Saturday, September 5, 2009

Health Care Reform

Please watch the videos, then hit the back button and read what I have to say.

Watch this to get the real truth about Canadian healthcare from the horse's mouth, supported by factual data, rather than the propaganda and lies promoted as truth by our insurance companies who are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their current status of power and level of profit.

Health Insurance
The propaganda being used by the insurance industries is called product defense, which was once very effectively used by tobacco companies - no difference. It's also currently being used by chemical and energy companies, as well. Think of who benefits the most from the status quo, and follow the money.

In the case of health care, here are additional facts to add to those you learned about from the video: 60% of all US bankruptcies are for medical reasons and, of those, 75% are for people who HAD medical insurance. It's rather obvious the status quo doesn't benefit the people; it benefits insurance companies who run up profits by offering physicians incentives to order unnecessary, expensive tests. The US health insurance companies are the ones who use cost-benefit analysis to determine whether or not to deny treatment and medicine to their insured, number crunchers essentially deciding who lives or dies. This has happened to me, my father and many other people I know.

Even if they don't deny care, then they are so slow in paying their claims, patients often end up in collections, which affects their credit rating. When this happens the patient must spend hours and, literally, days trying to call, fax, mail all parties involved to rectify the situation. Many patients don't have that kind of time, especially not in this economy in which many people are working 2-3 jobs to pay for necessities. This has happened to me and many other people I know. The insurance companies are also the ones who have chosen to pay doctors based upon a system in which they're required to see huge quantities of patients as if we were in a cattle call, rather than use a quality of care-based system.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with many of the 9.7% currently unemployed "schmucks" ( who are being marginalized and portrayed as lazy people who really don't want to work, most of whom do not have, nor can they afford the high cost of, health care and insurance. I have been there, so this really angers me, since I've been working since age 13. All working people, especially the unemployed, also face the issue of pre-existing conditions. People who would prefer to change jobs are trapped if they have an illness listed under insurance companies' pre-existing conditions clauses. Insurance companies utilize this way to deny the right to affordable health care to even more millions of human beings as a method of cost-cutting, while increasing corporate profits.

Health Care
As for our high quality of medical care, we rank below Cuba in infant mortality rate. We are also ranked below Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and most of Europe in both infant mortality and mortality for people age 15+ (both sexes). You can find these statistics in the CIA World Fact Book online and on the World Health Organization website. As for all the talk about socialized medicine in Europe, Germany's health care system is private.

I can personally attest to the not-so-high quality of health care in the US through direct experience since childhood. As a 7-year-old patient hospitalized for three weeks, I refused to take medicine I knew was not prescribed to me. The nurse got very angry, but she checked anyway, and found out I was right. The doctors at this hospital couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, released me into outpatient testing and care. My mother took me to the outpatient clinic for a short time to no avail, then took me to her best friend's doctor who determined what was wrong with a blood test. Many years later, I needed surgery and my doctor authorized a 48 hour stay in the hospital after the surgery. The hospital dismissed me after only 18 hours after spine surgery, telling me they needed my bed. Another time, as a newly-admitted patient in a hospital, I had a doctor come into my room to go over my current meds and he read off an incredibly long list of meds I'd never heard of and had been prescribed to another patient. Most recently, I was in a hospital and didn't see a doctor until 15 hours after I was admitted. By law my ER orders had been cancelled 12 hours after my admission, because a doctor is required to see patients within 12 hours of a patient's admission. Any medications or prescribed treatments are cancelled, essentially leaving the patient without any medical care. This could be potentially life-threatening, and the patient is still being billed for their hospitalization and "high-quality" of medical care. Honestly, if you or your loved ones end up in the hospital, please make certain there is always someone with the patient to look out for and protect them.

As for the experiences of people I know and love, my father would not have had multiple heart attacks after the initial one, if the attending physician at that decisive moment had not refused to do by-pass surgery on discriminatory grounds. He shortened my father's life, increased the number of heart attacks my father suffered thereafter, and increased the amount of heart damage and swelling around my father's heart by his refusal. I know this doctor caused enormous physical suffering and heart damage to my father, and because of this contributed to his death. When my father was dying in hospice, the insurance company decided he wasn't dying fast enough, so they made the hospice discharge him. My mother was forced to retire early and go on medicare, because of the extremely high cost of catastrophic medical illness. This is what I know of and have experienced personally, and this is only the tip of the iceburg of horror stories about American health care.

Does Any Citizen Benefit from the Status Quo in the Least?
The US health care system does not work well for so many employed, unemployed, insured, underinsured, and uninsured Americans. Which citizens does the US health insurance system work for, at least at a minimum? 1) The rich and powerful who can afford health care and who can also afford to go to another country to get necessary treatments and medicine; 2) Members of Congress, most of whom are guaranteed a lifetime of health care for serving either one 4-year term in the Senate or two 2-year terms in the House of Representatives, even if they are later tried and convicted of a crime; 3) Retired citizens who receive Medicare and/or fully-paid lifetime health insurance. This lifetime health insurance is being paid for by those currently working, who have seen increases to the cost of their own health care to pay for theirs. These current workers will never receive a pension or lifetime health insurance because most companies have gotten rid of these benefits for current employees (I don't understand why so many people put down the very same unions who fought for, and some of whose organizers and members even died, so that the average American, not just the rich and powerful, could receive these very same benefits).

Xenophobia, Marginalization and Health Care as a Human Right
Another major concern I have that is related to this is the recent trend in which ultra-conservative media outlets use hate propaganda to portray all African-Americans as lazy, shiftless, good-for-nothings and cast aspersions and doubt upon our duly-elected President, in order to incite violence against and marginalize these HUMAN BEINGS and to provoke someone to assassinate the President, all in order to further their own political causes. Some have even stated they hope President Obama fails, in which case our country would fail, as well.

All of this is racist and smacks of the tactics used in Hitler's pre-WWII Germany to unify its "master-race" citizens and incite hatred and distrust of its Jewish citizens who were HUMAN BEINGS, in order to promote agreement with and acceptance of the dehumanization and marginalization of the Jews. It is happening across Europe to the Roma people, and in Russia to immigrant workers from the former Soviet republics. This is similar to what has happened in our country to our own indigenous people, in Rwanda, Chechnya, and in many other countries. This trend of extremism, xenophobia and marginalization here and across the globe is extremely disturbing. I believe that many citizens of the United States have a deep and abiding appreciation for human rights, democracy, and ethics. However, it seems many other citizens are willing to look past the real reasons behind propaganda, and be persuaded by people who hate and will do anything to maintain and increase their position of wealth and power. I hope the majority of US citizens see the light before our country goes down that infamous path, once again.

Finally, the bottom line is that health care is not a choice or a commodity, it is a right that belongs to all human beings, regardless of age, sex, color, physical or intellectual ability, living condition, or bank account. Health care is a human right.

UPDATE 9/16/09:
Additional disturbing information has been recently reported about another pre-existing condition that health insurance companies have been using to deny insurance coverage to women: domestic violence! I find this marginalization and additional victimization of women absolutely egregious!!!

Additional links:

No comments:

Post a Comment

~ Thank you for visiting Palmer's Purview. I appreciate your sweet thoughts and kind comments. ~