A Drop of Sanity Re Healthcare Reform

Posted: February 8th, 2011 by: h2

Now and then I come across a posting made by someone that is so perfect in terms of how it explains a problem I have to post the entire thing, with little further commentary. In general I’m not going get as much into specifics like this in the future, unless the points are exceptionally well and clearly stated, as this one is. RockyMtnGuy is a petroleum engineer from Canada, by the way.

This one is from TheOilDrum.com Feb 8, 2011 Drumbeat

RockyMtnGuy on February 8, 2011 – 10:22am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

“I’ve lived in a few countries, and in every single one of them, I paid tax in order to have health care on demand.” [quoted from a posting above this one]

In most countries, health care is considered an entitlement. If you live there, you are entitled to health care, although how it is paid for varies considerably.

It is like paying for the roads in the US. The US built a very impressive Interstate highway system. If you lived there, not paying for it was not an option. It came out of your taxes, or out of user fees such as gasoline taxes. Nobody had to sign up for the right to drive on an Interstate highway, nor did they have the right to opt out of the system on the grounds the didn’t want to use it. Everyone in the US can use the Interstate highways “for free” because not paying for them was not an option.

In other developed countries, the medical insurance programs are funded much like the US Interstate highway system. Not paying for them is not an option.

The difficulty the US has is that many people do not want to or cannot afford to pay for medical services – the 45 million people who do not have medical insurance. The real difficulty is that these people might well die due to lack of services, so there are systems such as “Medicaid” which pays for families with low incomes, and “Medicare” for people who are aged 65 and over, all funded by the taxpayer.

In the US, the insurance companies get to “cherry pick” the low-risk population and pay for about half of the total costs, and the government gets stuck with the other half of the costs incurred by the high-risk welfare and elderly population. In other countries, “cherry picking” is not allowed.

Cherry picking – the activity of pursuing the most lucrative, advantageous, or profitable among various options and leaving the less attractive ones for others.

You’ll note that not once did the American right admit to this truth. Nor did the American people as a whole perceive it, but that’s what happens when corporations control the media, and the only way to change that is by changing the laws. and the only way to change the laws is to ban lobbying in its present form, where there’s a rotating job circle, congress to lobbying groups/corporate employment.

How to fix it? How to restore some sanity and coherence to the discussion? Good question, and I don’t know the answer, all I know is that if you have brainwashed enough of the people enough of the time, and if you have a focused, profit driven agenda, the social body has a big problem.

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