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... or very greedy, or very gullible on the issue of health care.  Clearly for executives of insurance companies greed is the predominant factor.  Small business owners (and many large ones) who oppose universal health care with a public option are simply stupid, since our current system of providing health insurance for workers through the private sector costs them far more than their competitors in other countries, and put us at a competitive disadvatage.  And the ordinary Joe and Jane the Plumber who rail against socialism and death panels and so forth and so on simply are extremely gullible.  Otherwise they would know that one of the the leading causes of  individual bankruptcies are the massive expenses of a family medical crisis, and many of those people had insurance.

(Also available at Booman Tribune)

We are told the United States the best health care system in the world.  Yet we spend 20% or more on administrative costs, when most other developed countries spend less than half that (heck in Taiwan they have a single payer system in which the administrative costs are 2%; those so-called inept Canadians with their "socialist" system spend 6%).  We don't have universal coverage.  We often have long waits to see specialists, when people in other countries often can see a specialist within the same day.  The scare tactic that health care is "rationed" in many other developed countries with universal health care coverage is simply a myth:

In France and Japan . . . patients can go to any doctor, any hospital, any traditional healer. There are no U.S.-style limits such as "in-network" lists of doctors or "pre-authorization" for surgery. You pick any doctor, you get treatment -- and insurance has to pay.

The truth is that if there is any rationing going on, it's already happening here in America.  And it is the insurance company bureaucrats who are making the decisions to deny coverage to protect their companies' profits:

When an insurance company denies coverage because of a pre-existing condition, it is rationing health care. When it "rescinds" coverage — telling a client with a serious, expensive medical issue that it is canceling his or her policy — it is rationing health care. When an insurance company refuses to pay for a particular procedure or medicine, it is rationing health care. When uninsured people are turned away from hospitals and doctors’ offices, health care is being rationed. (And if anybody thinks that doesn’t happen, remember those long lines in Los Angeles when doctors offered free care to the uninsured. That was a lot of suppressed demand for health care that people could not acquire through other means.)

Our health insurance premiums outpace the cost of inflation and wage growth and are expected to double by 2020.  And that's with companies that do their darnedest to not cover major medical conditions by the use of excluding people with pre-existing conditions (a somewhat broadly defined term) or the ugly process of rescission where insurance companies use any excuse to cancel your coverage, and where small businesses often see dramatic rises in their insurance costs from year to year.

And not just by insurance companies, but by states too cheap to fully fund their medicaid mandates, thus condemning many people to death if the procedure they need is not covered:

The truth is, healthcare is already rationed in the states – by individuals struggling to afford even basic cover, by companies negotiating (or refusing) benefits, by government agencies trying to balance budgets. For many years I lived in a state where the legislature ranked and rated, by price, procedures people on aid could receive, and refused to cover anything deemed too expensive. Even if, as the papers frequently reported, it meant letting adorable little children die. But since it is America, you can shop around. Just across the border in a different state, the legislature decreed that pre-existing conditions could not be excluded or made the subject of increased charges under insurance plans, leading me and many others to migrate a few miles to get a better deal.

And did you know that one in four families in America affected by a family member's cancer condition are delayed needed treatment due to cost barriers?  Or that in the last year one third of cancer patients in being treated in America cut pills or skipped doses of their medications?  That one quarter delayed a recommended cancer screening, and on fifth did not fill a prescription?  The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network does.

I wonder why more Americans don't know these facts?  Why doesn't our wonderful liberal media report the truth about how lousy are health care is compared to the rest of the developed world?  Why do they give more media attention to people spreading known lies about health care reform proposals than they do to informing us of the massive media effort of health insurance companies to make sure those lies get spread?

Those are all rhetorical questions by the way.

And what is the conservative solution to our health care mess?  Cutting more taxes and eliminating regulations on insurance companies and getting rid of the parts of our system that are already "socialized" (i.e., the VA system and Medicare for people over 65).  How many people outside of the folks who religiously watch Fox News sincerely believe that is the way to go?  And they call progressive demands for a public option to increase competition in the health care field and keep the insurance companies honest "socialism?"  I call their solution a prescription for mass murder by spreadsheet (to steal a phrase from nyceve).  The wealthy would continue to get the care we need.  The rest of us would pay for health care that was literally a con, because as soon as we really needed it the "fine print" in our unregulated insurance policies (assuming we had a policy) would find an exclusion which would allow our insurer to (sadly, of course) deny us the life saving medical treatment for which we and our loved ones thought we had paid.

But what about all the stifling of innovation that "socialized medicine" (i.e., universal health care coverage) would cause?  Isn't America better off with our system because it rewards medical innovation, despite the fact that not everyone can take advantage of these innovations?  Isn't our incredibly expensive and inefficient private system necessary in order to promote life saving technologies that other countries simply cannot match?  Well, not exactly:

The United States is home to groundbreaking medical research, but so are other countries with much lower cost structures. Any American who's had a hip or knee replacement is standing on French innovation. Deep-brain stimulation to treat depression is a Canadian breakthrough. Many of the wonder drugs promoted endlessly on American television, including Viagra,

The real question is why anyone still buys this bogus propaganda about "socialized medicine" and "death panels" and "rationing" when we already have the worst, most expensive health care system in the developed world. Maybe PT Barnum was right: there really is a sucker born every minute, and most of them seem to come out of the womb chanting USA! USA! USA!

