Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

On Health Care

I seem to have posted on this before, but now SICKO, a Michael Moore film, is going to premiere this weekend, and it's on the national radar again. If the Democrats in Congress can find their spine, we might have a decent national debate.

Maybe we need to organize a march on Washington by Chiropractors.

Anyway, We will hear (have started hearing) a lot about long waiting lists in single-payer countries, etc. BUT you won't hear the fact that in France, Canada, and England, they have more doctors per thousand population than in America, that a poll in England showed that 98% of the population and 95% of the doctors prefer their system to ours, and that they have lower mortality rates at every age than we do. The U. S. has the 28th. longest life span in the world.

Yet our system is the most expensive and the least efficient.

I heard on the radio a while ago that a large number of English people have private supplemental insurance. Fine. Here, we have "medigap" insurance, to close the gap between what Medicare pays and what the desired care costs. Yet Medicare is the best, most efficient health care system in the country. We have heard a proposal put forth many times to eliminate the age restriction and have Medicare available to everyone in the country. I would certainly sign up, and I'd probably get supplemental insurance to go with it.

With a system like that in place we wouldn't have corporate bean counters telling us that we can't have certain medicines or certain procedures that we need to save our lives and overruling the opinions of doctors. We feared bureaucrats, but we got the same people in charge, just with different job titles. Same job, different employer.

So what is so great about the system we have that leaves over 45 million people with no health coverage, that causes American manufacturers to operate at a disadvantage because overseas competitors don't have to cover employees' insurance premiums, that causes people to go to Canada for their prescription medicines because they can't afford American prices, that encourages drug manufacturers to stop looking for new treatments and just tweak old drugs to make more money (thus we have ten meds for one ailment, and we have Nexxium, which is just repackaged Prilosec)?

I say it's time to discuss a new way of looking at the situation, and we might start by looking at EVERY OTHER CIVILIZED NATION IN THE WORLD, and see what they know that we don't. Of course, no system devised by human beings is perfect. Thus, we have the opportunity to see what weaknesses there are in other systems and try to do something better.

Still almost anything would be better than the clusterf*** we have now.


Post a Comment

<< Home