U.S. Healthcare: Not What It Seems
There is something that all American politicians just don't want to tell you, because they don't even want to tell it to themselves when they look in the mirror: they are the problem, stupid.
Specifically, they are the problem with one of the United States' biggest societal problems: health care.
Untold numbers of Americans are outraged that there are nearly 50 million of them who-allegedly-cannot afford health care for themselves and/or their poor children.
These Americans do things like look to the Canadians and their socialism for health care guidance. Not only is this an activity that makes them ashamed of or infuriated at their proud nation of the United States, but to make matters worse the Canadians, who always love to find something that they think they can do better than their southern neighbors, don't hold back their snickering or snide remarks at Americans for their inability to makes sure that everyone in the U.S. can afford health care.
Of course, this is the part where Big Brother is pleaded with to step in and automagically dispel the black-hearted demons of the private sector that, everybody knows or should know, long ago conspired to rape Americans of so much money that they couldn't care less that they are missing out on nearly 50 million customers' money.
Seems a very peculiar way of doing business, even from a purely selfish perspective, but that's what we are told we must believe by most people.
The politicians readily accept the lobbying, in whatever form it comes, to cut deals with or make offers that can't be refused to the health care industry.
But the real problem with American health care is that what nearly 50 million Americans allegedly cannot afford is health insurance.
Almost every single adult American can afford health care; in the here and now. It's all a matter of degrees.
If one can take money out of one's wallet-or from one's debit or charge card-and use that money to buy things like aspirin, cough drops, Ace bandages, skin lotion, and so on and so forth-then one can afford health care.
Most people can't afford to buy, out of their bank accounts, the health care that Dubai's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, can afford to buy with his, but nonetheless, if one can do the above then one cannot justifiably say that one cannot afford health care.
What so many Americans cannot afford - or, much more accurately, what so many of them either can't or refuse to pay for out of their personal money -- is health insurance.
And aye, there's the rub: what most Americans mean that they want when they say "health insurance" is not health insurance. What they want is more of what most Americans actually have right now and are dissatisfied with: socialized medicine.
Insurance-any kind of insurance-has three traits: the premiums for it are relatively or even very low; it is used to provide protection only against unlikely or unforeseeable events; and the costs of the events that it covers are very high if they have to be paid for out of pocket. As a result of these traits, there are typically (though not always) high deductibles that have to be paid by the policy holder before the insurance company comes into play.
This sounds nothing at all like most Americans' "health insurance", which is characterized by obscene premiums, very low deductibles, and coverage of the most predictable, regular, and routine health care events, like annual family doctor checkups. The government plays a powerful role in all of this.
What this means for adult Americans is: just as almost all of them can afford some measure of health care, so most of them do not have -- and are not asking for -- health insurance. They are asking for more of the very thing that they already have and hate: partly or completely socialized medicine.
Add to these facts that Americans demand -- and receive -- the most elaborate and expensive medical procedures while engaging, as a society, in a low amount of very inexpensive preventive medicine, and it begins to become clear why American "health insurance" is so outrageously high.
As to the Canadians' "successful" socialized health care: it's very largely a fraud.
I've actually heard Canadian Ministry of Health representatives blatantly lie about this, but the fact is that on the whole Canada's major medicine is demonstrably inferior to the United States' (so is everybody else's). So. You get what you pay for.
But there is more to it than that.
Canada has a sparse population compared to its landmass. This means that Canada is a small market for health care. This means that Canada gets an almost free ride on Americans' dimes.
Consider the cost of prescription drugs in Canada.
It is only due to the fact that Americans pick up the entire tab for new pharmaceuticals' development (estimated to be $897 million for every new product and $32 billion in expenses to the pharmaceutical companies annually) that the Canadians pay bargain rates for simply meeting the cost of manufacturing. American pharmaceutical companies develop and produce 75% of the entire planet's new drugs annually. Without American production, Canadian drug prices there would soar through the roof.
When considered on the whole drug, with generic drugs included, the fact of the matter is that Canadians pay more for their prescription drugs than Americans pay for theirs.
Studies have shown that in 2001, 12% of Canadian health care spending was put toward pharmaceuticals; that quantity was only 10% in the far more populous United States.
A Canadian consulting firm has concluded that 21 of 27 most-sold generic drugs cost more in Canada than they do in the United States. Why? It's the government, stupid: Canada's government essentially sets a floor on drug prices -- not just a ceiling.
Then there's this little gem from the Leftist-leaning New York Times from late February of 2006 in which it is written: "[Canada's] publicly financed health insurance system...is gradually breaking down. Private clinics are opening around the country by an estimated one a week, and private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine."
The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer paid for a study that was published in the final quarter of 2007 in which the conclusion was reached that if Americans on the whole were more health care-literate, their preventive medical measures would soar, their acceptance of and demand for test after test and complex medical procedures and, yes, expensive pharmaceuticals would plummet, and the result would be that every adult in the United States could readily afford health "insurance", even as things stand now.
But politicians like Hillary Clinton have proposed forcing Americans, by law, to pay for something that is not even in their best interests-as has been demonstrated by the fact that it does not work.
Doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results is the definition of insanity; and that's just not healthy
Tags: U.s. Healthcare , United States , Health Care , Health Insurance , Medical , Health , Insurance , Hillary Clinton
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