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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Far We’ve Come – NOT!


Most of the time I don’t try to take this blog anywhere near the political arena but this week I fear I must. After A.J.’s portrait last week of the incompetent police in her area and then seeing Michael Moore’s SICKO, I really knew I had to say something.

Health care is not just the privilege of the wealthy but seeing the state of health care in the US would make one think so. The American Medical Association, the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies have such as strangle hold on we the people, it’s horrible. Just how horrible can be seen by a look at the news recently and you’ll know.

In this country today, there are people divorcing each other because one has a debilitating illness and the only way they can get health care insurance is to be apart. There are families right now deciding whether to put food on their tables or pay a health care insurance premium because they have a sick child. There are credit agencies who are suing people out of house, home and everything they own because of an illness that put them so far under, there is no other way to pay the bills except to lose everything. I guess the message here is you just can’t afford to get sick.

And folks, that is sick in itself. It’s a sick way to live and it’s morally wrong for every person in this country to be under this dark cloud. Good health care is a right that every American is entitled to no matter what. People need to be encouraged to go into the health care professions because they truly love people and want to help them. No other reason. But in today’s climate, people feel they can make money and lots of it by preying on the ills of others quite literally.

I mean, I knew it was bad but just how bad I didn’t understand until I watched SICKO. Michael Moore talks with people all around the world about their health care and he brought out some pretty astounding statistics when it came right down to it. If you haven’t seen this film, I truly believe it is the one film of his you definitely need to see.

In it, he talks to Canadians, English and ex-pats in France to hear about their opinions on the health care systems there. He goes to the health care system in Cuba to try and get some really well deserving people the health care they needed.

It amazed me just how warm people were about the medical systems in England, Canada and France. Now I can really understand the lure of a system where you walk in to see your doctor, have your visit with nothing going out of your pocket. What amazed me even more was that there are Americans sneaking over the border, going to Canada to get in on the system there. Some are going as far as marriage to a Canuck just so they can be cared for during big illnesses. Michael himself has relatives in Canada who said right on camera that they felt sorry for us.

What?!? Sorry for an American? Well, they have it right because what we’re not getting is that the cost it would take to give everyone universal health care is what we’re paying anyway every year. Yeah, the uninsured costs us that much per year. Yet all those mentioned above, the American Medical Association, the pharmaceutical companies and the insurance companies all want you to think that isn’t so. Oh, what a selfish group they are. But back to where I was.

Michael talked to all manner of people in Canada, rich, poor and even an American sneaking across the border and all of them said, the world was a better place when everyone had health care. Do you think they know something we don’t?

In England, he didn’t talk to patients as much as he talked to the medical staff. He followed one young general physician throughout the day, talked to his patients as well as visited his home. His last stop in England was to a pharmacy. Of the patients he asked each of them when they expected to see a bill. Most were confused but when they finally got it most flat out said that he must be an American because they knew in America nothing is free. Ouch. Most of them said they wouldn’t be caught dead in our country because it would cost them so very much to get any treatment or put in a casket to be sent home. The last part was my interpretation of what had been said not anything Michael had said.

Now the English doctor was absolutely lovely, had a great family and makes about $200-250K a year which is comparable to what an American doctor makes in the general field. He also said he felt sorry for Americans as our medical professions worshiped the almighty dollar not helping people. Sad perception of our medicine.

The story on France was wonderful as it followed a group of ex-pats who talked about how privileged and cared for they felt in that country as there were things like paid maternity leave, paid child sick days, preventive health maintenance days and on and on concerning the positive aspects of their system. The really sad part was where all of them said that they will probably remain in France because it seems as if the country really cares for them there whereas in America people are being thrown to the wolves every day.

The last story was so poignant that I cried through the whole thing. I was a little angry at first that the man made us relive the 911 tragedy but that was only the beginning. Michael explained just who these people he was talking to and it became clear right away that these people were those who deserved health care as they were 911 rescue workers. He talked to more but it’s these three I want to zoom in on for the moment.

One of the issues he brought out was the fact there was only one place on US soil where the medical care was one hundred percent free. And that was at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It seems that the prisoners there get better treatment than the ones who worked for days in crappy air just trying to find pieces parts. And that does include some military bases as there are now minimal charges even there.

So he did the only thing he felt reasonable and tried to take these people to the base at Guantanamo. They eventually gave up as they were afraid they would get shot at so they tried a different tact. They decided to walk right into the closest Cuban city and ask where the nearest hospital was. Then he did go off on a little tirade about how the perception of Cuba wasn’t anything like what the people were like but quickly he was brought back to reality the moment they hit the door for the hospital. Only three little bits of information was needed before they could treat the 911 people, their first and last name and their date of birth.

All of them were then whisk away for a battery of tests and some of the most caring doctors I have even seen in my life. And these people supposedly hate us. Still, after a few days of tests each and every one of these American citizens left a communist country in much better medical shape than when they went in. Do you all see something wrong with this picture?

