Thursday, July 05, 2012

Unhealthy Attitude

From Yahoo/Reuters news:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The two top Republicans in Congress vowed on Sunday to push ahead with efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare law despite the Supreme Court upholding it, but the White House said it is time to stop fighting and start implementing it.
"This has to be ripped out by its roots," House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said of the 2010 law on the CBS program "Face the Nation." Boehner added: "We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety." The House, controlled by Republicans, has scheduled a vote on July 11 to repeal the law. The Democratic-led Senate, as it has done in the past, is certain to block any repeal legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the law, Obama's signature domestic policy achievement and the most sweeping overhaul since the 1960s of the unwieldy U.S. healthcare system. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday showed public support for the law rising to 48 percent after the ruling from 43 percent before the court's decision.

The U.S. system, unlike other rich countries, is a patchwork of private insurance and restrictive government programs. The United States pays more for healthcare than any other country, but about 50 million of the roughly 310 million Americans still have no insurance. The law was meant to bring coverage to more than 30 million of the uninsured and slow soaring medical costs. Critics deride the law as "Obamacare" and say it meddles too much in the lives of individuals and the business of the states.

The White House and fellow Democrats refuse to label as a tax the law's penalty on people who decline to obtain health insurance - even though the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the "individual mandate" only because it was permissible under the congressional power to levy taxes.
"It's a penalty. It's something that only 1 percent of people - who can afford insurance and choose not to get - it will pay," Lew said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Nancy Pelosi, the top House Democrat, added on NBC's "Meet the Press": "It is a penalty for free riders."
Asked what Republicans would do - if they succeed in repealing Obama's law - to provide coverage to the tens of millions of Americans currently with no insurance, McConnell said: "That is not the issue. The question is how can you go step by step to improve the American healthcare system. It is already the finest healthcare system in the world."
"We're not going to turn the American healthcare system into a western European system," he added, referring to government-run systems that provide near universal coverage."


So clearly even token reforms in the US meet with furore and outright hatred as the apologists for capital scream blue murder about freeloaders and the middle class tax burden as the Senate attempts to improve the live of America's poor. The World Health Organisation ranks America's healthcare system as just 37th, the UK is 18th with Spain, France, Portugal, San Marino, Malta, Italy and many more western European states in the top ten, evidence against the sentiments express by Mr McConnell.

Again though we are arguing of the crumbs from the rich man's table - the truth is that capitalism does not care for your health, it's not really a profitable system unless kept private and with the fees sky high. But even the concessions won through hard fought reforms in the European states won't last and many including the UK are doing all they can to remove by stealth free healthcare for all. IN America it looks like they are trying to do the same before it starts.


Anonymous said...

Do keep in mind that in America having medical insurance does NOT automatically mean you have healthcare as other countries think of it.

There are many, many individuals and family that have 'catastrophic' medical insurance coverage or, to keep the monthly premiums lower, limited medical insurance.

'Catastrophic' coverage may not start paying out until an individual has medical expenses exceeding anywhere between $1000 to $5000 annually (more for a family plan). Even then, one still is required to pay anywhere from 25-50% or more of the total cost of healthcare AFTER the annual deductible (excess) is met. The deductible resets back to zero each new calendar year.

Because of this, many in America still avoid obtaining basic medical care due to the extreme expense before medical insurance pays for anything.

See example from Blue Shield of California:

Cost of said insurance:

Anonymous said...

Interesting point, thanks for the input, appreciated.