“A common misconception is that the costs of health care are cheaper in rural America, when in fact the reality is that they are more expensive and more difficult to access.” - Blanche Lincoln U.S. Senator Arkansas
Health care reform is a political mess. It's a fact we need to reform the health care system but the political factions don't agree and the health insurance companies are spending millions lobbying the congress to do it their way which would benefit them at the cost to the consumer. While the debate rages, across the country people die and sick people don't have the care needed. Who are those people? They are the poor, the guy working in the gas station, the farm worker, the shoe salesman and the pastry chef. They are, kids, moms, dads, husbands and wives. They are the small business, like the local tree trimmer, the home contractor, the karate school, the beverage distributor, they are all Americans from every walk of life. Just look around and you will see them, they are your friends and neighbors.
We need reform because the health insurance companies are in it for profit at the cost of lives. They deny people who have paid their premiums and who think they are covered, they drop people when they need the insurance the most, when they are sick. They charge exorbitant premiums to individuals and exploit the system.
I looked up the cost of health insurance for my wife if I died. As a NYC school teacher I have had great coverage and now retired I have medicaid and my supplemental coverage so we are okay. My wife, a self employed artist, has no insurance of her own. If I were to die she would have ninety days of coverage and then she's on her own. From what I found she would have to pay between five hundred to one thousand dollars a month depending on the coverage. Pay less get less coverage and pay more and get more coverage. For five hundred dollars a month the coverage is pretty thin. Of course any pre-existing conditions would not be covered and god forbid she gets sick she could be dropped. This is not health insurance coverage it is blackmail.
We need something better than this. The health insurance companies are virtually holding people hostage and are little better that criminal entities Their actions have been responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people they have denied coverage to people who paid their exorbitant premiums under the delusion they were covered. Many people argue that competition alone will make the difference, such as a recent attendee at a town hall meeting by Rep Michael McMahon NY.
..."if we allow insurance companies to insure across state lines, the competition will force a decrease in health costs, competition works". -Vinnie Cusimano, Staten Island NY
Competition across state lines may help and make a difference but a universal plan that allows people to buy into medicare or the government health plan that our congressmen have would be better. It is time Americans have the protection that all the other western industrial countries in the world have, health care for all their citizens. The lies about the British health care system, the French and the Canadian systems are scare tactics designed to support the health insurance companies, those systems for the most part work and work well. Doctors are paid well and people are treated.
One group that was victimized by the the health insurance industries, is seniors, financed propaganda machine and touted by the Republicans was that of death panels and reduced coverage for seniors. It was a disgusting display of creating fear and uncertainty in a population on fixed incomes and reliant on medicare. It has been the Republicans that tried to dismantle Medicare, it was the Republicans the created the donut hole that inflicts a financial burden on seniors for prescription coverage when they can least afford it, that was supported by the health insurance in collusion with the Bush administration.
Universal health insurance coverage for all Americans is an idea whose time have come and while the misinformation machine is working overtime the truth is if we don't get it now it is a major victory to the health insurance industry and they will grow stronger and they will victimize the poorest and most neediest of Americans. The American health care system will become a disgrace and embarrassment to this country if not already, one the rest of the world will see is based on greed and not on what it should be, based on a caring nation providing every citizen with the level of protection that can allow them to sleep at night and not wake up in the middle of the night hoping they or their children don't get sick.
Whether you agree or disagree listen to the video, judge for yourself, do you want to put your life and the lives of your loved ones into the hands of these people. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07312009/watch.html
Wendell Potter part 1
Wendell Potter on Bill Moyer part 2
Keith Obermann's Impassioned comment on health care in America.