The other thing I found amazing in all three stories was the cost of drugs. In Cuba, even the most expensive drugs only cost around $2. In England, the cost for any amount was six pounds, twenty-five pence or roughly about $12 per prescription. So it was good to stock up and many Americans really did.

What hurt me the most was that almost every other civilized country in the world has better medical care than we do in the US. What the heck is wrong with us? Why are we so gullible that we allow these entities to run over us like Mac trucks? These people work for us, all of them in the medical profession as well as those in the government, and they should hear the will of the people and it’s FREE health care no matter what.

Every American deserves to have health care at no cost to themselves. It seems the rest of the world understands that we are all connected but there is no we in the American health care system, just a series of I’s that only care for themselves and how much they can earn.

When will we say enough is enough and quit denying basic things to those who don’t have it? When will we realize it is costing us a fortune every year anyway? With a little restructuring, the cost will be minimal to what we’re paying now. At what point do we say that every human life is worth it, who cares what it costs?

I am very adamant about health care reform. It is desperately needed in this country. Just walk through a county hospital and you will see them turning people away because they can’t pay...and they’re the ones getting government money to treat these same people. Look at the hospitals like the ones in the Kaiser group which just dumps the patients out on the street when they feel that their treatment is too costly or their benefit has run out. How much longer will the human suffering in American go on because it costs too much? When will we just open our arms and realize every American is worth it?

I guess the really sad thing for me is in a lot of cases, we treat animals better than we do human beings. And in my opinion, in may ways we are still in the Dark Ages in regards to health care. Then, they may not have had the most knowledge but they truly cared for each other.

I’d be interested in seeing what you all think about the broken health care system here in America. Tell me what side of the fence you’re on and you’ll be entered for a free eBook. Last week’s winner is SiNn and orelukjp0!

Thanks and hope to see you next week!

Lynn

13 comments:

SiNn said...

slides up and gives my opinion its sad because drs all took the oath yet many only care if you have the green back if your on an hmo or osme sort of budget you dont get the same care you would if you were paying high dollar for insurance and such i see it everyday sometimes iwth my own family members iget rather irked alot because my own family get treated like second class citizenes because they dont have all that to pay some countries have it made because they put value on what they were taughta nd the oath they took not on what the price is when they get paid it just irks me on the prices we pay for medication worse i had to wiat over 2 hours for my neices script then they tell me oh well you have to wiat ofr ur nephews teh pharmisist have to recheck while i just had to pay out of pocket to wait even longer

Erin Sinclair said...

What I love right now and yes I am being exceedingly sarcastic, is the scare tactic used by corporate interests screaming our country is becoming a socialist nation and the average apathetic citizen who refuses to learn the truth for themselves, buys it. We have got to stop buying the bullshite fear mongering.

COME ON PEOPLE, THINK! ANYTIME YOU HAVE THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDING A SERVICE TO YOU THAT IS PAID FOR WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS IT IS A SOCIALIZED PRODUCT! STOP BUYING INTO THE MUCKRAKING CORPORATE INTERESTS TRYING TO SAVE THEIR GREEDY A$$ES BY SCARING THE CRAP OUT OF YOU WITH LIES AND HALF-TRUTHS!

THE US IS A CORPORATE RUN NATION AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN. IT IS TIME TO END THE STRANGLEHOLD CORPORATIONS HAVE ON THIS NATION AND VOTE OUT OF OFFICE ANY POLITICIAN WHO SERVES THEIR VOTE UPON A SILVER PLATTER TO THE CORPORATIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR MONEY/FAVORS/GIFTS FROM THEM AND THEIR BULLYBOY LOBBYISTS!

You don't want big bad Daddy government assisting you? then time to end ALL government assistance programs at the state and federal levels including but not limited to Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, Medicare, federal/state subsidies to public schools, to public hospitals, etc., PERIOD.

What's that? No way, you say? Huh, then what's the difference between accepting food stamps to feed your starving family and health care created to cover your sick child no matter what???

I am weary of seeing people cut off their noses to spite their faces. We have no choice as a nation to ignore healthcare any longer. A country built by sick and broken uneducated citizenry, run by an avaristic and deaf government is doomed to fail, it is only a matter of time.

I have European friends, one from Britain, two from Germany and they are absolutely stunned at what the average American endures when it comes to health. From our eating habits to lack of coverage they just don't understand how our country, which they consider to be a great one can have such a nihilistic view of their people, considering what our claims to greatness consist of.

They never had issues in their countries with their healthcare programs DESPITE what is said in this country. From my research and understanding between the two, Germany was the best in its care, in my opinion. In Germany, everyone from the government to business to citizens pay into the system and EVERYONE is covered.

Okay, my rant is over, carry on. No apologies for the intensity, we have to do something about this or the country I love will die a terrible death at the hands of the manipulative few.

We are in the 21st century now and our lack of a civilized way to approach humanity is sickening, literally and figuratively.

