Oops, I Did It Again

What did I do again? I misread one of the questions Melanie posed in her Share Your World prompt yesterday. Her question was, “What is your opinion of the state of health care in your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”

I apparently had a brain fart and completely overlooked the “…of health care” part. So my answer was based upon “What is your opinion of the state of your country? Adequate or inadequate? What could be done to improve it?”

I realized my faux pas after reading the answers from other bloggers, and I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer Melanie’s actual question about the state of health care in my country.

I spent most of my working life in health insurance and in health care benefits administration software solutions. And I can say with some degree of knowledge that the American health care delivery system is a mess. It’s great if you are wealthy because you can afford arguably the best doctors and health care facilities in the world. But if you’re not wealthy, it’s adequate at best. And if you’re poor, good luck.

I was thrilled back in 2008 when Barrack Obama decided to push the Affordable Care act (aka Obamacare). The idea was to expand health coverage to tens of millions Americans who did not have access to health car and to mandate a minimum set of coverage requirements. Obama wanted to creat a single payer system that would not depend upon for-profit health insurance companies to underwrite and administrate the benefits.

Unfortunately, those same for-profit health insurance companies pushed back hard and vigorously lobbied the Republicans in Congress, and the only way Obama could push through the ACA was to fold on the single payer approach and agree to keep the insurance companies in the game.

The vote in Congress pretty much went by party lines, with almost all Republicans opposed to it. But the good news is that Obamacare passed and about 20 million Americans who previously didn’t have health benefits enrolled in ACA.

It’s been 11 years since Obamacare was passed and, despite numerous Republican efforts to repeal it, it’s still here. But I think what this country needs to improve health care coverage is to embrace a “Medicare-for-All” system. Medicare covers senior citizens and some who are on kidney dialysis. It’s great as far as it goes, but it offers no vision, dental, or hearing benefits. And most people under age 65 don’t qualify for Medicare.

So I say offer Medicare to all Americans, regardless of age, expand benefits to include, vision, dental, and hearing benefits, and move to a single payer system.

18 thoughts on “Oops, I Did It Again

  1. Marilyn Armstrong December 14, 2021 / 11:16 am

    Pretty much what I said. A couple of countries — Switzerland and Israel are two of them — use insurance companies as alternative providers, but there’s a free bottom line healthcare program that anyone can use, including tourists, non-residents — literally anyone. If you want “upgraded service (mainly private doctors rather than clinics), you can pay for it, but the payments are not huge and even the clinics provide good healthcare. It is NOTHING like the mess we have here.

    Massachusetts has “great” healthcare and IT isn’t NEARLY good enough, especially if you move out of the Boston area — ESPECIALLY when you move to places like this which are under-served on many different levels from Wi-Fi to primary care doctors. The best part of living here is the wildlife and the rivers.

    Our healthcare is a massive disaster and given the government we have, I don’t see it getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rugby843 December 14, 2021 / 12:47 pm

    Medicare always pushed to get additional coverage. I did that for years but since about five years ago that extra $200 I spent for not even complete coverage is now mine not theirs. I am off any meds which helps and in general good health, also helps. I’m much healthier since getting off all meds and feel so much better.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol anne December 14, 2021 / 2:02 pm

    The US health care system…I cant understand how it all works! I’ve tried, over and over, to wrap my head around it, but, I cant. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 14, 2021 / 10:49 pm

      That’s because it doesn’t work very well.

      Like

      • Marleen December 20, 2021 / 9:45 am

        I am concerned that the US (corporations and politicians) will figure out (or continue with or continue figuring out) ways — as the overarching philosophy here since Reagan is so geared to — to use terminology like Medicare but not really make things better for the general public [while I actually already have good coverage but hate the way payment can be obscured]. What do you think about privatization? The conservative guy, in the following video, spouts the usual lines about private being better. He doesn’t even have to articulate them well… because “everybody” (almost everybody) has fallen for the mantra years and decades before now.

