Posts Tagged ‘health insurance’

Healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a human right. We champion this philosophy in our contentious book MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

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In a chapter devoted to the health insurance sector, appropriately titled “Health insurance – the devil’s in the detail,” we remind readers that officially, some 18,000 American citizens die every year for no better reason than not having an insurance card. Many have suggested that number is a very conservative estimate.

 

More on this in the following excerpt from Medical Industrial Complex:

Approximately 45 million US citizens, or one American in every seven, do not have health insurance and are therefore all at risk.

Here’s another statistic: besides being the number one cause in the US for bankruptcy, medical expenses are also the number one cause of homelessness.

The medical insurance system, which regularly tries to wriggle out of paying fully insured patients by using creative lawyers and loopholes buried in the fine print of contracts, is a big reason for all these horrifying statistics.

How many people have to die or suffer unnecessarily before logic finally sets in and everyone agrees too many citizens are falling thru the cracks in this corrupt user pays healthcare system?

It’s a really perverse world where we have almost unlimited military expenditure to finance wars, where our governments readily bail out privately-owned banks with multi-trillion dollar relief packages, and yet we cannot cover the measly costs of our own citizens’ basic healthcare.

People need to stop accepting the BS line that it’s all just “too expensive” for governments and that less fortunate individuals must cover every single Goddamn cost by themselves. The less fortunate individuals we refer to include the mentally ill, abuse victims, war vets, the disabled, many of the elderly, the unemployed and, in many cases, employed citizens struggling to make ends meet.

As with education, you can’t put a price on a population’s health. It should be any government’s first expenditure priority, not their last.

We will never have a civilized society until we create a fair and universal health system in which every man, woman and child – no matter their financial situation – has access to medical services when ill.

Hence our declaration that healthcare is not a privilege, it’s a human right.

 

For more on the perils of health insurance, see our blog of August 14.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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“If those unnecessary medical tests don’t kill you, perhaps your medical insurance bill will!” So begins a chapter devoted to the health insurance sector in our contentious book, MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures.

 

 

Titled “Health insurance – the devil’s in the detail,” the chapter reminds readers that allegations of corruption have been swirling around health insurers for years. An excerpt from the chapter follows…

One who intimately knows how the health insurance sector works is American Wendell Potter, a health insurance insider who shares his knowledge of the industry in a revealing article posted on the WantToKnow.info blog site. In it, Wendell claims he was “in a unique position to see not only how Wall Street analysts and investors influence decisions insurance company executives make but also how the industry has carried out behind-the-scenes PR and lobbying campaigns to kill or weaken any health care reform efforts that threatened insurers’ profitability”.

Wendell continues, “I also have seen how the industry’s practices – especially those of the for-profit insurers that are under constant pressure from Wall Street to meet their profit expectations – have contributed to the tragedy of nearly 50 million people being uninsured as well as to the growing number of Americans who, because insurers now require them to pay thousands of dollars out of their own pockets before their coverage kicks in – are underinsured. An estimated 25 million of us now fall into that category.

“What I saw happening over the past few years was a steady movement away from the concept of insurance and toward ‘individual responsibility,’ a term used a lot by insurers and their ideological allies. This is playing out as a continuous shifting of the financial burden of health care costs away from insurers and employers and onto the backs of individuals”.

Wendell concludes that rising medical bills mean fewer sick people are visiting their doctor or collecting prescriptions, and he predicts the future for many who become seriously ill will involve bankruptcy or foreclosure on their homes.

And, of course, that’s exactly what’s happening.

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“Unless you’re a Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country.” –American primary care physician Dr. Steffie Woolhandler

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When it comes to the US medical system at least, there is no “universal healthcare” service that covers every citizen. In theory, access to cheap or else employer-sponsored private health insurance is supposed to ensure virtually everybody’s covered, but what about the uninsured and the underinsured?

Call us naïve, but it seems to us that any civilized society should at least provide basic healthcare to every man, woman and child. Relying on private insurance seems like an obvious recipe for disaster. This insurance-to-fill-the-gaps approach guarantees collateral damage, including untold deaths.

