Still more health care…

This is sort of a repost from another source (Barbara O’Brian at The Mahablog), but I agree with it. Also, I am happy to spread the word and add my own bit to the message.

Personal story, my nephew–N B–was diagnosed with necrotising facisitis about three months ago.

N’s parents are a VP at a large financial firm and a Salesperson for a large pharmaceutical firm (I also have the coverage from my wife who is retired from said firm), which means they have super health care. Or so you would believe.

N received the best health care possible at University of Maryland Shock Trauma Centre.

But that costs.

More than the super health care can cover.

One of the reason I support health care reform is that it makes sense for everybody, yet it is a sensible policy (like gun control), which is demonised in the US. There are loads of lies being published about health care reform, but it is an idea that’s time has come long ago.


For the years 2003 and 2004, just over 50 percent of all personal bankruptcies were the result of medical debt by those with health insurance. A significant percentage of those listing medical debt as the reason for their bankruptcy are 65 and older. Other groups disproportionately bankrupted by medical debt include single women raising children on low wages or who have been abandoned by their husbands who refuse to pay child support.

The medical debt causing these bankruptcies isn’t overwhelming in many circumstances. Statistics available in 2003 are as follows: about 20% of bankruptcy filings involve a medical debt of less than $1,000; about 40% involve a medical debt of less than $5,000; and 13% of bankruptcy filings involve a medical debt of over $10,000.

Health Care Reform Will Help Everybody

Many Americans assume the new health care reform act will benefit mostly the poor and uninsured and hurt everyone else, according to polls. As Matt Yglesias wrote, “Basically, people see this as a bill that will take resources from people who have health insurance and give it to people who don’t have health insurance.” Those who still oppose the reform say that people ought to pay for their own health care.

We all believe in the virtues of hard work and self-reliance, but these days it’s a fantasy to think that anyone but the mega-wealthy will not, sooner or later, depend on help from others to pay medical bills. And that’s true no matter how hard you work, how much you love America, or how diligently you take care of yourself. The cost of medical care has so skyrocketed that breaking an arm or leg could cost as much as a new car. And if you get cancer or heart disease — which can happen even to people who live healthy lifestyles — forget about it. The disease will not only clean you out; it will leave a whopping debt for your survivors to pay.

And the truth is, we all pay for other peoples’ health care whether we know it or not. When people can’t pay their medical bills, the cost of their health care gets added to everyone else’s bills and insurance premiums. When poor people use emergency rooms as a doctor of last resort, their care is not “free.” You pay for it.

Another common fantasy about medical care is that the “free market” provides incentives for medical companies to develop innovative new drugs and treatments for disease without government subsidy. It’s true that private enterprise is very good at developing profitable health care products. But not all medical care can be made profitable.

For years, the U.S. government has been funding medical research that the big private companies don’t want to do because there is too much cost for the potential profit. This is especially true for diseases that are rare and expensive to treat. An example of a recent advance made possible by government grants include new guidelines for malignant pleural mesothelioma treatment developed by MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers. Another is a blood screening test for mesothelioma developed by thoracic surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. The health reform act provides for more dollars for such research, from which even many of the tea party protesters will benefit.

The biggest fantasy of all was that people who had insurance didn’t have to worry about health care costs. But the fact is that in recent years millions of Americans have been bankrupted by medical costs, and three-quarters of the medically bankrupt had health insurance. And yes, insurance companies even dumped hard-working, law-abiding patriots. But the health care reform act will put an end to that, and now America’s hard-working, law-abiding patriots are more financially secure, whether they like it or not.


Posted 08/06/2010 by lacithedog in Health care, Health Insurance

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