Saturday, November 28, 2009

Health Care and the Cash Cow

Posted by Herb Schmidt

The current debate about Health Care in our country rightly should be of great concern to people of different Faith Communities. With over 40 million of Americans without health insurance, with people facing bankruptcies because health care costs, others dying because they can’t get medical assistance, people of faith need to add their voice to this important issue. It is a matter of Justice and good stewardship of the resources God has given us.

Like most problems there is an unrecognized ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. In this case it is not an Elephant but a CASH COW. The reason American’s can’t get affordable health care is that in this country we have made Medical care, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and the entire system into a profit making enterprise. The Free Market has its place but not in providing health care. Fire protection, Police protection are not money making businesses nor should Health Care be. Look at some of the facts.

In America we spend over $7,000.00 per person per year for health care. In other developed countries like Canada, Great Britan, Switzerland, the Scandinavian countires, etc. the cost is less than $2,500.00 per person. Yet many of these countries have better systems. American is 33rd in longevity and lag behind many developed countries in many different categories of care. Profit insurance companies use only 70 cents of each premium dollar on health care. The rest is overhead and profit. The administrative cost by the government for medicare is only 3% while administrative costs for most insurance companies is more than 20%. Medical Insurance companies hire people to find ways not to pay claims. They are the ones who get in between the patient and doctors. Pharmaceutical Companies spent more on advertising than they do on research. If you go to Mexico or Canada you can buy the same drug from the same company for about one fourth of the price you pay for the same drug in this country. Our representative in the House and Senate are beholden to drug companies and pharmaceuticals because of their contributions to political campaigns and their large lobbying efforts in the congress. The companies at the present time spend more than a million dollars a day to defeat any change in our health care. It is time to change the system.

The only way to correct the present system in this country is to have a government run single-payer system or at least a robust public option. The Government can deliver a much better system than the Cash Cow system we have today. Think where we would be without Social Security and Medicare. Both of these plans when they were presented were opposed by the same people and party who object to the present proposed changes to our system today. Of course these systems need up dating and modification but our country would be in dire straits if we did not have these systems.

It is time we name the Elephant in the room. It is time to get the CASH COW OUT of our medical care system. A market driven systems is the problem. The time is now! Write and call your representatives so that we can get a medical system that truly uses the resources we have in this country to serve all our citizens.

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