Oh wait! It is!
The annual Gross National Product is 17 trillion dollars and the amount spent on healthcare is
3.35 trillion dollars. (2017 estimated) So, approximately 1/5 of our nation's money is spent to fix
our ills, about 10,000$ each if you count everybody, including children.
10,000$. Not too bad...if we all had an equal share of the GNP!!!
But we do not, and it doesn't matter how you slice, fold, stretch and spread it, there's no way our 3/8 share
of the pie can cover the cost. No amount of complexity can change that. Obamacare was a step in the right
direction that needed to be a running long jump. From the start, it was known that the terribly flawed bill
that crawled out at the end of the legislative gauntlet was just a starting point. It would need to be modified
and improved if it was going to serve it's purpose in the long run. Naturally, instead of trying to help,
the Republicans did everything they could to degrade it, not caring at all that they were increasing
the number of Americans who are getting sick, going broke and dying.
You would think that during the 8 years they were ranting against Obamacare they would have thought to craft
a plan of their own. Even if they don't give a damn about our health, they had a powerful political motive to
show that they could out shine Obama. Just for the strategic advantage, why not assign a dozen congressional
aides to take all their talking points against Obamacare and put together something, anything?
They did not.
Somehow the idea never came up amongst several hundred senators and congressmen, their thousands of
aids, the conservative think tanks, or the countless thousands of right wingers working in the insurance and
healthcare industries with degrees in management of their specialty. Sounds crazy, yet here we are.
Do you think I'm being unfair when I call them the Party of Stupid?
And now that they have all the power, what they hastily slapped together is a 1.4 trillion$ tax break for
the wealthy thats only involvement with healthcare is the name and where the money is taken from.
Remember what I wrote on January 15 2017 on the first page of this site? "They win, we lose."
The Republicans believe that healthcare is a privilege bestowed upon individuals by a favorable
financial situation. I jiveth ye not, the newly crowned Miss America stated as much in her response to a
question during the contest! The fact that she is a scientist at the Nuclear Regulatory Commision didn't
give her the ability to understand how ludicrous the opinion is coming from a government employee.
With their usual rickety quazi-libertarian notions, they want us to believe that America needs to
get all the healthcare money from the citizens who are actually recieving the services and everybody
else gets to keep their money!
Sounds great until you break a leg and they kick you out of the emergency room when your debit card
melts from trying to suck 5,000$ out of your 123$ & 54¢ bank account!
Obviously, paying only when you get sick does not work. Even Paul Ryan can understand that (I hope).
The basic idea behind health insurance is to spread the high cost of treatment over a bunch of people
and a span of time. It works fine for a while, but there's an unfortunate side effect that rots the deal from
the inside: separating the patient from the cost causes him to not care how much it is, enabling greed
and fraud to blossom amongst the service providers. Increasing the price of insurance to compensate
normalizes not only the inflated charges, but the idea that they will naturally increase at a high rate.
This quickly puts the cost of care out of most people's reach, so they are forced to buy insurance.
WOO! HOO! More customers! Big Money!
Then greed infiltrates the insurance and people can't afford it anymore.
Attempting to suppress the escalation by putting some of the cost back on the patient poisons the
entire concept of insurance. If your 'co-pay' and 'deductable' are so high that you can't afford
them, the insurance is worthless. You'd be better off putting you monthly 'premium' (Do they call it
that because it sounds classier than 'payment'?) in a special 'OUCH!' bank account. Not only will you
have some money to pay for a broken leg, you will also save yourself and the doctor countless mind
numbing hours of phone calls and paper work. Just don't get cancer!
Finally, The Government has to step in to keep the whole mess afloat. This creates a perception of
unlimited $$$$$$$$$$$$ which breeds fraud on every level - patients, providers, manufacturers, insurers,
lawyers, bureaucrats, politicians - the laws themselves are infused with fraud! Institutionalized fraud!
That all happened a LONG time ago.
So here we are today with a humungus embarrassing garbage island healthcare system floundering
in an ocean of money.
The lesson to be learned from the American healthcare experience is that the only thing you get when
you plop a giant for-profit insurance industry on top is an endless paper blizzard for everybody to
shovel thru and a bunch of millionaire scammers.
And Australia, Canada, England, Japan, Switzerland - take the best elements from their systems and
assemble them into the world's best healthcare system. Take the burden off employers, dump the insurance
companies, forget all the libertarian 'free market' claptrap and face the fact that one of the costs of
being a member of a civilized nation is that you help those who can't help themselves. If you are rich,
you have benefitted more than most from our society, so even tho your 1/5 share paid to the healthcare
system is in the millions, keep in mind that if the customer base is limited to sick rich people only,
the advancement of medical science and technology would slow to a crawl, if not regress as expensive
equipment breaks down permanently and relatively rare drugs no longer make financial sense to produce.
And with a proper system in place, that 1/5 chunk of the GDP will shrink to 1/12 or less - same as
in Tiawan, because humans are physically the same everywhere.
The correct perspective is that there should be inherent advantages to being an American citizen.
Universal healthcare is a fundamental requirement for any nation that wants to call itself 'great'.
Consider the shameful alternative in which citizens are left to die of easily treatable ailments
simply because they don't have enuff money.
Like Homer Simpson said: "That's not America. That's not even Mexico."
Altho I deride our current healthcare system, you have to give credit to Obama for his historic,
even monumental achievement. It's not his fault that the assclown Republicans have been
vandalizing it from the beginning. Here is a brief refresher on the history
of the Affordable Care Act: Fareed Zacharia - Obamacare
Here's one from 2012 that lays out the basic situation very succinctly:
Ali Velshi & Fareed Zacharia on health care
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