Lonesome Tree in Sandhills

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Health Reform: Part V - Canadian Medical Care System

Canadian Doctors for Medicare hosted a celebration of Medicare in Canada - a medical care system open to everyone in Canada. Some in the U.S. insist on calling the Canadian system 'socialist' but the Canadians do not consider it anything other than good common sense for the well-being of Canadians and Canada.

Speakers at the celebration included a former Commissioner on Health Care, Health Policy and Medical Research Consultant, President of Canadian Federation of Nurses Union, and three Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
They uploaded a video on YouTube to inform Americans that Canadian health care works well and there is absolutely nothing to fear about a universal health care system such as Canada has.  IN FACT, Canada enjoys excellent medical care with very low administration costs (1.5%), compared to U.S. private medical insurance record of high administrative costs (30%) and high claim rejection rates (20-40%).

Routine denial of claims is the REAL elephant in the room NO ONE talks about in town hall meetings ... or in the halls of Congress. California's Real Death Panels: Insurers Deny 21% of Claims.  The study prompted the State Attorney General to begin an investigation of the pattern and practice of claim denials by private insurance companies.  

Rescission and rejection policies of the top 18 insurance giants helped rack up profits of almost $16 BILLION in 2008 alone... for which their top executives are paid super-sized bonuses from... you guessed it... YOUR premiums! 

YOUR premiums were also used to take advantage of the anti-trust exemption private health insurance companies enjoy. 

Massive transfer of wealth from the many to the few?  Absolutely it is! OUR politicians and their media hacks have a lot of nerve ranting and raving against health care reform as redistribution of wealth???  Oh, give me a break!

Watch their video in the sidebar and get a better understanding of Canadian Medicare.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Health Reform: Progressives on Public Option

65 members of the House drew a line in the sand: no public option, no health care bill.

The public option gives our country freedom from being locked into private insurance. Individuals and small employers would not be held hostage by private insurance with their high administrative costs driven by high executive salaries, bonuses and profits. The public option would expand Medicare to everyone who applies at far cheaper premiums with 1/10th the administrative cost (30% vs 3%). 

Medicare Advantage (Part C) has provided free insurance to those with limited incomes, but the government's 12% subsidy has overpaid private insurance companies since it began in 2002.  The high subsidy must stop and people on Part C must begin paying a premium. Medicare Part A and B cost $96 per month, but has not increased in well over a decade. Many if not most people on Part A and B can afford to pay $15 to $25 more per month to keep the program going, which would also pay for training more new physicians.

There is NO free lunch - consumers pay one way or the other, but PLEASE, we must stop bailing out private insurance executives, too.  Freedom to buy medical care without padding executive salaries and investor pockets is the bottom line!

If you haven't understood the reasons why a public option is necessary, then you haven't read my posts about the high cost of private insurance... or listened to Wendell Potter or the doctors in the videos here.

If you want to tell Congress the public option is that important to our country, click here and sign the petition.