Originally posted to Steven D on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

    by Steven D on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:19:53 AM PDT

  •  AWESOME diary. I hope this gets frontpaged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, SherwoodB

    but with a different title-- the title should be something like "health reform:  bogus propaganda and what you need to know to think clearly about the issues"

    ----which is clunky, but does more justice to what you lay out here.

  •  Greed is killing innocent Americans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, The Creator
  •  The Right is Very Stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Steven D

    And water is very wet.

    Remember, Dr. Colbert tells us that facts have a well known liberal bias. It is best to ignore them.

    Sarah Palin is attacking the Death Star Panel from her Rebel Snow Machine.

    by Bobs Telecaster on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:28:25 AM PDT

  •  USAUSAUSA! chant and "We're number one!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Steven D, grannycarol

    Is how almost every "discussion" ends when talking to a wingnut. You TRY and talk about the issues and they start getting glassy eyed and all confused like and then their widdle heads can't handle the calm, collected facts and they start thumping their chests and shout. "USAUSAUSANUMBERONENUMBERONE".

    Every freekin' time, baby.

    (((Steven D))))

    Few days ago at work a customer was visibly upset and shaken so I asked her what was up, did she want to share or need a hug. I'm a liberal, I'll hug any stranger. The stranger the better...

    So she tells me how her 40 yr old brother lost his job, has diabetes so he can't buy any insurance plan and has been in the ER two or three times in a few months due to coma like stuff due to diabetes. It sounded awful.  So I said I was sorry...

    She looked at me and said not to be sorry. She asked me, "do you know what he is doing right now?" I stammered... uh, trying to find a job with bennies?? She said he was out PROTESTING HEALTH CARE REFORM. He's out protesting the VERY THING THAT COULD SAVE HIS LIFE.

    She said that her and her brothers had to finally tell him that the next time was face down in the dirt due to his being uninsured he'd better call one of his Teabagging Buddies to take him to the ER and help him pay his bill.

    Why do these people protest the very thing they need? Because they are brainwashed by the GOP. They love to hate. It's easier than critical thought.


    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:31:38 AM PDT

    •  Zombies (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, Damnit Janet, Azazello

      They must be zombies.  Or they've all been brainwashed.  Makes you wonder if Ronald Reagan really was the Manchurian Candidate, because ever since his "ideology" took hold we've run this country into the ground.

      "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

      by Steven D on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:35:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ReZomblicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DaleA, Steven D

        Heh... My brother back in Boston saw a Zombie Protest and some had signs that said "Braaaaains Not Boommmmmmbs" :)

        I've decided to use Max Brooks Zombie Survival Guide as a tool to survive the ReZomblicans.

        I'm a peace activist who carries a big hockey stick ;) jk

        "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." ~Jimi Hendrix

        by Damnit Janet on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:38:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another unreconciled ideal of the right...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Steven D

    These same people who actually believe there are death panels and are offended to their core, will fight to the death for the freedom of trading human health as a commodity for profit.

    They have no moral qualms with the idea of human life and health (or lack of) being a profitable business.  That is okee dokee.  But, want the moral high ground on a fictitious death panel idea.

  •  americans really are dumb (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, Steven D, Azazello

    The average American is just gullible and not to bright. They hear it on fox and it's gospel. I am amazed that these people elected Obama and as soon as he does what he said he would do the country goes nuts.
    It's enough to make you give up.

  •  I had a similar experience (5+ / 0-)

    Talking to a conservative who is against anything Obama does.

    When I told her that the US is the only industrialized nation that does not have a universal health plan, I got attacked! "No it isn't. How can you say that?" As far as she was concerned, I just said the worst words posible. I implied that America was not the best.

    She then started asking, "France?" yep "Spain?" yep. and so on, until she actually asked, "Vietnam?"

    PS. I hug everyone, too.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

  •  Lies aren't stupid. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Azazello

    They'd lose if the truth were known.
    Their lies have passed beyond the usual believe-anything-bad-about-liberals base. They get to half or nearly half of the country.

    "I'm not opposed to all wars; I'm opposed to dumb wars." -- Obama in 2002

    by Frank Palmer on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 09:53:04 AM PDT

  •  it is very simple- the difference is (0+ / 0-)

    1000 of the country's most powerful radio stations used specifically to launder lobbyist and GOP and think tank talking points, distortions and myths.

    and unlike the soapbox in the part where you can get in the blowhard's face when he lies about your sister, most of these blowhards, and all the national ones, use call screeners to make sure their certitude is never questioned.

    and this on public airwaves from stations licensed to serve in the public interest. as long as this continues UNCONTESTED, without picketing and boycotts targeted to the local stations and their local sponsors the biggest soapbox in the country will remain UNCONTESTED to keep establishing credibility to their talking points through uncontested repetition, enabling trad media and politicians to repeat the same crap later and give a 50% share of democracy to 10%.

    it won't matter much what obama says or how many progressives correct out the lies if progressives continue to ignore the root of the problem and react only to the secondary effects, the media and politicians limbaugh and hannity and sons enable by creating a made to order constituency for whatever issue the GOP wants to push, compromise, or destroy.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

  •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

    for the rundown

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Tue Aug 25, 2009 at 11:51:28 AM PDT

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