The Insanity of the US Health Care System

As much as you right-wingers denounce a universal healthcare system as communism, you offer no counter to the claim that for-profit health care is inherently evil.

Consider the story of Mary Rose Derks, as told by that flagship of leftist journalism, The New York Times:
Mary Rose Derks was a 65-year-old widow in 1990, when she began preparing for the day she could no longer care for herself. Every month, out of her grocery fund, she scrimped together about $100 for an insurance policy that promised to pay eventually for a room in an assisted living home.

But when she filed a claim with her insurer, Conseco, it said she had waited too long. Then it said Beehive Homes was not an approved facility, despite its state license. Eventually, Conseco argued that Mrs. Derks was not sufficiently infirm, despite her early-stage dementia and the 37 pills she takes each day.

After more than four years, Mrs. Derks, now 81, has yet to receive a penny from Conseco, while her family has paid about $70,000. Her daughter has sent Conseco dozens of bulky envelopes and spent hours on the phone. Each time the answer is the same: Denied.

The same is true of tens of thousands of elderly Americans, and this doesn't include those who couldn't afford to purchase insurance policies in the first place. Among the most common reason for bankrupcy filings in the US is an inability to pay medical bills. Studies show that the nation would actually SAVE money by instituting a single-payer system with for-profit insurance agencies supplementing coverage.

The powerful insurance and medical lobbies are one thing, but a majority of Americans want universal healthcare. Among US citizens, only those on the very fringes of political thought - roughly the same percentage as those who still support the Bush administration - are against it.

In every other "developed" nation on the planet, if you get sick, you can go to the doctor, no matter how rich you are. Why not in America? Because greed is more important than humanity.


Paul Hue said...

Nadir writes: ===================
you offer no counter to the claim that for-profit health care is inherently evil

We do so all the time. We do not consider it evil for people to take care of themselves, and for governments to enable them to do so.

Nor do we assert that capitalism will produce a perfect heaven on this earth. Only communists such as Hugo Chavez make this claim.

Nor do we claim that no health provider will not cheat its customers. In such a case we want govt agents to intervene and enforce contracts.

We do claim that capitalism will produce better than will communism, a better overall result.

Paul Hue said...

I am certain that there exists a best solution for healthcare, and that this solution involves free market capitalism, overseen, enforced, and officiated by govt employees.

Some of the major problems attending this issue lies outside of socialism vs. capitalism. The problem to which I refer is the perception by Americans that toxic, invasive, high tech medical intervention represents a best choice, rather than the choice of last resort. Thus we are trying to pay for too much with our healthcare dollars.

Another problem is that even within the free market systems enacted presently, people who make different health choices all expect to pay the same when receiving a benefit: very little. Thus average Americans try to "get the most that they can" by taking lots of doctor visits, lots of tests, and lots of drugs. After all, for the $2,000 or whatever they pay annually, the more they get, the better the value. This drives up everybody's premium. If I want insurance, I have to pay the same $2k annually as somebody who goes to the dr everytime he gets a cold, and always wants a drug. If instead we cut premiums and started charging for the visits, people would make more intelligent choices about doctor visits and treatments.