Can you afford to get sick?
With the release of Michael Moore's new documentary Sicko, we are once again reminded that the health care system in America is severely under the weather. It seems that you're only as healthy as your coverage. The thing that really made me go "WTF?" wasn't how many American's are without insurance, but how many that do have it are still being under-serviced or over charged or just being sold an umbrella with a hole in it.
Have you seen the movie Sicko yet? Recently, Michael Moore was on Oprah and I got the chance to see a little clip and hear him speak about his new controversial movie about the health care system here in the United States and abroad. For as long as I can remember, I've always been covered. There were a few lapses when I was changing jobs, but for the most part, I've had medical insurance.
There was the time that a bill wasn't paid by my insurance company that should have been. Usually, I would just pay it or ignore it. This particular time I decided to call and ask a few questions. Imagine my surprise to find out that this bill from my doctor's office; if I were to pay it would cost me around $139 US dollars. However, if my insurance company were to pay it, they would only have to pay $14. WTF? How is that fair? How does this make any kind of sense?
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Even though as a child getting medical treatment was never a problem, it seems that getting certain medications was. I remember conversations my parents had with other adults about how messed up the system was that they were paying for other people (welfare), to get free medical help and their parents couldn't even afford to buy generic medication for themselves.
It's funny how long before I really knew about or understood socialized medicine, I was a student in England. I remember getting really sick and having to go see a doctor while there. The diagnosis was bronchitis. The treatment was some really nasty medicine that came in this very large ugly bottle. The shock was that it didn't take me a long time to see the doctor or pick up my medicine. Was the doctor that I saw the most excellent in jolly old England? Was the prescription the best known to man? Probably not. But, it worked and I got better and it didn't cost this college student one single pound.
So, what is the big argument today over socialized medicine in America? It seems to be working in other countries. Of course we'll always have the pros and cons for anything. I just happen to think that a healthy nation is a more productive nation. The reality is that we're going to pay for it one way or another. I'm trying hard not to get into my big brother, big corporation conspiracy theories again.
For as long as I can remember, supporters of a government run or provided program, has held Europe up as the example to follow. Even the movie Sicko, makes the point that America is the only industrialized country without a national health care system.
We have also heard about recent cutbacks in countries that provide care. Those apposed to socialized care claim that if "something is perceived as free, people will consume more than they would if they had to pay for it". Therefore, we should not provide a socialized program. However, we do offer other benefits, like public libraries, fire and police protection, etc. Why not health care?
What do you think? How about free health care to for our children, the elderly and/or people with a job? How about less profit to our insurance companies? How about something?
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