Obamacare


Now, admittedly, I haven’t been paying much attention to all the hype over this new proposed healthcare plan, but I did receive some interesting information this morning, via email:

*A government committee which will decide who receives what treatment/benefits.

How is this even possible? Is it just me, or does anyone else envision a group of dusty old men sitting around a large conference table, surrounded by stacks of papers, millions and millions of healthcare requests?

*Your healthcare is rationed.

Huh? It’s not rationed now, healthcare is a service, not a product; the only reason many people don’t receive healthcare now is because they can’t afford it, not because it isn’t available.

*Healthcare will be provided to non-citizens.

Well, that’s pretty much the situation now; any illegal alien can walk into an ER and get care; some, I’m sure, don’t pay for it – just as some citizens don’t pay for it. And taxpayers pick up the bill.

*The government will have access to your bank accounts and electronic withdrawal.

Right. Just don’t see that happening. If it does, we have a lot bigger issues than healthcare.

*National ID card issued, for healthcare purposes.

So? Most of us have government-issued ID cards now, or driver licenses. Big deal.

These were just a few “points” made by a fellow who Tweets on the topic, forwarded by a friend; I, myself, haven’t slogged through this 50K-page mess. Most of what I saw this morning is quite repetitive, which helps explain the 50K pages….

Okay, okay, lest I be accused of exaggeration, what was sent to me are comments and line-items of just the first 400 pages.

I have been a Medicaid recipient; I have been without insurance and, currently, do have a very good insurance plan. I think I can pretty much see all sides of this issue.

I do know that in countries where they do have a national healthcare plan, the tax base is very high – as in 40%-ish, give or take.

I do know that in some countries which have national healthcare, there is quite a waiting period for some services and procedures.

I should also correct a statement above: my kids were on Medicaid. I was deemed to be too financially established to qualify for medical services for myself. How much sense does that make? Parents can’t get healthcare, so if something happens and they can’t work at all, who takes care of the kids?

But I digress. When my kids were on Medicaid, there was no “shortage” of healthcare. On occasion, it took a few phone calls to find a provider who accepted Medicaid, but I never failed to find one. The most difficult to find were dentists. Now, a person can certainly live without teeth, if he has to, but really – brushing and flossing can take care of 90% or more of teeth problems. How hard is that?

And, by the way, the government had all my information at that time…big deal. I’m sure they could have found it, even if I hadn’t filled out the forms – far as I know, they never used it against me. Will that really change with Obamacare, or is it a scare tactic?

When we were without insurance, we paid, most years, about $2K in healthcare costs, plus maybe another $2K for prescriptions. Now, with insurance, we pay about $15K. How much sense does that make?

Of course, all insurance is a “just in case” proposition, so national health insurance would also be a “just in case” scenario – how many, really, would need that “just in case”? Haven’t a clue.

I do think people should have basic healthcare; if someone has an infection, they should be able to see a doctor, without an excessive charge for an office visit. The healthcare is available, but who among the working poor can afford $150 for an office visit? That, in my book, is just ridiculous – $150 for ten minutes with a medical professional? Yet that same doctor will bill an insurance company $250.

We don’t need national healthcare, or Obamacare, we just need these silly costs capped. Since when does a pill cost $30 to research, manufacture, and market? Why does a CT scan cost $1800? Is that one patient paying for the entire machine? Or a urine culture – really, it costs $145 to stick a tube of pee in a centrifuge? Oh, wait – one more – $827 for a hospital bed, for one night. No, that doesn’t include all the hookups, tests, IVs, and so forth. Just the room. Some people don’t pay that much, each month, for their home.

The issue isn’t availability, it’s cost – and until we begin to seriously protest the outrageous fees that medical institutions and professionals and pharmaceutical companies charge, we’re all in deep, deep trouble.

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