Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Signs Our Health Care System is Broken

Here are a few signs we have a shitty health care system. Read them and consider why citizens in other industrialized countries have no desire to adopt our system.

1. Spam e-mail for Canadian drugs. We are all besieged with email offering low-cost pharmaceuticals from the land of Molson. Ever thought why? Many reasons, one of which is that our own government has guaranteed profits for the domestic drug industry. The Bush administration made it illegal for medicare to negotiate for discounts, or to obtain cheaper Canadian or other foreign-made drugs. (Just another Bush travesty Obama has embraced).

So now we get a steady stream of offers, of questionable legality, from abroad because they know we are getting ripped off.

2. Fundraisers to pay medical bills. This time it is grandpa's hip; next time it will be your co-worker'sw emphysema. Please give what you can. For millions of Americans getting sick without insurance puts a life at risk and a family ever closer to bankruptcy. This shit happens because our health care system lets it happen. Yeah, yeah, I know; much of this is supposed to end with health care reform. We'll see.

3. Medical tourism. Yet another growing industry, as Americans desperately seek medical care, even of questionable quality, because of prohibitive US prices. High quality care in industrialized nations is often cheaper, even after airfare and hotels, than the domestic stuff.

A hat tip to Southern Beale. See her post here for a more extensive purview. She is absolutely correct when she says: "Too many people are getting far too rich off of our current system. American healthcare no longer serves the majority of its customers. Which is precisely why nothing will change without a huge fight."

Yup, health care is a profit center in America. It does not serve citizens very well, but it enriches the health care industry, the investor class, and politicians willing to obstruct real reform.

And that is why we are unable to change it.

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