Thursday, November 15, 2007

How's That Health Care System Working For Ya?

Sometimes remarkable things happen in the American health care system. Sometimes Americans actually have health care insurance, and then sometimes that health care insurance actually pays for health care, and sometimes it even covers the medicine that is needed AND the hospitalization that might be required when someone is really sick.

Often a health insurer will reject claims for medical care. Some high-school dropout with a script in a cubicle will simply reject claims for treatment. The more claims the person rejects, the bigger his or her Christmas bonus. If the person rejects enough claims and saves the insurer enough money, they will eventually become a manager and their bonuses will increase exponentially.

I know it sounds cynical, but this is actually how health insurance works in the the United States.

Since our health care insurance system is an actuarial system and not a social system, then it is most important, no imperative that profit be guaranteed. So, we have a system that guarantees not health care but profit.

This has impacted not just a consumer's ability to be treated, but also a health care provider's ability to deliver care. Budgets in hospitals are slashed, and every procedure's necessity is reduced to a bottom line of its profitability, not its benefits.

Yes, the hospitals are suffering as much as the patients.

But, this is what the American people want. This is what the last seven presidential terms have brought us. Seven terms of administrations hell-bent on turning the citizenry over to a corporate structure instead of a social structure. There is no value in humanity beyond the ability to exploit it for profit.

So, hospitals are no longer places for the administration of medicine, they are factories for profiteering at the expense of medicine.

How's this working-out for your family. I sincerely hope it is working well. Fortunately, I am able to provide some semblance of health care for my family, but I know my employer spends as much money trying to decrease that benefit as they are willing to spend to increase it. That's what America said it wanted when they elected Reagan twice and followed that with electing fiscal lunatics who have left us mired in this mess.

At the beginning of this health care crisis, we were struck with the AIDS epidemic. Sadly, the Reagan administration saw no reason to address this health care crisis and the Clinton administration was left, ten years later, with a mess. Clinton's team did a commendable job addressing the crisis.

Unfortunately, the American people decided it was best to turn the nation back over to corporate fundamentalists, that Clinton's totally pro-business economic agenda didn't go far enough in exploiting humanity for all it's worth.

The current administration has succeeded in dismantling the health care system even further and there is actually an increase in AIDS cases since the current American president took office. This is what happens when the nation is run by religious zealots who think condoms are ineffective and abstinence is a viable plan.

It gets worse, of course. In Chicago recently, four patients who received transplants were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C.

That's right. We are not even able to monitor our organ banks anymore.

It had been over a decade since a transplant or transfusion patient was infected with HIV. The difference in those ten years? Corporate fundamentalists, cloaked in the Christus, dismantling what is left of the social fiber of our government and economy. All with the blessing of the voters.

Read about the incident in Chicago here.

When are you going to do something about the health care crisis in America? Will you wait until someone you know is killed by this mess?

Those of us who refuse to vote for progressive candidates doom ourselves to a future bleaker than my cynicism. Any vote for a Bush or Clinton or Obama or McCain is a vote for the status quo.

Work for change.

Dick Mac Recommends:

America Alone
Stefan Halper, Jonathan Clarke

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