Many politicians claim it would be far too expensive to provide universal healthcare, but don’t blink an eye as they sign off on several trillion dollars annually on military expenditure to keep the perpetual war machine rolling. Go figure!

Let’s not forget that many countries – like Japan, Australia, the UK, Sweden and New Zealand to name but a few – comfortably provide free, or at least heavily subsidized, healthcare for all their citizens without too much financial discomfort. So the argument from American politicians that universal healthcare would bankrupt the country just does not hold up.

This healthcare disparity between the US and the rest of the (developed) world was covered in no uncertain terms in a June 2012 article in The Atlantic. Headlined ‘Here’s a Map of the Countries That Provide Universal Health Care (America’s Still Not on It)’ the article’s very first line says it all. It reads, “The U.S. stands almost entirely alone among developed nations that lack universal health care.”

The map referred to is a world map that highlighted those countries which provided (and still provide) free or heavily subsidized healthcare for all their citizens. Around half the world’s countries were highlighted, which no doubt surprised many American readers.

The article points out that universal healthcare is available “from Europe to the Asian powerhouses to South America’s southern cone to the Anglophone states of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. The only developed outliers are a few still-troubled Balkan states, the Soviet-style autocracy of Belarus, and the U.S. of A., the richest nation in the world”.

T.B.C.

 

Medical Industrial Complex  is Book #3 in The Underground Knowledge Series  and is available exclusively via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MEDICAL-INDUSTRIAL-COMPLEX-Suppressed-Underground-ebook/dp/B00Y8Y3TUM/

 

MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The $ickness Industry, Big Pharma and Suppressed Cures (The Underground Knowledge Series Book 3)

 

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Interim results of the latest poll in our Underground Knowledge discussion group on Goodreads.com  show that most respondents believe citizens should not  have to pay for health care. 

In response to the question Do you think universal (free) health care should be provided to all citizens?  more than three-quarters of respondents to date answered in the affirmative.

Interim results show that 77% say YES, only 15% say NO, and 8% are UNSURE.

Poll respondents’ comments make for interesting reading. Here’s some of those comments:

The big problem here is not the insurance or mass healthcare systems, rather, it is the drug companies making bank off of human fraility. I am certain we have all heard of seniors in the US making trips to Canadia and Mexico (often illegally) to buy their medications just over the border because they cannot afford them here in the US.

I voted no because who is going to pay for it? Right now i am paying out the ass for my i nsurance and those too lazy to work or illegals. (Truly disabled people not included in this rant).    

That is the real problem. That is the real cost of healthcare. Medications. Prescriptions. And for what? It wouldn’t be so bad if that money funneled back into research, but it doesn’t. It pads pockets too far up the line to even make a difference to the end-user. THAT is the biggest atrocity with healthcare, and why people over a certain age are considered “too old” to receive treatments. It boils down to a cost/benefit analysis.   

Is there any reason not to help save people’s lives?   

Education and health care should both be free. That is the only way to have an equal opportunity regardless of income. Unfortunately, it is like feeding 30 people from your one rice bowl. All 30 starve, because the math doesn’t add up.   

Even though I am disabled and have been for a number of years, and pay nothing (now) for my health insurance I voted No. Because someway, somehow, someone is going to pay for the treatment and the “free” healthcare.

There is MORE THAN ENOUGH resources and public wealth available to cover all citizens who cannot afford healthcare. Period. To believe otherwise would be Myth #1 in my book.

“Unless you’re a Warren Buffet or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country.” –Dr. Steffie Woolhandler

I recommend watching Michael Moore’s documentary on US healthcare called SICKO. You can watch a 2 minute trailer here: https://www.goodreads.com/videos/8381…
I thought Moore made some very good points in this documentary about the sorry state of America’s health system. 

The US can easily afford universal healthcare and various other social welfare investment just like the UK, Canada Australia and even Russia and China have, but it’s instead spending trillions annually on the Military Industrial Complex in all these silly “wars” e.g. The War on Terror (which nobody understands).

 

Poll ends March

To view all the comments, or better still to have YOUR say, go to: https://www.goodreads.com/poll/list/142309-underground-knowledge—a-discussion-group?type=group

 

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