"The GOP only cares about costs when a government program is not lining the pockets of their corporate supporters."
- SJ of Random Thoughts, New York City -
"Tax the very wealthy to make everyone healthy!"
- Vigilante, Sozadee, CA -
Left click on diagram below to make it larger.
As you can plainly see, the percentage of our Gross Domestic Product we Americans pay to maintain our private, for profit "health care" system is 16%, far in excess of what all the nations below us on the chart pay with their supposedly more expensive "socialized medicine" systems. This is an outrage, considering that 15-30% of what we pay goes directly to health insurance and pharmaceutical company CEO salaries and perks, as well as for their advertising and administrative costs (including paying lobbyists ), and that our system does not provide the best across the board health care in the world for us. By contrast, our government-run VA, Medicare, and Medicaid systems' administrative costs add only a mere 4% to the cost of providing health care, and none of that lines anyone's pockets as huge salaries or excessively high profit. We are clearly getting ripped off by the current private, FOR PROFIT system, and this system MUST change!
According to a study prepared by Robert B. Helms, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in 1940 America, only 9% of the population had insurance coverage for medical expenses. After World War II, the rise of employer-paid or employer/employee-funded insurance benefit programs saw this figure jump to 62.2%, with an additional 6.8% carrying individually purchased coverage, and 17.5% receiving or co-covered with coverage through public programs. In 2006, a total of 18% had no coverage at all (roughly 1 in every 5.6 of us).
1 in every 6.5 of us now has no health care coverage at all. The number of uninsured is rising every day, yet so are CEO salaries, premium rates, co-pays, and deductibles, well above the rate of inflation. This is unjustifiable, indefensible, and MUST change as well!
In 1940, health insurance premiums took only 0.4% of disposable income.
By 1970, this figure had risen to 2.91%.
It is far higher today, now exceeding 10% for many of us.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurance premium costs have increased 97% since 2000, FAR ABOVE THE RATE OF INFLATION. In that same period, the level of worker contributions toward health insurance policy costs skyrocketed 107%, while their wage levels remained relatively flat. Many American small businesses have now found it increasinglydifficult or impossible to provide health care for their employees. Health care provider greed and inefficiency is eating up small business profit and workers' paychecks, This is unsustainable. A June 5, 2009 Science Daily report states that, in 2007 (prior to the current economic downturn), 60% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. had their origins in medically-related causes. One illness-related bankruptcy was occurring on an average of every 90 seconds! That number has surely risen since then, and this situation must come to a screeching halt! Yet health insurance and pharmaceutical executives keep raising their prices and continue to stuff their already overflowing wallets with cash, completely unchallenged.
The fact of the matter is this: private health insurance and private care providers have become too expensive to justify their existence any longer. People in "socialized medicine" countries are NOT dropping dead on their streets in droves due to poor quality or outright lack of medical care. Nor are our shores being flooded with millions of desperate Europeans or Asians clinging to driftwood or life rafts in a do-or-die effort to obtain health care here. Their own systems are providing well for them, at a cheaper individual cost than ours, and the cost burden on their businesses and individual finances is far less than what we are experiencing with our greed-ridden, for-profit private system.
The long-awaited Health Care Reform bill just completed by Max Baucus's Senate Finance Committee is a pathetic effort and an insulting waste of time. It is designed for the benefit of the insurance industry, not for the needy uninsured or the average citizen. Rather than guarantee quality health care at an affordable rate to all and provide downward pressure on existing health insurance costs and CEO salaries, it merely floods the insurance industry with millions of mandated new customers, and provides no industry regulation or competition of any kind. It amounts to an added tax on already-overburdened middle class America. This version of a health care reform bill is a loser through and through, and a step in the wrong direction. IT MUST NOT PASS!
We MUST put an end to profiteering off human illness by adopting a non-profit, utility-type health care system! It is the only sane, economical, and moral path to follow!
Dawn Smith, an aspiring playwright out of Atlanta, GA, was diagnosed with a rare but treatable brain tumor 4 years ago.
Her doctors are ready to treat the tumor, but her insurance company, CIGNA, refuses to pay. The only hospitals qualified to treat her rare condition are "out of network." (CIGNA'S CEO, EDWARD HANAWAY, HAS BEEN PAID $120.51 MILLION OVER THE PAST 5 YEARS AND HAS STOCK OPTIONS TOTALING NEARLY $29 MILLION). Ms. Smith just received CIGNA's last letter.
Dawn Smith will now die because of CIGNA's network limitations (which are in place solely to boost their profit). Please join me and sign a petition to CIGNA's CEO by going to the site below, and SPREAD THE WORD! Thank you. Your action could very well save her life.