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Single payer vs. For Profit Health Systems

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Message Hosea McAdoo
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This sounds a lot like the arguments from the extremist politicians, but this is to show how false these choices are. I don't claim to be an expert but I have been in the system thirty years and have experienced everything expounded by the false pundits.

First one must get around semantics and buzz words that are designed to stop reasoned discussion and thought. Remember in the 50s and later the word, "Communism," was meant to close an argument. If you disagreed you were a Communist and that was bad. Now you are a "Terrorist" if you don't agree, and that is bad.

The term, "Socialist," is maybe less shrill but still an argument ender because socialism is alwaysbad and if you say something good about it you are something close to a communist and that makes you bad.

I guess the people in eastern Tennessee would be without power today without the TVA, a full government project. Our military was all government when it ran properly. We collectively use government fire, police, ambulance and educational systems all of which could be called socialist. It is also of interest to note that the 37 countries that beat us in healthcare, standard of living and education are all partially socialistic.

We too have areas of socialism. Look at the VA system, Medicare, Social Security, NASA and many others. Without these we, the unrich, would be in very hard times.

Our President and Vice president only seem to hate socialism when it helps citizens but are quick to use it for their own health needs. They state they are for less government but continually expand its scope, cost and control of citizens. They live in government housing and ride in government cars, eat government t food and ride in free government airplanes for their vacation trips.

I don't mean to suggest that I am a socialist. I believe in the Capitalist system, but as a realist I know that certain areas need a collective approach and health care is one.

The British health care system is socialistic and has many detractors but still offers better health care at a lower price than the US which ranks about # 37. I had trouble remembering the names of 36 countries that might be better (France was #1). There are other ratings with some variation but the low rank of the US was consistent.

I hear pundits and politicians proclaiming that the US has the best healthcare in the world and that Canadians and others come here for health care. There is some truth here in that we have the potential to deliver quality care and that our professionals in general are as good as in any other country. The millionaire politicians have never had to worry about whether or not they could get care any time and anywhere they want it. In the US , if you have the money, any care is available on demand anywhere. Our politicians can't imagine that care is delayed or unobtainable to many citizens. In fact, there are problems for all who are uninsured or underinsured.

Our unenlightened President who must live on another planet recently said care is available to all just by going to the nearest emergency room. ERs are not set up for preventative care, follow-up care, minor or early problems and use for these purposes reduces their ability to care for real emergencies. The staffing and equipment needs for an ER is among the most expensive care offered. People need primary and repeated follow-up for problems such as hypertension and diabetes and a myriad of other conditions and clearly this is not what ERs are for. The President did a major disservice by misinforming the citizens because of his lack of understanding of the problem

The Canadian system is far from perfect with delays for some non emergent problems and some people cannot find a permanent primary care physician but compare that with here where about 25% of the population is cut off from care completely until it becomes a true emergency and costs many times what it would if treated early in both cost and suffering. In Canada most physicians and hospitals are non-government and the system runs quite a bit like our Medicare system. Our VA is more like the British system and more socialistic.

An example is my son who allowed his insurance to lapse, then broke his wrist three months ago. Emergency care got him a splint and sling but he needs surgery that should have been done three months ago. Unfortunately he informed me only recently and I will pay full price (Insurance companies get a discount).

In our system we are not really talking about hospitals or physicians but the methods of payment. There are numerous methods with alphabet soup names, PPO, HMO, etc.

They just handle the money and offer no care for the patient at all. If you think they are in it to help you pay for care I have a very nice bridge for sale, cheap. These companies main reason to exist is to suck out 30-33% of the health care dollar and pay themselves 6-8 digit salaries. Their goal is to deny healthcare. This creates a better bottom line for shareholders. This 33% is more than the portion for physicians which at one time was reported at 17% and the money handlers don't make you any better.

As mentioned before Medicare just handles money but has no shareholders or overpaid CEO and is run for about 3%. This difference is 30 cents for every healthcare dollar and would be enough to cover the costs of the 25% population now without coverage and still have 8% left over. I am assuming that the money now going into the system would continue to do so.

I recently have had an illness requiring many treatments, many studies and visits. Medicare and a supplementary policy have covered all but a portion of the drugs. I have had no hassle and received statements. This is the same as reported to me by Canadians that I have interviewed but unlike the problems from private insurers. Some deliberately delay payments, some raise false problems to delay and some just deny and require healthcare providers to fight to get paid. All this raises the cost to physicians and hospitals who must have large insurance departments just to get paid.

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Seventy four old retired physician, Veteran of the US Navy in the Vietnam era, markedly opposed to the futility, waste and brutality of our wars for the riches of the elite. I want America back as futile as that aspiration is.
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