Extend coverage to 35 million Americans? Don’t you mean forcing me and millions like me to buy an insurance product we can’t afford and/or don’t believe in?
I’ve got a fairly common and easily treated immune condition, but for 97% of us who share the disease, American doctors can’t seem to find it! Instead, it manifests into diabetes, cancer, whatever… (source U Chicago: http://www.celiacdisease.net/ ) When I was a kid and teen under my parent’s expensive insurance plan and “no cost is too great” mentality, I was always sick and the doctors always had an expensive plan to make it better. Well, it didn’t make anything better but they would inevitably dream up a new expensive plan that seemed to rely on a completely new set of assumptions… Eventually, each symptom was so bad that it warranted its own specialist and prescription. I don’t think my liver could have taken that for too long, and my mind rejected it with a nervous breakdown.
When I turned 18 I could have stayed on that “gold standard” federal employee Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that had billed ten$ of thou$and$ “on my behalf,” but I had no faith or energy left for a medical system that treats sick people like ATMs. Luckily, my skepticism led to a pursuit of truth, and it wasn’t too hard to find a scientifically verified method of treating my symptoms and improving my long-term survivability without spending a penny. Anyway, now I’m proudly uninsured and healthier than I’ve ever been…
Not too surprisingly, publicly run medical systems in Europe are generations ahead of us in treating Celiac Disease. There’s a big difference between a system designed to minimize costs and a system designed to maximize profits & transaction volume. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for both as in France or many continental European states, but this bill has the proportions completely backward.
We hear so much about people who die because they don’t have care, but how many people does our medical system kill with the “care” or “services” they do sell (and “up-sell”)? How many of your neighbors and coworkers are shuffling around under the influence of psychoactive prescriptions? How many doctors are glad to prescribe medication to cover up symptoms that are consequences of our horrendous diets? Whats the true economic costs of ignoring what our bodies and minds are trying to tell us about modern society?
Whats rotten in our health system isn’t something that can be fixed with a universal application under the threat of tax fines or jail time. The reality is too warped, the answers too disturbing and complex. I certainly don’t have all those answers, but the stunningly obvious part is that we won’t get meaningful reform by caving in to the same insurance, pharma, and lawyer lobbies that have run things for the last 80 years…Then again, maybe the cancer has spread so deep that there’s nothing else left inside.
I say, scrap the whole thing and invite a panel of doctors to study international systems. The current proposal is probably the only thing that could have possibly be designed to be worse than the miserable status quo.