Something’s Got to Give with Health Insurance

Here’s an interesting article from Chris Hedges that appeared on truthdig.com recently. It’s worth a read. Maybe there really are death panels — and they are disguised as insurance companies. Here are a few stats from the article:

  1. Percentage change since 2002 in average premiums paid to large US health insurance companies: +87%
  2. Percentage change in the profits of the top ten insurance companies: +428%
  3. Chances that an American bankrupted by medical bills has health insurance: 7 in 10

All you really need to ask yourself with regard to the current debates about health care reform is who’s benefiting from the current system that we have in place. Are you? Is your doctor? Read the rest here.

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3 responses

  1. Hiya, Kimmie

    I’m told I “over-simplify”, but the healthcare issue (like most of our current issues) seems to come down to a fundamental flaw in our problem-solving approach. We are forever trying to cure the patient by treating symptoms, not by treating the underlying cause(s) of the illness.

    What is the primary underlying cause of our dis-ease? Greed. The secondary cause is our overwhelming feeling of entitlement. The tertiary cause is a child-like irresponsibility. How did we get here? Unrestrained capitalism supported by unrestrained Calvinism. Greed makes the economy go round; and “God” has said we are good, therefor entitled.

    The christian set don’t seem to have taken in the sense of the parable of the loaves and the fishes (and after 4,000 years of thumping the book!): If we share, there is more than enough for all. The parable doesn’t mention 50 million dollar bonuses. What happened to “enough is a feast”?

    Where did we learn that we are “entitled”? This idea seems pretty new to me. The constitution says we citizens are “entitled” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Perhaps we owe our understanding of “happiness” (as having the most toys) to the media. Combined, “entitlement” and media-defined “happiness” are a deadly combination.

    Our lack of personal responsibility is stunning. When we trip in a parking lot and fall on our ass, we feel entitled to sue the store owner. Simple math will tell you that if there are 6 persons at the table, six pieces of pie, and you ate four of them, then 3 people didn’t get any…yet we still feel entitled to 50 Million dollar bonuses (how many people’s pie was that?). Soccer moms drive Humvees and children around the world are dying of malnutrition…how about that mom? Not your responsibility, you say? Yes, it is…you chose that Hummer over supporting those kids for a couple of years!

    I don’t advocate that we all give our life savings to charity. I do advocate a new religion that says greed is the greatest perversion. I do advocate only taking enough, and leaving the rest of the goods on the table for others. And I advocate taking personal responsibility for learning what effects your behaviors have on the people/earth/animals/oceans, and then taking action daily, no matter how small.We are God/government/our brothers/sisters keeper, and we’ve been waiting for someone else to do our job.

    I’ve been thinking that medical care needs to get smaller and more personal again. Agencies like PeaceHealth are too large to be dealt with by individuals, and healthcare has to be individual. I’d like to see hospitals following the Motel 6 plan. Small, basic, no-frills (no lobbies like RiverBend). Good healthcare without flat-screen TV, potted plants, etc. I think this guy has a good idea
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnews/20090827/ts_usnews/thecaseforpostalstylehealthcare

    I think people need to take responsibility for the fact that “shit happens”, and sometimes you get the short end of the stick even in the hospital, and that massive malpractice suits harm the community (and only satisfy greed, not emotional loss).

    End of rant.

    Love ya! Cil Earls

    1. We rant therefore we breathe. Good thoughts one and all and I agree with every single one. I’d say that greed, entitlement, and lack of personal responsibility are the big three of our generation. I believe the price we’ll pay for this joy ride is going to be steep. Maybe something good will come out of it in the end. A return to civility would be a nice start.

  2. From “civility” to a new question. Civics, wasn’t that once a course in public school? I checked Wiki for ideas, found Jane Jacobs and Carol Moore, http://www.carolmoore.net/C&C-book.html. Going to obtain a copy of “The Nature of Economies”. Carol Moore looks interesting because she suggests we need to escape the old forms of religion if we’re going to survive. I think David Suzuki said something similar.

    Civics is supposed to be about the responsbilities of citizens (not their entitlements!). Its focus needs to be responsibilities towards each other and the earth, not to the “state”. The state is too abstract, your nextdoor neighbor is much more concrete and immediately responsive.

    In Anth and Sociology we learned about the natural size of human groups (bands of about 25 individuals), and the fact that expansion occurred when groups in excess of 25 split up and sought new territories. What I construed from that is that communities function more effectively when they are smaller, and accountability and consequences are visible to all. Public hanging was very effective as a crime deterrent (smile). When individuals are in huge groups (our current civic state) no one feels accountable (who’ll notice?), and consequences always happen to “someone else”. Conclusion: Overpopulation is another factor, probably causal of the rise of greed, entitlement and irresponsibility (here after GEI).

    Jane Jacobs also writes about the pending “Dark Ages”, I found both her books on Alibris and plan to read them.

    Have you read Max Weber? Frightening insights into capitalizm and religion.

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