Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anti Anxiety Remedy-It Does Harm, by Cris

From: A recent talk by Ralph Nader on Alternative Radio discussed the U.S. wealth care sytem. Yes, you can get a transcript at Ralph Nader, a longtime consumer advocate, might be too "radical" to be considered for political office, but that doesn't mean he doesn't know his subject matter. Remember, Ralph Nader has never been indicted for fraud-- unlike some of our political and health insurance luminaries. I listened to his talk today and learned some things I didn't know... For example, I knew Taiwan, Japan, Canada, the UK and all other civilized European countries had universal health care for all their people, but what I didn't know was that Israel, a tiny country that incidentally receives $3 billion in aid from the U.S.A., also provides universal health care to its people. Well, for that matter, so does Cuba. What I did already know before Mr. Nader mentioned it was the level of anxiety produced by medical bills. I saw it as a union steward, when the number one complaint by fellow union members was large and unexpected medical bills that they didn't understand, and couldn't pay, and bizarre coverage exclusions--such as diabetic test strips and insulin syringes. Fortunately, the union employed a health and welfare benefits person who knew the insurance game inside and out, and when I gave her number to the distressed union members, she made their bills disappear. Not everyone is so lucky. It's estimated that medical bills cause 60% of all U.S. bankrupties. Census data puts the number of Americans with no health insurance at about 45 million. What? I haven't seen a census taker at my door since the 1990's. How often do they update their figures? And BTW-- most people are out of their homes, at work all day, and sometimes on weekends. How do they get included in the census data? Do the thousands of homeless people in the USA get included in the census data? What about workers who get money sucked out of every pay check for wealth insurance but never use it because: 1. No doctors/dentists will accept their crappy inadequate insurance. 2. They can't afford the co-pays. 3. They can't find a doctor in their "network," and using an out of network doctor is too expensive. Do they get labeled insured, or uninsured? If you have employer provided health insurance, and you can't afford to use it, or you do use it and later you get bills you can't pay, so your medical bills get reported to the credit bureaus, your credit rating goes down... your anxiety level goes up, what then? Big Pharma to the rescue, with a bag full o' drugs--not to solve your problems, but to make you too numb to care. A single payer public health care program will cut costs, because opportunities to game the system by insurance industry fraudsters will be reduced by having one bill payer. One payer--directly to doctors and hospitals. Kick the HMO's out of medicare and medicaid. Pay the doctors directly--no more HMOs skimming profits, and denying basic care to sick people. Profit doesn't belong in health care because it does harm.

The Census Bureau continually surveys a random sample of people about health. That is how the statistics are gathered. The surveys go on all the time, week after week, in all years.
Thank you for the info and comment, Richard.

I was in a shop yesterday and noticed how overflowing full all the baskets with prescriptions were.


All Good Things,
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