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Rocky Anderson: Essential Health Care For All

By       Message Daniel Geery       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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The health care system in the U.S. is expensive, ineffective, and unjust.  Our medical outcomes are mediocre. We are the only nation in the industrialized world that fails to provide millions of people with basic health care. 

Yet we spend more than twice per capita than the average spent by industrialized nations. Over 20,000 Americans die each year because they can't afford health care.   Seven hundred thousand Americans go bankrupt every year because of medical bills. We have significant racial inequality, with Blacks and Hispanics less likely to get treatment for serious disease, more likely to die from illness.  

Other developed nations have inherent incentives to provide preventive care.   Medical providers are paid to keep people healthy, not just provide tests for and procedures for sick people.   In the U.S. , doctors are paid only for exams, tests, and procedures on sick people -- not for keeping them well. Approximately 20% of all insurance premiums go to marketing, underwriting, compensation for executives and salespeople, paperwork, and dividends for investors.   

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Average persons in other industrialized nations access their doctors more frequently, with medical outcomes far superior.   "Among nineteen wealthy countries, the United States ranked nineteenth in curing people who could be cured with decent care. . . ."

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The U.S. per capita cost for health care is $7,400.   Japan 's per capita cost is $3,400.   Patients in the U.S. average five visits to their doctors per year; Japanese patients average 14.5 visits per year. An MRI of the head costs about $1,000-$1,400 in the U.S.; in Japan it costs $105.   Doctors and clinics in Japan spend about $150,000 for an MRI scanner; in the U.S., MRI scanners cost about $1.5 million.

Democrats and Republicans alike have caved to the corrupt influence of huge sums of money spent by medical insurance and pharmaceutical industries, depriving Americans of coverage-for-all. Congress and the Obama administration worked out a deplorable health care bill that perpetuates the perverse stranglehold for-profit that insurance companies hold; maintains the most expensive, inefficient health care system in the world, and will still leave 23 million people without any basic health care coverage.   In essence, this was done through bribery and politics-as-usual.  

This is not just a political issue, but moral one . No U.S. child should suffer from a serious illness without access to a doctor.   No woman should die because she could not afford a mammogram for an early diagnosis of breast cancer.   No man should die from colon cancer because he couldn't afford a colonoscopy.   No one should go bankrupt because of medical bills. Yet presently, those horrors are unique to the U.S. in the devloped world.

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We need leadership not bought and paid for by insurance and pharmaceutical industries.   We need people behind that leadership that says, "Enough insanity, no more!"   Together we can bring about a just, less costly, more efficient health care system with far better outcomes. Rocky Anderson will make the case to the public and to Congress for this.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly (more...)
 

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