Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We Don't Need Health Care *Reform* - We Need Health Care

Atrios asks "What's it all about then?"

I have a hard time writing about the health care situation because, as John says, I'm not even sure what it's about anymore. What's the Obama administration pushing for? What do they want? What's the bumper sticker you can take to the country, other than "health care reform."

Right now it seems to be "maybe, kinda, sorta, better than what exists now. Somehow."

How about - "America doesn't have health care, and it's time we got it"?

If you have millions of people who can't afford health insurance, and therefore can't afford regular health care for themselves and their children, including regular trips to the dentist, and if emergencies drive people into deep and dangerous debt - even people who do have health insurance plans - then you don't have health care. You have an expensive, greed-driven, let the unwealthy get sick and die - after you've sucked all their money away - system.

It's shameful that we are behind by decades every industrialized country on the planet. Absolutely shameful.

This personal story needs telling a hundred times. This is about me and my spouse:

My spouse is from Australia. Her sister still lives there. They both recently had similar, quite invasive (use your imagination) diagnostic medical procedures performed on their lovely selves, my spouse here in the U.S., using my work-based insurance, and sis in Australia, using their national, single payer system. Cost to spouse (and me) and sis', out of pocket:

Spouse: Roughly $3,000

Sister: $95.

My wife's sister doesn't have private insurance. She's just Australian. That means she's covered. Me and the wife - we have insurance. And it still cost us $3,000 out of pocket. That's a lot of freaking money! We took ages to pay it off. For a lot of people in this country who need tests like that - they simply couldn't get them at all.

Absolutely shameful.


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