ANSWERS TO HEALTHCARE MISCONCEPTIONS

We hear the same misinformation about healthcare over and over.    Here they are and why they are wrong.

“We have the best Healthcare in the world”

Tens of millions of Americans suffer and die every year from lack of medical treatment due to no insurance or high deductibles they cannot use. This doesn’t happen in countries like Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan where everyone is covered without high deductibles.

Hundreds of thousands die yearly in our hospitals from medical errors and preventable infections.

Obamacare has made some improvements, but the tragedy continues. Tens of millions still have:

  •   no insurance because they still cannot afford the subsidized premiums.

  •   insurance with high deductibles they cannot meet or avoid paying. 

  • bankruptcy due to insurance excluding needed treatments, out of network mishaps and high deductibles that renew on Jan 1st of each new year.

If the U.S. Healthcare “system” is the best, how many major nations have copied from it?

None.

“The uninsured get care in emergency rooms”

It is possible to go to ERs, but they do not treat major illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and chronic ailments. ER’s are basically for one visit.

Hospitals still charge extremely high prices for ER visits. They can try to bill for the visits and then farm the uncollected bills to collection agencies. This leads to financial hardship and bankruptcies. The hospitals pass these costs on to unsurance companies who pass it on to us.

“Medicaid takes care of the poor”

Medicaid varies extremely from state to state. In a state like Florida there is an income cap of $5,000. This basically limits coverage to children only.

Republicans blocked expansion of Medicaid through Obamacare in the majority of states.
Medicaid pays substantially lower than other insurances. Many doctors won’t accept Medicaid patients.

“Government involvement in healthcare is ‘socialized medicine’ and that will make things worse”

True socialized medicine is where the government runs the entire healthcare system. It owns and runs the hospitals. Doctors, nurses and others are paid salaries.

The UK (United Kingdom) has true socialized medicine. Studies rate theirs better than the U.S. The people of the UK have kept it for 70 years.

The healthcare systems of Canada, France, Italy and Japan are not socialized medicine. They are single payer. Single payer is government taking in revenue and paying independent hospitals and doctors. Original Medicare operates this way too.

Single payer is simply no HICs (healthcare insurance corporations).

Obamacare is neither socialized medicine nor single payer. It is a HIC payment system subject to government regulation.

The single payer healthcare systems of Canada, France, Italy and others cost half per person than the U.S. and they cover everyone.

Traditional Medicare has worked well for 48 years. Insurance whether government or big corporate has close to nothing to do with quality of care. They are only ways to pay independent providers.

“Government involvement in healthcare leads to bureaucratic waste”

The HICs (healthcare insurance companies) in the U.S. have huge expensive bureaucracies that also generate profit and huge CEO bonus costs.
The numerous HICs also generate large numbers of very expensive forms and rules that bog down our hospitals and doctors. Single payers have one set of forms and rules. Very efficient.

Single payer nations spend half what we do per person and cover everyone. They are non-profit and have no massive CEO bonuses. Bureaucratic waste is minimized.

“The Veterans Administration (VA) scandals prove government can’t run healthcare”

These scandals prove only one thing. The VA system needs serious repair. The politicians of both parties have neglected the VA because being on a House or Senate VA committee gets them few campaign contributions. Being on Senate and House VA committees is not too popular for that reason and goes usually to those with the lowest seniority.  Is it any wonder they give low priority to these committees?

While the media focuses on the VA scandals, they rarely focus on how many hundreds of thousands die every year in corporate hospitals from medical errors and hospital caused infections. The media also fails to focus on how the inefficiency; profit greed and CEO bonuses of our corporate hospitals add to our healthcare costs.

The original single payer Medicare has performed very well for 48 years. While this isn’t government run healthcare, it proves government involvement can work.
The UK government run system is proof that government can run a healthcare system quite well. Our VA could learn much from them.

“The other countries are so bad that they come to the U.S. for treatment”

The U.S. has some very good hospitals and doctors. Higher income citizens in other countries may elect to self pay to go to these. This doesn’t prove the entire system of the U.S. is better than the another country.

Canada has a serious problem with wait times for elective, non life threatening surgery. This should be fixed. It leads to many going to the U.S. for the surgery. This is no justification to condemn a system that has the support of the vast majority of Canadians. This argument is like saying if a car has a flat tire you need to replace the car. The answer is to fix the flat.

The UK has had a wait time problem for elective surgery too. They are working the problem down.

A longer wait time is far superior to the infinite wait times for so many Americans who can’t afford healthcare even with Obamacare. They still can’t afford the subsidized premiums and high deductibles.

For charts on this aspect of healthcare click here.

“We need to get the government out of healthcare. Let the ‘free market’ solve our problems”

Big corporations don’t want “free markets”. They do what is necessary to eliminate them.

Big hospital corporations buy out independent hospitals to form local area monopolies. This eliminates price competition. For-profit and non-profit hospitals both do this.

Why would a non-profit want a chain that makes no money? The answer is CEO bonuses and management salaries instead of dividends to owners.

The big drug companies or Big Pharma get monopoly prices for their drugs for about 20 years each. They use different legal tricks to extend these. They do what they can to delay generics from going to market. They utilize the FDA’s convoluted approval process to delay competition entering the market.

Even Medicare cannot bargain for volume discounts. The Medicare Prescription Drug act of 2003 was passed by a Republican President and Republican controlled congress. Republicans who proclaim the virtues of free markets forced full monopoly prices on Medicare and American seniors.

There can’t be anything resembling free markets unless the above is changed. This can’t happen as long as politicians of both parties continue to give the makers of campaign contributions what they want.

“Obamacare is the cause of all our healthcare problems”

American healthcare costs are terrible now and are going up. they are projected to double in about 10 years. 

The huge baby boom generation is aging along with everyone else. We have steeply rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other illnesses that hardly existed only a few decades ago. Alzheimer’s and dementia are projected to increase sharply as the population ages. Everyone is at risk from the economic effects of this directly or indirectly.

Our healthcare problems are not caused by Obamacare although it does little to cure the problems and rising costs. We have to reorganize. Hospital and drug monopolies must be broken up. Healthcare insurance companies must be eliminated. Compared to Western Europe, Canada and Japan, we waste $1 1/2 trillion yearly . How much is $1 1/2 trillion and how much damage does that do? Click here.

“Most of us get free healthcare from our employers”

Employers pay employees a benefits package that includes:

Vacation and holidays
Healthcare insurance
Salary

With Healthcare insurance rates growing, it crowds out salary. What should have been salary increases is eaten up by increasing healthcare insurance costs. This is why American incomes have barely kept up with inflation for over 10 years in spite of increased productivity and a growing economy.

Stagnant wages prevent consumers from saving and spending more. This prevents businesses from growing and hiring more with good paying jobs. Healthcare costs are destroying the American dream.

More healthcare costs are now being paid after the paycheck is cut and taxed with higher deductibles, copays and narrower networks. HICs are notorious for trying to evade paying for things. This may spread to you, your parents, your children and your grandchildren. No one is safe.

Why don’t our elected representatives copy from the proven systems in Germany, Canada, France, the UK, Italy and Japan?

Most Americans aren’t aware of the worldwide healthcare reality although they are feeling the pain more and more.

Many Americans don’t want to know. They believe anything government does is evil.

Politicians of both parties are basically controlled by campaign contributions. This is the main reason we are the only major advanced nation that has for-profit healthcare insurance companies.

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