        Ryan Grim [for The Hill, Rising]: Biden Advisor, Andy Slavitt, Linked to Bipartisan {party doesn’t matter} Medicare Privatization SCHEME

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen December 20, 2021 / 4:49 pm

          I think you know, but I’ll clarify just in case, I am in favor of Medicare for All — but in a real sense… not in a sense of using the words but privatizing and/or handing out vouchers or any of that “conservative” kind of stuff like has been increasingly happening with public schools, as a comparison, until there is no assurance of decent public schooling. (I’m not against private schools; I went to a few, and liked a couple. But money shouldn’t come from public coffers for them. I also liked the public school I attended, and I believe we should address the widespread need.)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango December 20, 2021 / 10:01 pm

          I think private health insurance has failed in this country and it’s time for a nationwide single payer approach.

          Like

          • Marleen December 23, 2021 / 10:22 am

            Quote from your above opening post: The idea was to expand health coverage to tens of millions Americans who did not have access to health care and to mandate a minimum set of coverage requirements. Obama wanted to create a single payer system that would not depend upon for-profit health insurance companies to underwrite and administrate the benefits.

            Unfortunately, those same for-profit health insurance companies pushed back hard and vigorously lobbied the Republicans in Congress, and the only way Obama could push through the ACA was to fold on the single payer approach …

            Could you explain, to me, whether or not “single payer” inextricably (rather than ideally) gets the money-maker companies out of control? I do agree with moving away from employer-based health insurance (different category of company/business).

            The for-profit health-related companies (along with mutual funds and representatives of the stock market) aren’t ever going to stop variously pushing back. We will have to continue to be alert and ready for their tricks (or start to be aware of their tricks).

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango December 23, 2021 / 9:59 pm

              A “single payer” presumably would have been a federal agency, like the Social Security administration or some other government entity, not one of the existing private, for-profit health insurance companies.

              Like

        • Marleen December 24, 2021 / 12:16 pm

          Point of clarification: Ryan Grim isn’t the “conservative guy” in the video. The other guy is Robbie someone.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. jilldennison December 14, 2021 / 6:47 pm

    Having spent 11 days in the hospital recently, as well as having numerous appointments for tests and ‘procedures’, I can say that healthcare in the U.S. is a disaster! It is no longer focused on the patient … the patient could die in their waiting rooms and they’d never know it! Doctors are so specialized in their fields that they cannot be bothered to consider the patient’s overall health. I am thoroughly disgusted with the whole system for which we pay a pretty penny!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 14, 2021 / 10:56 pm

      I agree. It’s seriously broken and disconnected from meeting the needs of the patient.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nope, Not Pam December 15, 2021 / 12:39 am

    Australia has a Medicare system for all and private health. The biggest issues with the public system is the wait times, but they get to you eventually if you don’t die first

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 15, 2021 / 9:58 am

      Yeah I suppose finally getting medical care if you’re DOA could be a problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie B Cee December 15, 2021 / 6:29 am

    You know, I wondered about your original answer, but thought maybe healthcare wasn’t on your ‘naughty’ list. Superb answer here though! My parents had a Medicare/Medicaid combination when they were elderly, plus a third small private policy. They were poor, blue collar workers and didn’t have a bean. But most of the stuff they had as they aged (including my father’s cancer) were almost entirely covered. The medication co-pays were small. A pox on those horrid politicians (I have one specific asshole in mind who ((IMHO)) started this mess) and greedy pork barrel snufflin’ Big Pharm golden parachute assholes. They ought to have to live with the ‘benefits’ that they say most Americans under a certain income can live on. They ought to be required to do that for at least five years. Maybe it would wake some of them up to the actual problems in the system.

    Thank you Fandango for doing another excellent post on a very ‘hot’ topic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 15, 2021 / 10:15 am

      I realized my error and decided I had to “correct the record.” 😉

      Like

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