So, if you are poor, and you get sick... you don't get treatment? Or you do and end up with massive debt? Is that the case?
Excuse my ignorance, but I assumed that the US would have a decent system.
In a nutshell, yes. The USA has a GREAT system. You, and your employer, pay large quantities of money in insurance. When you make a claim against this
insurance you need to pay a deductible (usually quite a lot of money) before the insurance company will start paying any of the money you paid in to
them (cuts down their profits, and the stock market frowns). If it's a large amount, the insurance company will look very deep into your past to see
if there are any pre-existing conditions that might exclude you. They hire people specifically to find dirt on people to avoid paying claims. If you
do claim, then you become a liability and your premiums are increased. Winners? Yes. The insurance companies.
No job? No money? You're screwed. It's going to take you years to pay off any medical bill you incur.
The poor are the great unwashed, and the less we talk about them the better. Those living under the poverty line and starving (yes, in the USA -
amazing, isn't it!?) are just a "problem" that nobody wants. If they are poor, you see, it's because they are lazy/fat/stupid, and therefore "NOT
I'd like to think people cared about other people, but it's really not the case.
It's okay though, here in the USA the people are not living as long as in other countries with national health care, so they won't be a
problem/burden for too long.
Those against free health-care seem to think that they would be denied having access to a private health-care scheme. Not true. They could still pay
the high premiums and go to private clinics. Many of these same people seem to think that socialized medicine is a one way ticket to Communism. Yeah,
I know. It's quite funny. Polarized politics does this. There are lots of talking heads on the right wing "news" channels that will tell them that
Socialism = Communism, Universal Health-Care = Socialism, and therefore Socialized Health-Care = Communism.
The insurance companies are to blame for the failure of health care in America. That and the legal system (note that I didn't say "Justice System"
because we don't have one of those). Contingency law, and frivolous lawsuits by the ambulance chasers helps to keep those insurance premiums high,
and thus keeping the costs of health-care artificially high. Liability insurance is one of the biggest expenses that doctors face (that and paying off
their medical school loans).
Pull out the yellow pages and scan the pages and pages of doctors in your area. Now narrow it down to "General Practitioners". Wow, did that list
get small. Community medicine is a dirty word in some circles. No money in it, you see. Better to be a "Sports related elbow injury specialist" and
charge the big bucks (because it's sports related, see? The insurance companies won't touch it!).
Is health-care a right? I'd have to say no. However the USA cannot stand up and claim to be a truly civilized nation unless it does something to care
for its own people. All of them. We the people (except for the poor).......
I guess the press isn't so good as when you're sending aid to other countries. That way you can claim to be helping the needy, and the world's
press extols the generosity of the American people.
All about perception. The USA wants the world to see it as the guiding light of righteousness, and wealth. That people are dying of starvation and
illness in the USA is something they don't want the world to see. They're not that[/] generous.
Medicine in the USA is a means toward wealth. It's not about helping the sick.