HEALTHCARE CRISIS! - Who Gives A Dawdle?

(04/21/2005)

OPINION AND COMMENT Bob Weaver

The Bush administration continues to ignore the nation's real crisis - healthcare - opting to focus on problems with Social Security.

Serious healthcare reform is not even on the table, as fewer and fewer working citizens and families are unable to afford health insurance, and most major US companies admit they are not able to pay the premiums.

America is facing rapidly rising costs on health and pharmaceutical costs, not just the part of health care currently paid for by taxpayers.

The US government, despite "free trade" and "globalized markets," continues to protect the drug industry, while other-country citizens pay only a fraction of the costs.

A family coverage policy from BC/BS will soon cost $16,000 a year, if it is not already.

Insurance companies, providers and lawyers are all blaming each other.

America's traditional private health insurance system, in which workers get coverage through their employers, is unraveling.

General Motors now spends about $1,500 on health care for every car it produces.

The US health care system is wildly inefficient.

When government commences to address the issue, the vested parties go wild.

Someone, somewhere is making the bucks, and they're not used for helping the sick.

We spend far more per person on health care than any other country - 75 percent more than Canada or France - yet rank near the bottom among industrial countries in indicators from life expectancy to infant mortality.

The last time the feds got into healthcare reform, Hillary Clinton, was demonized.

The current system is based on cost-shifting. If has already crossed the line of being impractical and unfair.

Right-wing right-to-life proponents don't seem to give a dawdle about health care, only when it comes to pulling the plug.

We are moving toward a society in which the rich will get life-saving medical treatment and the rest won't.

Most Americans are now under-insured, their benefits dispensed by the insurance corporations right-hand agent - managed care.

More Americans have no insurance, about 50 million, and more are joining the ranks every day. Retirees who were told they will have health benefits for life, are being cut left and right.

There is an ideologically driven belief that government is always the problem and market competition is always the solution.

The United States has the most privatized, competitive health system in the advanced world.

The fact is that in health care, the private sector is often bloated and bureaucratic.

In health care, competition and personal choice can and does lead to higher costs and lower quality. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does.

It also has by far the highest costs, and many studies say some pretty bad results.

In the meantime, the Bush administration continues to rant about Social Security, which has funding problems, problems that pale in comparison to our nation's ability to effectively deliver healthcare services to our citizens.


Hur Herald ®from Sunny Cal
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