In the United States, health care costs twice as much per capita as in the second-most expensive country for health care, according to the National Center for Health Studies. Yet we rank 37th in the World in health care quality and 42nd in adult mortality rates.
The people who profit from this system are the major shareholders in health insurance companies. In the meantime, the rest of us die sooner than we should. I pay nearly $1,000 per month for health insurance. I am self-employed. Many insurance policies are tied to employers. Why do we have health insurance tied to employment? That puts businesses in the United States at a disadvantage in their competition with businesses from other countries. Health insurance here is a big chunk of over head. Companies from countries with national health care do not have such worries.
Lawrence O’Donnell made a good point last night about single payer—i.e., national health care, like every other industrialized nation in the world has. Funding of Planned Parenthood by religious organizations would not be at issue. There is the thing about religious institutions already providing such health insurance for their employees (e.g., DePaul University in Chicago). Did President Obama cave to the Republican Party on single-payer? Did President Obama, and a lot of members of Congress, receive very nice campaign contributions from the health mega-industry? On the latter—yes.
The debate over Planned Parenthood and the Komen Foundation is one of those splinter issues Karl Rove loves to exploit. And here I thought that, with disagreement over gay rights fading into the sunset, splinter issues were gone and we could concentrate on the real issues of the campaign, like building colonies on the Moon.
If we had single-payer, I am confident I would pay less than a thousand dollars per year in taxes that would go to health care. Even if the amount were as high as it is now, I would rather pay the government that money for health care. Instead, I pay for private health insurance so that the CEO of the company can invest her bonuses overseas. If my money stayed here at least the bureaucrats my money employed would be more likely to spend their money on American soil. There would be jobs created here.
And maybe our World ranking in health care would move up a few notches and we’d all live a few years longer.