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Friday, March 23, 2018

Medical Miscalculation

Okay, I can admit when I'm wrong. I thought this whole healthcare mess would be straightened out by now.

Sure, Obamacare was a mess. New legislation usually is. Over time things get sorted out. The obviously bad stuff gets tossed out. Improvements are made. That's how it works in a functioning democracy. I thought that something as important as healthcare would force Republicans and Democrats to work together. Legislation that affected just about everybody in major ways should have demanded serious attention.

I was wrong. My first bad assumption was that something affecting everybody would be important to legislators. Nope. Insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry have more clout. By the way, politicians have really good healthcare. It's not their problem. Money and political influence are more important that the life and death of Joe Public.

Don't believe me? Just look at the opioid epidemic. It was started by pharmaceutical companies pushing drugs, doctors writing prescriptions, and insurance companies paying for them. We can't blame the shady guys in back alleys. Nope, it's people in lab coats and those in nice suits in shiny buildings. The system did not protect patients. It endangered and killed them. It's still going on, in spite of some minor cosmetic changes and lip service.

When Obamacare first started I bought insurance through the program. I hadn't had any insurance for a few years as prices had gotten out of hand. Obamacare prices were about half of what I had been paying. By year three, however, insurance had once again become unaffordable. I had to drop it once again.

There's obviously no interest in fixing the system. Sure, there's still political posturing, but no one is rolling up their sleeves and getting serious work done.

Like many Americans, I'm living uninsured. That's not as scary to me as it should be. If something major happened to me, I would be bankrupted. However, that happened to my parents and they had what was considered good insurance. It does make me more responsible for my own healthcare. I can't rely on the system to watch over me. I'm not really in the system, and it doesn't always work for patients best interests anyway.



  1. I consider ALL democrats and at least half republicans as being crooked anyway. It COULD be that I'm too generous with the republicans.

    1. Maybe so. They certainly haven't done the little guys any favors lately.

  2. The only difference between an R or a D. Is where the bribe money originates.
    Both are corrupt. Just a matter of which big business they are representing.
    With tRump, we have a wild card, only interested in his own personal business.

    We are truly screwed !!

    1. We are truly screwed.

      The only bright note I see is that a lot of people outside of the main stream are now running for local office. They aren't very attached to whatever party they claim to be part of. If we are going to have change, it'll be from the bottom up, not the top down.

  3. I was livid when Obamacare passed. Mostly because it was presented with a lot of lies and all sorts of things that defied logic and economics: "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor", [it] "will cover every American", [it will] "cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year", and of course my absolute favorite part was that it passed on a partly line vote on Christmas Eve (in 2009). I think the last Christmas Eve vote in America was in 1898! Any law that "derives [its] just powers from the consent of the governed" doesn't need a late night Christmas Eve vote. I freak out when I'm lied to and expected it would nuke everyone's care big time.

    I wasn't quite correct. It played out exactly as I expected with one exception. The huge portion of America that's been getting insurance through their employer just kept doing the same thing. There's been something like a 20-30% increase in costs but other than that, insurance through large employers remains about the same. I didn't see that coming.

    One other observation is that quality has gone down noticeably in my experience (though it's not like Uganda or something) but folks just won't see it. They seem to assume if we're in America the quality of health care is still great and always will be. I don't know why that idea persists but I should have known it would. During the pre-vote debates I asked some Canadians about their care. They simultaneously told me how excellent their care was and also stories about friends and relatives who died through lack of care. They seemed to hold both ideas in their heads at once; "our care is better than you Yanks" and "grandma died while on a waiting list". The human mind is a strange thing.

    I too have been doing my best to keep on top of my health. In the end, diet and exercise probably mean more than how many high end oncologists are on call at the nearest hospital.

    1. The Canadians I've talked with might complain about their system, but they would not want ours. Sure, if you are rich, it's a good system. People people really get screwed.

      I knew it was a bad bill, but had hopes it would be fixed. One way to save a lot of money would be to eliminate the whole insurance industry. My local hospital has more people filing insurance paperwork than actually practicing medicine.