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The Nightmare of Medical Care in America

The Nightmare of Medical Care in America

Beverly Gologorsky

On this extremely hot summer day, the ear-splitting siren screaming through New York’s streets is coming from the ambulance I’m in -- on a gurney on my way to the ER. That only makes the siren, loud as it is, all the more alarming.

I fell. The pain, its location and intensity, suggests I’ve probably broken my hip.

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This is the message which insurance companies and their bought politicians don’t want you to understand.

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…and why people like Nancy Pelosi, whose major donors are from the health care industry, keep asking: “How are you going to pay for it?” She knows how, but simply refuses to acknowledge that exorbitant CEO salaries are not an essential party of good health for all…

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And neither are the clerical workers, sales force, actuaries, office buildings, advertising and stock buybacks.

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Not to mention that whenever you pay an insurance company premium, some of that money is used to bribe the politicians that stack the deck in favor of insurance companies and who you now see gunning against you when you demand Medicare for all !

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With single payer or Medicare for All there would be no more Medicaid or MediCal that has to be paid back to the state after you die. The way it is now, the state will put a lien on your house and take any savings or insurance you have, to pay for bills incurred while you were on those programs. Your children could very well end up getting nothing from you when you die. This is totally unfair to people who don’t have money for adequate health insurance, but who have managed to buy or inherit a house that they want to pass on to their children. It’s another way to keep the lower income people down.

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And their biased media. Don’t forget them. Media fairness is a thing of the past.

The Vichy Democrats aren’t any help, either.

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The difference between full coverage single-payer and Medicare is critical.

Ms. G. does not have Medicare. (She seems to be Medicare-eligible, but does not say
so explicitly.) She seems to have a “Medicare Advantage Plan” which is an HMO run by a for-profit insurance corporation - with all of the problems that for-profit health care insurance brings.

These for-profit HMOs are deceptively called “Medicare” plans.

About 34 percent of Medicare-eligible people are currently in these for-profit HMOs.

Medicare Advantage Plans are one step away from the far-right Republican goal of privatizing Medicare. In a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare pays a monthly premium to the HMO, and the HMO agrees to provide the medical insurance coverage that would otherwise be Medicare’s responsibility. That’s only one step away from a voucher program. Privatization of Medicare is being done by stealth.

If progressives aren’t watchful and loud, upcoming health care insurance reform will be called “Medicare for All”, but it will actually be a totally unsatisfactory voucher or subsidy program much like the justly reviled Obamacare. Of course, that would make N. Pelosi and her across-the-aisle pals very happy.

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My health insurance cost $240/mo before Obamacare came online. I lost my health insurance because my boss stopped paying for it when Obamacare became available. I thought, fine. I can (just) afford $240/mo. But my health insurance immediately went to $499/mo, which I cannot afford.

So, under Obamacare, I would pay $499/mo and the Federal Government would kick in another $499/mo. So my health insurance actually costs $998/mo. Remember when it was $240?

But that’s not all. The $499/mo plan is the cheap plan, and it comes with a co-pay of $6000. So, after paying $5988/year, AND the federal government also paying $5988/year, I still have to come up with another $6000 before receiving health care. So my health insurance costs $17,976/year. The average American (between those who require none, and those who require a lot) requires about $8000 worth of health care a year. So, look at the cost of my Obamacare, and guess how much of it is profiteering off the government. Remember when that used to be illegal?

Obamacare in a MASSIVE BOONDOGGLE for the health insurance industries. This is why their stock prices, and their profits, skyrocketed after it came online. So please don’t tell me how wonderful Obamacare is.

Health insurance companies do not actually provide any health care whatsoever. They do not bandage wounds, splint bones, or perform surgery. All they do is collect the money that might be used for these services, if needed. And, based on the buildings they own, the huge number of salaries they pay, AND those massive executive pay packets, they collect a whole lot more money than those services than are EVER needed.

So, if the federal government were no longer kicking in $5998/year for health services for millions of people before they are needed, we may well easily afford to pay for those services on demand.

Meanwhile, I haven’t had health insurance since 2010, because I have never, in that time, been able to afford to pay $499/mo to not have health care until I cough up another $6000.

To add insult to injury, I have had to pay a tax to the IRS every year, as a punishment for not having health insurance. I would LOVE to have health insurance. If Obamacare had not more than doubled the price of my health insurance, I would have it not. Since I do not, the first year I had to pay $395 for not being able to afford health insurance. After that, each year I have had to pay $695, which is quite a hit at tax time, more than I make in two weeks.

I have to give President Trump credit, the year he was inaugurated, he wrote an executive order so the IRS couldn’t ask whether I had health insurance, and I didn’t have to pay the fee. But after that year he lost interest, and I had to pay it the next two years.

To be charged a fee – a tax, in fact – because I cannot afford a necessary commodity is INFURIATING.

When we get health care for all (not health insurance, which doesn’t provide health care), can I please have my money back?

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This woman got off easy, at only $13,000. A couple of dental procedures can cost more than that.

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Chile is able to have good quality healthcare and first world life expectancy with only a quarter of Americas GDP per capita.

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Welcome to the medical care that is America. Thank fucking god that I don’t live in Canada or one of those “Socialist” countries that have universal healthcare. Hell, most of those countries even treat foreigners, can you imagine that!!

I was thinking the same! Our son went to ER late on a Sunday afternoon in CA with a suspect strep throat. His seeing the doctor for 5 minutes, a strep throat swab and a steroid shot set us back more than $3,000! Beside the point, but this is for a family that pays over $2,000 per month in healthcare insurance alone!

I’m not sure anybody here is going to tell you that. The typical view here (and which I hold) is that there were some benefits on the margin (on pre-existing conditions, kids staying on the parent’s policy longer, etc.), but it is a Republican plan (many call it Romney care) and it absolutely means more money going into an industry we are trying to fight to get to single payer. That it has actually made the transition to a truly progressive solution harder is lost on nobody here. But nobody is giving up either and we have to keep marching towards more education, more hearings, more conversations with your coworkers, more rallys, more letters to your representatives, more everything. If we get a progressive president, and if we get enough Senators to ditch the fillibuster for this important change we need to make, maybe we will win. No one is saying it will be easy though.

Great article!! Thanks for sharing!!! :slight_smile: