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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/12/20

Why We Can't Have Universal Healthcare .. Unless ..

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Healthcare Justice March - October 26, 2013
Healthcare Justice March - October 26, 2013
(Image by United Workers)
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Why We Can't Have Universal Healthcare . . Unless -

The uproar of the George Floyd phenomenon and the Coronavirus pandemonium demonstrate the urgency for some fundamental transformations in our nation. Lack of a universal healthcare plan is one issue brought into focus by these events. The main questions are:

Why is the U.S. - supposedly the wealthiest country in the world - the only major industrial country without a universal healthcare system?

Why does healthcare cost much more here than in any other country?

Why is the average individual's health in our country, by many parameters, worse than in other industrial countries?

My answer from a previous OpEdNews essay on healthcare is:

"The reasons are obvious. In those other countries, social consciousness in government policy has evolved commensurate with progress in civilization to realize that healthcare coverage is a human right and necessity. In this respect (and others) we are a backward country. Why? Because our government has capitulated completely by giving priority in all matters to corporate interests motivated solely and amorally by profits.

One does not have to be a professional analyst to understand this quandary.

In this article, I will examine the issues by scrutinizing the bills from my health plan provider for two 3-day stays in the hospital involving a coronary stent procedure - the same procedure that Bernie Sanders experienced. I am not complaining about my co-pay costs, but a detailed review of the bills reveals deep flaws in the financial structure of our private healthcare system, reflecting a more widespread acceptance of arbitrary, absurd, and oftentimes purely fraudulent costs in the industrial/military complex and other sectors of our economy.

Here is a summary of events: In the Emergency Room, I was evaluated by X-Ray and cardiac monitoring, visited by two physicians and referred to hospital admission. However, because of the Covid-19 crisis, there was no bed available in the hospital, so I waited in bed, virtually unattended, in a small curtained cubicle all day - not a semi-private room - without food to be moved by ambulance to a sister hospital about 20 miles distant. There, I was evaluated and monitored for three days to determine whether to be treated with medicines or stent procedure, then released without treatment.

The next week was a repeat. I went to the local Emergency and, after waiting again in bed most of the day while arrangements were being made, was moved by ambulance to another sister hospital nearby. They performed the 1-1/2 hour stent procedure late that afternoon and kept me in the hospital three days for observation, during which time I was monitored and visited briefly by a doctor each day.

Now the bills to the medical plan:

For the local Emergency:

Semi-private room and board. - $5,984. (Did not exist.)

Emergency room general. - $5,209

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Harold Novikoff Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Veteran, retired from several occupations (school teacher, technical writer, energy conservation business, etc.) long-time Sierra Club member


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