I’ve seen this anti-Sicko article by Larry Elder a few times in the past week, and it’s so full of bullshit, I just can’t ignore it anymore. Brace yourselves, this is going to be another long one:
First, understand that lack of health-care “insurance” does not mean a lack of health care. Many emergency rooms, by law, provide medical care to anyone who walks in, whether an illegal or legal resident of this country.
Tell it to the parents, spouses and children of the 18,000 people who will die this year because they don’t have access to routine, preventative care without insurance. (That’s 49 deaths today, 49 tomorrow, 49 the next day… two every hour.)
The emergency room is only required to do the bare minimum in an emergency situation (sometimes they don’t even do that), and going to the ER is outrageously expensive if you don’t have insurance. In fact, hospitals routinely charge uninsured people 2-4 times more than what health insurance companies pay.
Second, when Moore asserts that 50 million Americans lack health care insurance, he most assuredly includes some of the estimated 11 million to 20 million illegal aliens living here.
80% of the uninsured are native or naturalized US citizens.
Nearly half go without health insurance only for four months or less, usually while between jobs.
That’s funny… Kaiser Family Foundation says that 59% of uninsured adults have gone without insurance for at least two years.
Others with employment could easily add health-care insurance through their work for a very small premium.
Only 61% of employers offer health insurance to some of their employees. Many employees are ineligible or can’t afford those “very small premiums.” When my ex worked at Denny’s, for example, they offered health insurance… it would have taken more than HALF his paycheck. I’m sure premiums like that are nothing for a nationally syndicated talk show host, but for average folks it’s an impossible burden.
Many without health-care insurance consist of young people (18 million uninsured are between the ages of 18 and 34) who consider themselves — given their youth and good health — unlikely to face large health-care costs.
I’m 18-34, and I don’t consider myself “unlikely to face large health-care costs.” I would love to have health insurance, if only we could afford it. I’m sick and tired of seeing this little “fact” that 18-34-year-olds don’t want health care. It’s a goddamn lie.
Over 14 million of the uninsured, according to the Census Bureau, live in households earning $50,000 or more annually. Over 7 million are in households earning more than $75,000 a year.
Two-thirds of the uninsured population are either in poverty or just above poverty.
A small number of the uninsured include criminals. Should taxpayers provide health care for them, as well?
Why not? Most criminals aren’t eligible for the death penalty. Why is it OK to kill them by neglect?
But according to an ABC News-Kaiser Family Foundation-USA Today survey, 89 percent of Americans with health-care insurance say they are, in fact, satisfied with the quality of care they receive.
Of course they are; most of them are healthy. They haven’t faced a major illness and been weeded out by the health insurance industry yet:
Most people in countries with universal health care are satisfied, too. The difference is that their satisfaction is justified. They don’t have to worry about losing coverage. They never have to consider getting a divorce, quitting their jobs and selling off their assets so they can be poor enough to qualify for Medicaid to save their child’s life. They don’t have to worry about going bankrupt due to medical costs. They don’t have to worry about any of that shit.
Lindsay McCreith of Ontario was supposed to wait four months for an MRI, and then wait several months more to see a neurologist for his malignant brain tumor. But instead, McCreith — like many other ill Canadians — came to the United States for life-saving surgery.
Which only proves that universal health care doesn’t force everyone to wait. Meanwhile, millions of Americans don’t get to see neurologists or have MRIs at all when they get brain tumors. Why should well-off Canadians like Lindsay McCreith have more access to the American health care system than millions of working class Americans? Why is that OK?
France? Nearly 13,000 people died in the summer of 2003. Why? The number suffering from the heat so overwhelmed the French health-care system that hospitals simply stopped answering their phones and ambulance attendants told people to take care of themselves. The majority of the 13,000 died from simple dehydration.
A look at Wikipedia paints a slightly different picture. Many factors contributed to those deaths. France doesn’t normally have extreme heat in the Summer. Many people didn’t know how to deal with it, and most French homes don’t have air conditioning. Also, most doctors and young families were on vacation at the time (which left many elderly people alone), and so was the national Health Minister. Most of the dead were elderly.
Heat waves can be deadly in the US, too. The difference is that in the US, we don’t all go on month-long vacations at the same time, during the hottest part of the year.
To address the “crisis” of the medically uninsured, Moore follows down the same dreary path of those who wish to improve America’s education — ignoring the benefits of competition. Why, for example, do elective medical procedures — those not covered by health-care insurance — become increasingly affordable? Cosmetic surgery procedures, nose jobs, breast implants, hair grafts, facelifts and vision-corrective eye surgery steadily decline in price.
Because those procedures are not necessary! Nobody dies from hair loss, wrinkles, small tits or wearing eyeglasses. Those prices decline because plastic surgeons have to convince people to purchase those procedures! They’re luxuries, not necessities of life.
Competition doesn’t necessarily lower the price of necessities. Just take a look at the cost of food, or a gallon of gas, or deregulated electricity. Those prices, like health insurance, only seem to go UP.
If competition lowers costs, why are there 47 million Americans with no health insurance, and why is that number only climbing higher and HIGHER? Why aren’t there any health insurance companies lowering their prices to compete for MY family? If competition was the answer, we wouldn’t BE in this mess today! If free-market health insurance really was the best solution, America would be ranked #1 in health care, not #37.
The capitalist health insurance system we have presently doesn’t work. The solution is staring us right in the face. We need a taxpayer-funded national health service, and we need it NOW! The sooner we get it, the sooner those 18,000+ needless deaths and 700,000+ needless bankruptcies per year will stop.
P.S. The way the site’s been acting, this might be my last post. If so, thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments! It’s been fun having an audience for a week! And if you liked my posts, you’re welcome to keep reading them at my blog. :)