Monday, March 31, 2008

U.S. Healthcare - Overhaul it


I think Americans that are in a Union have pretty good health insurance overall because the unions use health coverage as one of their bargaining chits for employer based coverage. If you have AFL-CIO coverage, you are probably not one of the 47 MILLION uninsured! You also don't have Medicaid.

So I was surprised to find a survey of more than 26,400 Americans, conducted by the AFL-CIO found that people are fed up with U.S. health care. Half of the respondents said they were union members, others were family members or self insured. I see this as the famous middle class. Because it was an online survey, they at least had computer access, and were working Americans. Listen up, Washington...the people have had it!

Among the findings:
  • 95% said the health care system in the U.S. needs fundamental change or overhaul
  • 46% reported spending $1000-$5000 in out-of-pocket costs over the past year
  • 48% said they or a family member stayed in a job just for the health insurance
  • Nearly 1/3 said their insurance company refused to cover a medical treatment that should have been covered.
  • 97% said they plan to vote in the upcoming election
To read the full story go here.

4 comments:

Raymond Bouchayer said...

I have heard a comedian say that HMO means "Hand your money over".....sad a country like ours should not have a problem like this .........we should not have to discuss anything , our taxes are paying for the health care of our elected official ( our employees ) , and we should have the same, exact plan that they have . Good luck with that one :)

tracey said...

I am Canadian - grew up with socialized medicine. It wasn't a perfect system, but it's significantly better than being uninsured. To be as wealthy a country as we are here in the U.S. and have so many without insurance is a travesty. There has to be a balance.

bhargava said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quiact said...

The U.S. Health Care: Anarchy And Apathy

What follows are believed to be facts that are believed to exist regarding the present U.S. Health Care System. This may be why about 80 percent of U.S. citizens understandably want our health care system overhauled desperately due to the inadequate health care they receive and access:
The U.S. is ranked number 42 related to life expectancy and infant mortality, which is rather low.
However, the U.S. is ranked number one in the world for spending the most for health care- as well as being number one for those with chronic diseases. About 125 million people have such diseases. This is about 70 percent of the Medicare budget that is spent treating these terrible illnesses.
Health Care costs are now well over 2 trillion dollars of our gross domestic product. This is three times the amount nearly 20 years ago- and 8 times the amount it was about 30 years ago. Most is spent with medical institutions, as far as health expenditures are concerned.
One third of that amount is nothing more than administrative toxic waste that does not involve the restoration of the health of others. This illustrates how absurd the U.S. Health Care System is presently. Nearly 7000 dollars is spent on every citizen for health care every year, and that, too, is more than anyone else in the world.
We have around 50 million citizens without any health insurance, which may cause about 20 thousand deaths per year. This includes millions of children without health care, which is added to the planned or implemented cuts in the government SCHIP program for children, which alone covers about 7 million kids.
Our children.
Nearly half of the states in the U.S. are planning on or have made cuts to Medicaid, which covers about 60 million people, and those on Medicaid are in need of this coverage is largely due to unemployment. With these Medicaid cuts, over a million people will lose their health care coverage and benefits to a damaging degree.
About 70 percent of citizens have some form of health insurance, and the premiums for their insurance have increased nearly 90 percent in the past 8 years. About 45 percent of health care is provided by our government- which is predicted to experience a severe financial crisis in the near future with some government health care programs, it has been reported.
Half of all patients do not receive proper treatment to restore their health, it has been stated. Medical errors desperately need to be reduced as well, it has been reported, which should be addressed as well.
Most doctors want a single payer health care system, which would save about 400 billion dollars a year- about 20 percent less than what we are paying now. The American College of Physicians, second in size only to the American Medical Association, supports a single payer health care system.
The AMA, historically opposed to a single payer health care system, has close to half of its members in favor of this system. Less than a third of all physicians are members of the AMA, according to others.
Our health care we offer citizens is the present system is sort of a hybrid of a national and private health care system that has obviously mutated to a degree that is incapable of being fully functional due to perhaps copious amounts and levels of individual and legal entities.
Health Care must be the priority immediately by the new administration and congress. Challenges include the 700 billion dollars that have been pledged with the financial bailout that will occur, since the proposed health care plan of the next administration is projected to cost over a trillion dollars within the first year or so of the proposed plan to recalibrate health care for all of us in the U.S.
Likely, hundreds of billions of dollars that are speculated to be saved with a reform of the country’s health care system. Health policy analysts should not be greatly concerned on the health care corporate shareholders who may be affected by this reform of our health care system that is desperately needed.
It is estimated that the U.S. needs presently tens of thousands more primary care physicians to fully satisfy the necessities of those members of the public health. This specialty makes possibly less than 100 thousand dollars annually in income, compared with other physician specialties, yet they are and have been the backbone of the U.S. health care system.
The American College of Physicians believes that a patient centered national health care workforce policy is needed to address these issues that would ideally restructure the payment policies that exist presently with primary care physicians.
Further vexing is that it is quite apparent that we have some greedy health care corporations that take advantage of our health care system. Over a billion dollars was recovered for Medicare and Medicaid fraud last year through settlements paid to the department of Justice because some organizations who deliberately ripped off taxpayers.
These are the taxpayers in the U.S. who have a fragmented health care system with substantial components and different levels of government- composed of several legal entities and individuals, which has resulted in medical anarchy, so it seems.
Thanks to various corporations infecting our Health Care System in the United States, the following variables sum up this system as it exists today. Perhaps the United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676) is the best solution to meet our health care needs as citizens, it appears.
We would finally have, as with most other countries, a Universal Health Care system that will allow free choice of doctors and hospitals, potentially, and health care for all completely. It should and likely will be funded by a combination of payroll taxes and general tax revenue which is realistically possible. Because the following seems to be in need of repair regarding the U.S. Health Care System:

Access- citizens do not have the right or ability to make use of this system as we should.
Efficiency- this system strives on creating much waste and expense as it possibly can.
Quality- the standard of excellence we deserve as citizens with our health care is missing in action.
Sustainability- We as citizens cannot continue to keep our health care system in as it is designed at this time- as it exists today.
http://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/publications/US_healthcare/index.asp
Dan Abshear