We rank 19th among industrialized countries in preventable deaths in such conditions as diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers, pneumonia, infant mortality, and appendicitis.
"Now, maybe I have a simplistic mind, but frankly I don't understand why health care and insurance companies keep appearing in the same sentences." (Fisher, W. Truthout 10/25/09)
In "A Simpleton Tries to Understand the Health Care Debate" William Fisher, PhD (81-years-young), offers a sage and effortless observation—that the healthcare debate is less about health and more about the process by which legislation is crafted and adopted. It is also mostly "about money - money headed for so-called health insurance companies."
After all, the priorities, the modus operandi, if you will, of the healthcare and 'health insurance' industries are different: In fact, insurance companies are not in the healthcare business at all; their business is the management of risk business" and they "don't do a thing to make you well if you're sick. That's the work that's done by physicians, nurses, hospitals and clinics. And these two groups - health care professionals and health insurance companies - are far from buddies. In fact, they're pretty intense enemies [because they, the insurance companies] do whatever they can to reduce their risk" [emphasis added — jgk]—denials (especially for preexisting conditions like having been a victim of domestic violence, having had a C-section, having a baby that's too fat or too thin), rescission, bureaucratic hurdles, waiting periods, etc."
The main loyalties of these insurance companies are "to their shareholders… who've seen a run of great profits, based on ever-rising premiums, based in turn on generous government subsidies and an almost total lack of competition among all these companies. Furthermore, Congress has given them an antitrust exemption that means they can fix prices (even as insurance premiums escalate). Despite these advantages, it's like a fixed deck—we are spending more than most other countries and "our health has gotten steadily worse."
Example: We rank 19th among industrialized countries in preventable deaths in such conditions as diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers, pneumonia, infant mortality, and appendicitis.
Original Source: Nolte E, McKee CM. "Measuring The Health Of Nations: Updating An Earlier Analysis." Health Affairs, 27 , no. 1 (2008): 58-71 (World Health Organization)
In addition our healthcare costs more than other countries with more waste and less return on investment:
What I want to know is how to get maximal value (benefit); not how to squeeze.
From: Fredrick (MD, PhD, JD)Date: Oct 26, 2009 2:03 PM
And they didn't even mention the 25-30% of healthcare premiums that goes to insurance company profit and mismanagement. If the cream-skimming by these so called "Health" Insurers and the obfuscation by the meddling medical managers go away with a public outcry and a public option, that would be a fortuitous lagniappe, wouldn't it?