More Wealth Less Health
Yesterday I watched Michael Moore’s flick Sicko. Whether or not you believe Mr. Moore’s propaganda on the condition of the system of healthcare here in America especially when compared to the rest of the world isn’t important. Whether or not you believe that there is a chief executive officer of a healthcare company getting paid one point six billion dollars because of his stewardship of running an insurance company that looks for every loophole to deny its clients service when they need it most is not the subject here. Whether or not you believe that our profit driven healthcare industry is socially responsible enough to assure the best health for everyone in America will be a topic for another day. Whether or not we as a nation will wakeup to fact that we are being lied to and manipulated against believing that a government program that would insure the health of all Americans is in the best interest of all Americans instead of the profit driven system that seems to be in the best interest of a handful of individuals who make a very good living denying healthcare to people is not the issue here. So let’s gone on with the subject then.
The movie Sicko shows what has happened to a number of individuals who thought they had adequate health coverage but found out differently when they filed a claim with their insurance company. There was a man who suffered a stroke and was denied coverage. He and his wife had to sell their house to make their medical bills. They declared bankruptcy and had to sell all of their possessions saved what could fit into two cars. The couple had to move into the basement of their daughter’s house. The man was a foreman I think and the woman was an editor for a newspaper. They raised six children. They were the epitome of middle income America.
There was another story of a woman who worked as a nurse during the terrorist attack against the world trade center on September 11th of 2001. The woman volunteered to go to where the towers stood, the area that became known as ground zero, and stayed administering care to the survivors that were found in the rubble. There were firemen who worked feverishly to help rescue any survivors they could. These people did what they could and rose to the challenge in America’s time of need. But during the disaster they inhaled the cloud of dust that resulted from the buildings’ collapse. They now have severe breathing problems and now find themselves in need of help. One woman was on a prescription for an inhaler that was costing her over a hundred sixty dollars out of her pocket. Too bad, so sad. Since they were not exactly required to be down there and helping where ever they could the government really isn’t responsible for helping them. Thanks for your help but you can go to hell if you think we’re going to help you.
There was the woman who lost her daughter because in an emergency when her toddler aged daughter ran a fever of a hundred four the woman went to the wrong hospital. Her health maintenance organization refused to authorize any treatment at the hospital that wasn’t part of the plan. The little girl was denied care. When the woman begged the hospital doctor’s for help security was called to physically throw the woman out. By the time the girl made it to the authorized hospital it was an hour later. Just in time for the girl to go into cardiac arrest and die.
Throughout all of this there are people who are still defending our for profit medical system. Nobody sees a problem with a system with an inherent flaw that it will make more money by offering as little medical care as possible. And there was a ton of money to be made. People were paying into the system for years. Then one day the client makes a claim. After that an army of insurance employees will comb through the client’s medical history to look for any reason they could find to deny any coverage. Let the insurance company find proof that someone wore a Scooby-Do bandage when they had a boo-boo when they were five years old. That’s all the insurance company needs to justify a preexisting condition. By insurance company logic whatever led to that band aid being applied to the client’s knee could have been for any number of preexisting medical conditions. The client should’ve come clean and admitted that they had received medical care when they were five. Claim denied. But thank you for all the payments you’ve made into the system. And people want to defend this system.
The film went on to show a number of television and talk show pundits countering Mr. Moore’s film by saying that the universal healthcare systems from other countries that were being compared to the United States had their own problem. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malken, and others were shown lambasting Mr. Moore’s film with claims that universal healthcare practiced in these other countries is far from perfect. But what those problems were was never mentioned. Everybody knows that there is no such thing as a perfect system when people get involved. But there are some systems that are closer to being perfect than others. No one in France, Cuba, Norway, or Canada was getting immensely rich off of the denial of medical care. The healthcare system of those countries seem to be a lot more attractive than this system that allows people to become astoundingly wealthy while other suffer with maladies that could be easily corrected if our medical system would have more compassion for people in need of help than compassion for making a dollar.
It’s too expensive is a mantra of people who regularly defend the system. But somehow we can justify the current system that is expensive, denies coverage, and allows a handful of people to become billionaires for doing nothing. People don’t deserve to be healthy because they haven’t paid their dues is another justification for keeping things the way they are. But if what happened to those firefighters and nurses in Michael Moore’s film who went to help at ground zero is any indication then even the people who paid their dues, your dues and my dues, and then some are being denied coverage. People who have paid their monthly dues without fail on a regular basis are being denied coverage. The lack of any real applicable logic is not a problem for many. People will claim this current system of medical coverage here in the States as the best system in the world bar none. People would give their lives and the lives of their family members defending this system. Funny thing is they don’t realize the likelihood of such an event. It just might come to that.