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Sat May 17, 2014, 10:56 PM

U.S. Health Care Spending 17.9% of GNP in 2011...Do You Feel Healthier Yet?

Last edited Sun May 18, 2014, 12:04 AM - Edit history (1)

Rhetorical question. Of course you don't. The US spends over twice as much per person per year on health care costs and yet our health indicators would put most second world countries like Mexico and Eastern Europe to shame. Our infant mortality is high. In many rural counties life expectancy for women is going down not up. And yet, we spend money like there is no tomorrow---on end of life care for people who are going to die, so we stick them in an ICU and bill their insurers hundreds of thousands of dollars so that they can die in style. If anyone demands to know why it costs so much to die in this country we are told hospitals fear malpractice suits--but is a grieving family really going to sue because their dying relative did not get an extra machine that goes "ping"? Often, relatives watch in horror as the health care industry takes over what should be a natural part of life---death---and turns it into something macabre. Why?

The rest of the world knows that we are crazy---and they love it. When we tried to control Medicare Part D costs, the British Pharmaceutical industry protested. If they couldn't sell their drugs in the US at inflated costs, how could they give their own countrymen discounts on the same drugs? Think about it. Your mother and father on a fixed income pay more for their medicine so that Brits on National Health can get cheaper government subsidized health. Why?

We have the fast food industry encouraging us to get fat, the petrochemical industry encouraging us NOT to walk and to breathe crappy air, and the government can barely get a word in edgewise with its wimpy, underfunded public health campaigns. We have private insurers that know that the minute we get truly sick we will go on Medicare or Medicaid, so they are not going to waste any money on disease prevention. We have a private pharmaceutical industry which dreams of the day that everyone in this country has to take 10 or 20 pills just to stay alive---they are not pushing for more disease prevention. We have medical schools that keep turning out specialists who want to fix your diseased coronary arteries and replace your diseased hips but very few who want to keep those arteries and hips healthy, because there is no money in that, and without money they can not pay off their enormous education debt....

If a single insurer was going to be responsible for all of your medical bills from the moment you were born to the moment you died, that insurer would have specialists crunching the numbers, analyzing the data, doing research, figuring out the cheapest most effective way to keep us healthiest longest--because that insurer would make a lot of money for doing it. The insurer could Blue Cross. It could be Aetna. It could be Medicare. It could be the governments of France or Canada that spend half as much per person as the US to get excellent health quality results. As long as we hop-scotch from insurance to insurance--and occasionally off insurance--and finally onto government financed insurance, public health and efforts at disease prevention will remain a joke in this country.

If you make a best selling diabetic medication, who is your best friend? Coca-cola and Big Gulp. If you make a best selling COPD medication, you love R.J. Reynolds and car emissions. If you make a killing sell heart medications, you hope that we spend the next fifty years eating at McDonalds. If you make prosthetic knees, you love all of the above.

Face it my friend, to the Medical Industrial Complex, we are rats in a maze being force fed, forced to breathe smoke, confined to small spaces where we can not exercise and then subject to inhuman experiments that are heavily funded for the good of the profits of the Medical Industrial Complex, not the good of the rats in the maze. Pretty soon, the entire world--China, India, everywhere---is going to make its money making the drugs and machines and tubing that we need to continue our pathetic barely human existence---

---unless we decide to take charge and start living like healthy human beings again.

Eat less, exercise more, don't smoke, sign up for ACA, get a check up, insist that your community clean up its air and its water, eat organic, say no to toxic chemicals, say no to Frankenstein foods---if you really want to stick it to 1%, it is a great place to start. They will hate you for it. Hell, they will probably consider you un-American.

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Reply U.S. Health Care Spending 17.9% of GNP in 2011...Do You Feel Healthier Yet? (Original post)
McCamy Taylor May 2014 OP
elzenmahn May 2014 #1
McCamy Taylor May 2014 #2
postulater May 2014 #3

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sat May 17, 2014, 11:10 PM

1. Besides all of the tips at the bottom of this post...

...the real solution has only two words - SINGLE PAYER.

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Response to elzenmahn (Reply #1)

Sun May 18, 2014, 12:14 AM

2. True, so I put the important line in bold. Sadly, "single payer" is so far off the table

that I am not sure we will see it again in my lifetime.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 07:15 AM

3. We have a Disease Care System

Sad to say.

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