allow these terrorists to stay in business.