Grasping at straws

This from the latest Human Events.

If ObamaCare passes, you can kiss your private health insurance goodbye… maybe your doctor, too… and you can certainly say adios to the best health care system the world has ever known.

What country are they living in?

The other day I asked my mother about what kind of health coverage she and dad had to cover us when we were children. Nothing. Nada. Four children. pa141509Dad had a steady job with the same company through my childhood (in the 60s) and the company didn’t cover anything, yet the out of pocket expenses of keeping a family of 6 healthy did not kill them. I had my adenoids out. Mom had 5 kids and stayed in the hospital more than a day, and there was no worry about where the money would come from or what would be covered. They paid for it out of my father the salesman’s salary. Plenty of dental, eye care, regular check ups, we had it all. There was never any question about whether we could afford medical care. One salary, no insurance. And I don’t think we were unusual.

Then it all changed. It was thanks to Nixon and the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973. To be fair, the left pushed for it because it seemed like a good idea to pool resources for good care. Unfortunately, it was another lesson in no regulation running amok. The insurance companies that were supposed to make care cheaper used their profits to invest in real estate in the 80s and then when the market tanked, they had to make up the difference, first by starting to deny care, then by raising rates. Then pharmaceutical companies, hospital corporations and medical device manufacturers got in line for the big profits. And so we are where we are now. With what the Republicans are saying is ” best health care system the world has ever known.”

And their solution is…? Still waiting.

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1 Comment

Filed under americana, Politics

One response to “Grasping at straws

  1. Leslie

    The thing is you got a lucky draw of the straw. I grew up during the same time period. We rarely saw a doctor. A nearly unheard of luxury. We didn’t have health insurance or the means to pay for medical care. So we did without routine check ups and dental care. For the most part, it didn’t seem like a big deal. We were healthy and our health didn’t particularly suffer. For the most part.

    There was that one incident. I remember. It stands out. Even today, it colors how I feel about health care in this country: its whimsy privilege if you got a good draw of the health insurance straw and its notable absence if you didn’t.

    When I was nine, I was refused medical care in an emergency room. Simply, we didn’t have the insurance. All these decades later, I don’t remember the ailment. I only remember the indignity and anger I felt at sitting in the hospital hallway protesting with my mother until some doctor, any doctor, agreed to see us and offer treatment.

    That kind of anger just doesn’t go away. It stays with you. It morphs. And revives when you realize all these many decades later NOTHING has changed.

    In this great country, luck and whimsy should not be the decider over whom gets the insurance and the quality care and who does not. This divide can not continue. It will wreck our great country. It will wreck us all.

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