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It's Too Late For Thinking
The things that come to mind at 2 am
Supporting something I care deeply about 
11th-Aug-2009 06:43 am
Last night was the first time I saw a "scare tactic" commercial regarding health care reform. It made me laugh because the things it said would happen were so incredibly ridiculous!! So I am passing along a link to the white house's video page regarding the reform that Obama wants to see.

I am/was one of the nearly fifty million people in the US that cannot afford health care. I keep hoping something will be done so that I can have a family doctor one day, a family dentist. I keep hoping that one day, I won't have to self-medicate and home-remedy my way back to health. I say "am/was" up there because for the last year, Klaw and I have had *some* insurance. It covers accidents and injuries, not routine medical procedures nor simple things like annual physicals. Dental would be five hundred dollars more a semester.

I am not going to dwell on it because it angers me too much. Special interest groups don't care about my hopes, they only care about their profit margins and health care reform threatens that, not the lives of seniors or the ability of small businesses to provide insurance for their employees. The best one I've heard is (how can people buy into this?!) that suddenly some Big Brother entity will decide who lives and who dies. At the moment, something already does that. The poor die while the rich live because the poor can't afford preventive care while the rich can.
Consulting the Map 
11th-Aug-2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you for such an eloquent post. I'm in the same boat. California has/had the "Healthy Families" program that is about to go by the wayside, covering the basics for children. My crap insurance from Disneyland was like yours at school. Because I had cancer, it costs close to $400 a month for premiums just for me. I can't afford that. We can't afford that.

I want to know when the U.S. became a country run by the corporate interests. It's so unfair.
11th-Aug-2009 08:58 pm (UTC)
All I know about the subject is there's a large debate over how to do it, and lots of congress(wo)men were mad that Obama wanted to get it done a couple of weeks ago. As I told DLH, Obama had to start pushing it through, because if he didn't, it'll never happen.
11th-Aug-2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, so many people are in the same boat in the US, even couples with kids where both parents are working.
From this side of the pond it seems difficult to believe. Over here, "social security" means something. We even take it for granted. Going to your GP used to be fully-refunded and people were in uproar when it went to 1€. Going to the dentist is the same, unless you need something like a bridge, in which case it can be expensive. Glasses can be a bit expensive too. But otherwise medical or hospital treatment is all taken care of by the state ( = by everybody's high taxes) , unless you choose to go private, obviously. But why should you ? The best hospitals are the public hospitals (so far anyway...).

I have a Texan "friend" on Facebook, who's currently vociferating against the Obama plan. She's 35. Her husband owns several car and motorbike dealerships, they just bought their second home. She doesn't need to work. Her comment is: why should she "pay" for everybody else?

Boeluen's 2 years of cancer treatment at home and at the hospital didn't cost us more than 300€. And by treatment I mean everything from x-rays and CT-scans to the weekly blood checks, chemotherapy, all kinds of medication, etc. The taxi to and from the hospital was taken care of except for 1€. My supplementary medical even paid for her meals while at the hospital. And also, social security meant she had some kind of replacement income for 2 years. Not a massive replacement, since she had just set up her company and couldn't prove past income, but still...

Who wouldn't wish to pay taxes under such a system? It benefits everyone.

Sorry about the rant but this issue angers me.
11th-Aug-2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately for us, there are a lot of Americans who buy into the myth of rugged individualism, when the truth is that the frontier was closed over 100 years ago. I think that myth allows people to disregard social responsibility, until a major illness happens to them and then they wonder how they are going to pay for it - even with insurance, we had to file for BK in the 1990's because my bills were so high and disability pay from the state was so minimal. That's one of the reasons I'm all over this issue.

The truth is that the healthcare insurance companies are much less efficient than Medicare, which is the government run program for the elderly and indigent. Medicare used 3% of every funding dollar on administrative costs. Private insurers use an average of 27% of every funding dollar for administrative costs. Yet the lobbyists for the private insurers are the ones who are perpetuating the myth that government run health care will be expensive, inefficient, and a nightmare for individual citizens. They simply don't want to lose their profit margins. I'm sorry, but the necessities in life need to be regulated. Medicine should not be a "for profit" industry with shareholders demanding a bigger return on investment.

I've had friends argue that those who want to can voluntarilly donate money to the government to pay for the healthcare of those who are without the means to do it themselves, but please. I don't know why, but people in this country don't want to do the right thing unless they're forced to do so by legislation. And then they try to override it with ballot propositions, as in the case of gay marriage. It's embarrassing to be American at times.
12th-Aug-2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
No apologies necessary, Froggy.
11th-Aug-2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, tell me about it. I started hearing this awhile ago from my grandma, then later from another friend (who believes it) - unfortunately with those two, there is no way humanly possible to make them listen to reason - but this morning I did see our local tv station hold an interview with someone talking sense about the health care reform, explaining that in the short term (1 year) it might cost insurance companies more, but over the long term it would save them a whole bunch (he gave an estimate the insurance companies give that preventative care saves a dollar for every three later, though I would say, prolly more, and you live). He talked about other stuff too... While I was happy that they were bringing forward a voice for reason (rather needed here in super conservative central), I kinda wished he'd had more coffee, since he was sorta sitting there like a lump...
Have only just come out of having no insurance, and I shudder each time I hear someone ask why we need to fix the 'best health care in the world' (to which the flippant side of me wants to ask them what we are doing trying to change Sweden's health care, when I thought it was Iraq and Afghanistan we were supposed to helping...)
12th-Aug-2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
*ded* I think you should answer out loud next time, just to see their face.
11th-Aug-2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
Somehow, tons of other developed nations around the world have had a socialised healthcare system as a staple part of their society for decades, and so far, no Big Brother entity has had a say in who lives or dies.

We do take what we have for granted - a few years back I fainted at the train station on my way to work, and the QR guys called an ambulence. I went to hospital, where they took blood, did the usual tests, did an ECG, all kinds of stuff, and I didn't have to pay a cent for it. Of course, it's a lot different here now after the liberal government pretty much raped medicare, but it's loads better than the alternative. You have to be earning under a certain amount to be eligible for a health care card, which entitles you to discounted medicine, free visits to the doctor, and free ambulence. If you earn over that set amount, then you pay for your visit, but you get the majority of your money back. Everyone is entitled to it.

My father is also on disability payments from the government, and my mother receives carer payment as well. It's a decent amount too, and payable on alternate fortnights, so every week they have money coming in. I've always believed that that was what governments are for. To run the country, and help the people that need help. The majority of people benefit from a social healthcare system, so it seems kind of a no-brainer to me, and, like Froggy, it angers me too that people can't see past their own selfish issues with their tax money going to someone else.
12th-Aug-2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link and post. All the scare tactics are aimed at people exactly like me. (We're covered. We pay too much. We don't get nearly enough coverage for our $$, but we are covered.)

I keep trying to post more, but it comes out all muddled. Suffice it to say, I am with you on hoping for some major change in the health care industry.

As the sister of a doctor, I'll add that the malpractice insurance industry is ANOTHER area where there are massive problems and the result is sky hight medical fees passed on to us. There has got to be a better way of protecting patients from bad doctors and doctors from suit-happy patients.
12th-Aug-2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
I will second that! I thought I had heard some people bring up the malpractice insurance plight at the beginning of all this but it has gotten lost in everything else that is being thrown out there. I hope that it is revisited because it does need to be addressed.
Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.