America’s Healthcare Insanity

Brad Mitchell

By now it is common knowledge the healthcare system in the USA is a disaster. It was a disaster before the recent “overhaul,” and I’m betting is will be an even bigger disaster after the new laws actually go into effect.
For the record, I’m a proponent of public healthcare, and I was actually looking forward to the Obama administration fixing this issue.  The result they gave us is not a fix, though; it’s not even a Band-Aid. What it is, is a flat out screw job to every U.S. citizen, along with a massive payday for the private insurance agencies. Why else would insurance company stocks go up after this new bill was passed? Apparently someone expects them to make a lot more money going forward, and honestly I can’t see how they’d be wrong.
As far as I’m concerned, the great “debate” on healthcare was a huge partisan charade. If this overhaul had been properly executed, by people who cared about doing the greatest good for the greatest number of U.S. citizens, there would have been no need for a debate in the first place. I can illustrate in the next 5 minutes why the healthcare system needs to be overhauled, and I’m almost positive that 100% of people will agree with me. The fact that this issue was even debated in the first place makes me wonder just how dumb some people really are, and it also makes me wonder who does the marketing for the Republican Party. Whoever it is, those guys are good, really really good.
The underlying problem is a massive conflict of interests — human life vs. the corporate bottom line. Private insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They collect your annual premiums (their revenue), and payout your claims each year (their expenses). So, what happens when someone gets seriously injured, terminally ill, or has any variety of health issues that may exist? Then the for-profit company loses money on you.  When you start taking away from the corporation’s bottom line, you are no longer a good investment for them. If you force them to pay out more than the annual premium you’ve paid in, you can expect them to say good bye to you.

Simply put, your life is worth less to them than their bottom-line profits. These companies have shareholders, board members, VPs, CEOs — all who are looking for a positive return on the year. In fact, their compensation is often tied to stock price. The more the stock goes up, the more they get as an annual bonus. Of course, if an insurance company stock is going up that typically means they paid out less in claims. Meaning they let their non-profitable “investments” go.
Insurance companies literally invest in human lives. If you become too expensive to keep alive, they’ll simply stop paying, or cut you loose.

They’re not accountable to you as a customer; they’re accountable to board members, executives, and owners.

The fact that these agencies have no real interest in keeping you alive and healthy in the first place is the reason the system needs to be overhauled. These insurance companies have an actual interest in not paying for your expenses, as that profit is what keeps them in business. They’ll even bribe doctors to deny you medical procedures that would cost them money. This conflict of weighing human life against profits is inhumane, immoral, and flat out disgraceful to all those that actually rely on these companies to keep their families alive and healthy.
This conflict is a fact — actually it’s the business model of the insurance agencies. I have yet to meet someone who isn’t completely disgusted by this. We have companies investing in our lives to pay dividends, bonuses, golden parachutes, and highly bloated CEO compensation packages.
The need for overhaul should be beyond clear, especially for anyone who relies on insurance agencies to cover their health costs.
So, what was the overhaul supposed to accomplish? In reality it probably accomplished what it was supposed to all along, as it forced every U.S. citizen to buy a for-profit product from a private seller. But what did I naively hope it would do? I hoped it would create a government-run and paid-for-healthcare system, that every citizen in the USA has the option of using.
It doesn’t have to replace the existing private healthcare system, nor does it have to force anyone to use it who doesn’t want to. It simply provides an alternate system of healthcare that is government run and paid for, like every other civilized country on earth already has.
Now, I know a ton of you will moan and groan about government-run anything, but I’m about to show you exactly why the government is the only organization that could run this.
First, the government is already massive; so massive they could care less about any single person or “bad investment.” They also don’t show much concern for profitability —  just look at the national debt and budget deficits they run. They aren’t accountable to shareholders; they have no bottom line to report; and they can sign blank checks for unlimited amounts of money. If I want anyone footing the bill for my CT scan, it’s an entity like this.
Now, I know there will always be those that gripe about there even being a public option. Honestly though, why do you care so much about the option if you don’t have to use it? It’s simply an option.  My guess is you don’t want to pay for other people’s healthcare with your tax dollars, right? Yeah, well you already pay for multiple wars each year that kill thousands of innocent civilians. You pay to keep officials in office that are inept, incompetent, and corrupt. You pay to bail out banks that have robbed an entire generation of people. The way I see it, I actually would like to pay to help out those who can’t afford healthcare, as I don’t think anyone should die because they can’t afford to see a doctor.
If there’s anyone out there who would rather see their tax dollars go toward killing people in another country instead of helping people in their own country, I have to say shame on you. Honestly, if you can support the multiple wars our country is waging, but are anti-public healthcare, you’ve got an evil soul that belongs in the deepest darkest pits of hell — sort of like the private insurance companies that take out life insurance policies on our soldiers and make millions off their deaths while screwing the families.
Back to healthcare — I’m not saying the public plan should be mandatory, or that anyone that doesn’t want to use it should be forced to. All I’m saying is that this is what every other developed country on the planet has . . .  and I thought it was finally our turn.
However, due to magical powers of private interest groups, and our trusty political figures deep in the pockets of these corporations, any hope for a public, government-run health plan was destroyed. Marketing messages somehow convinced people that it was going to steal them away from their beloved insurance agency and force them through a bureaucratic nightmare every time they needed to see the doctor. Somehow they convinced people that the existing system in the USA was actually good.
The “pro-public option” Democrats (provided they actually wanted to pass this thing) need to take some lessons in debate. The only thing that should have focused on here was the fact that the government plan was an option. It’s there if you want it, but no one has to use it if they don’t want to. I can’t see how anyone with half a brain would be opposed to that. It’s certainly a lot better than the mandate we have now. The bill that passed requires every U.S. citizen to purchase heath insurance from a private, for-profit, company.  Furthermore, it expands the powers of the IRS to take action against those who don’t comply.

Bravo Democrats . . . you took your one chance to finally fix the nation’s healthcare system, and forced every citizen to become a paying customer of the insurance agencies you’ve been vilifying throughout this charade.

This “overhaul” ended up being one more way to track and control the public, which makes me think this was probably the goal all along.

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