OT: Health care in the US


Young people might find it hard to believe that folks didn't much worry about health care in the old days (i.e. 1940's, 50's). It wasn't cheap, but working adults managed it pretty easily. Even if one had a serious med emergency, it was like maybe having to contract for a new roof covering or buying a car. The financial ruin that the uninsured now face was pretty much unheard of.
Then came the "Miracles of Modern Medicine", like the iron lung. :-) Pretty soon there were all manner of new and very expensive med tests and procedures to guide/aid treatment.
Most employers eventually picked up on the fact that med insurance was an effective and logical perk.
Med costs continued to accelerate, the insurance industry decided to focus on ever-more-expensive full-coverage policies for those who could afford them (and to hell with those that couldn't).
Med insurance became a form of "social extortion": if you didn't have it, you were putting yourself and family in a position of unacceptable financial risk.
Price gouging eventually ran rampant. Price increases wildly in excess of those in other industries became the norm.
It wasn't enough for them. They found that hair-splitting legal teams could deny payment for treatment of anything that could be conceived of as a "pre-existing condition" (or other legalese), leaving much more money for their executive bonuses, etc.
Folks generally just pay the premiums, having little idea what med conditions are actually covered and which would not be. Something akin to paying out-the-nose for insurance that may -not- be insurance.
The medico's hate the insurance folk b/c they know they take 25-40% of the money out of the game and add nothing medical.
The insurance folk hate the medico's b/c they know they are always, busy, busy, busy running unnecessary tests, procedures, etc.
Europe, Canada, etc have functional if somewhat troublesome med coverage systems.
If both the private and public sectors were working properly, you could flip a coin. Or just leave things as they are. But private US health ins. has clearly failed, and gov't largely "belongs" to certain moneyed interests (witness the trillions for the alleged "Bank Bailout"). Such moneyed interests regularly pour millions of dollars into contributions and lobbying public officials. Their influence cannot rationally be denied.
Clearly Medicare is vastly more functional than private insurance in the US. But the population is terrorized re demon "socialized medicine": what would happen if a government program worked like the SEC worked with Madoff & Co.?
The country is insanely divided into contentious groups given to little more than sectarian bickering.
We are now in a position to window-dress (only) to avoid admitting defeat. Baucus appears to belong to Wellpoint. The Obama crew appears to belong to United Health Care. All of this spells D-E-N-I-A-L (of any real solution, and perhaps of the actual problem as well).
Why lie about it? Health care, like food and shelter, is one of the most important requirements of a society. To admit that we cannot manage it now might some day motivate folks to actually do something substantial about it.
I
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Why can't we have the same plan the Congress has? We are all footing the bill for their insurance. They hardly pay anything for their insurance and they make a lot of money. Even when they are voted out of office, they still keep their high class plan.
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Congress has no special plan(s). These are regular group plans, it is just that the group is so freaking huge and (more importantly) the government isn't required to make any money so they can pay a freaking huge percentage of the premium that it just looks special. Actually with the subsidies they are talking about, it might work out to be the same.
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you\'re taking up way too much space."
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wrote:

What the taxpaying public does not have available and is what Congress and some others in government have.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attending_Physician_of_the_United_States_Congress
Charlie
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