Erin Sinclair
"For love that's out of this world!"
www.erinsinclairauthor.com

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks for dropping by SiNn. Yes, it's a sad state when the doctors care more about money than people. When I was growing up, being a doctor meant you gave your life to caring for people. Now I'm not sure what it means.

I'm sorry your family is one who gets caught up in this system. They need to get their head on straight and get over it.

Today I see that the insurance companies are all banding together to try and defeat the system the government is trying to get in place.
And while I know some of their jobs are in jeopardy, they have no right to hold us all hostage.

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Erin,

All I can say is DITTO! LOL!

Thanks for stopping by and you have given me even more to think about.

Lynn

SiNn said...

i just get an noyed when my folks who spent 20 or more years paying in to the system then drs acting put out when they go to the emergancy room my dads a retired veteran and he wnet to the hospital last weekend the dr had the nerve to look at my mother and say the vets hospital has an emergancy room that hospital is over an hour away and my dads oxygen lvl was so far down they nearly addmitted him but when my mom replys hes sick and theres no way hed make it to the other hospital this dr was sooo put out by haven to help him and worse is my dad has insurance its catch 22 really

PhyllisC said...

Very insightful comments on the movie. Certainly sounds like it gives you a lot of imformation to consider on the subject. There are many problems that need to be addressed here in our country with health care being one of the subjects at the top of the list.

Anonymous said...

Ok, this is worth every MINUTE (ONLY 4) to watch this! THIS HITS IT OUT OF THE BALL PARK ! AND IT ONLY has HAD 24,048 views

It was taken inside Congress with a Congressman. YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS and YOU MUST PASS IT ON!!!

THIS IS IMPERATIVE EVERYONE SEE THIS!! IT WAS TAKEN OFF THE VIDEO TAPES OF THE FLOOR OF OUR NATIONAL LEGISLATURE.

PLEASE GET THIS OUT TO EVERYONE!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynn Crain said...

Phyllis,

I so agree with you. Health care needs to be at the top of our list as it affects us all in many different ways.

While I'm not always a Michael Moore fan since he tends to be a rabble rouser, I do believe he got a lot of things right in that movie.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn

Lynn Crain said...

Anonymous,

While I respect everyone's opinion, I am hoping this DOES NOT get very many more views. And here's why.

IMHO Mr. Rogers is an ass as he obviously hasn't really had anyone in the system recently. He is using the common scare tactics used by big business (read the AMA, insurance companies and the big pharaceutical companies) to make the consumer think socialized medicine is BAD. It isn't. After all, every one of those organizations support socialized medicine other countries...bet you didn't know that one, did you?

The hard reality is that sometime in the near future, the current health care system is going to go belly up because people won't be able to afford the premiums that Mr. Rogers states is part of an employees benefit package. Well, our benefit package portion known as health care insurance is set to go up about 400% the beginning of next year because my DH's employer can no longer afford the fees the insurance company is going to charge so they passed the cost to us. It's no longer a benefit but something that takes up to $1000+ per month out of many middle class Americans pockets every mouth.

My youngest son is diabetic and if we can't find him some health care insurance before he leaves our house to go to college he will have NONE because diabetes is considered a pre-existing condition. His meds alone will cost him about $300-500 depending on what he needs that month.

My father had to pay back the insurance companies which they had paid into for for years to get my mother's Alzheimer's care. It was horrible and left him earning less than the poverty level when he should be comfortable.

I can give you more personal insights but the best one is this: Big medicine is BAD for America. And until, the almighty dollar is taken out of the equation, nothing will change. Doctors should be doctors because they want to help and cure people of illness and disease.

And Mr. Rogers piece needs to be left on the cutting room floor.

Off my soapbox.

Lynn

SiNn said...

I agree about Mr rodgers and the cutting room floor its ashame how big insurance companies cnarip you off then claim they r helping you

Ginger Simpson said...

The problem I see is that there really is no one in Washington who gives a crap. Special interest groups have bought out our elected officials, and I say "elected officials" while laughing, because the lack of term limits have allowed them to assume permanent careers with all the perks and whistles.
I'm all for health care reform and fixing what is broken...which is anything the government undertakes (Medicare, Medicaid, the Veteran's Administration), but I certainly don't want Congress dictating my medical rights. As it is, California is in such a state of financial disrepair, I fear my benefits are going to take a hit since I retired from an educational institution there.
I keep asking myself...who was asleep at the helm? Surely they saw the light at the end of the tunnel before the train ran them down. Great bookkeeping by their financial people, don't you think? This sort of solidifies my belief that politics and business aren't good bed partners.

Lynn Crain said...

Trouble is, Ginger, the US keeps trying to reinvent the wheel. If they would just learn some lessons from countries who have been there before maybe things would be better. Basically, the whole system is broken and needs an overhaul.

I do agree that our elected officials haven't done squat for us in quite a while. Matter of fact, a few years ago I told my DH I wanted to start a campaign 'Taxation Without Representation' because that's what it felt like. And don't get me on the IRS soapbox...okay...so there are two things I'm political about. LOL!

Lynn

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