WE NOW HAVE INSURANCE COMPANIES DICTATING THE MAJOR HEALTH ISSUES OF OUR TIME
We are in the midst of a health care crisis in our country.
In fiscal 2005, nearly 16% of our population had no health insurance.
According to CBS News, right now, a full 25% of the children of our country do not receive adequate health care, largely because their parents do not have insurance.
This is not merely a shame. It is a sin. That the richest industrialized nation in the world cannot adequately provide health care is beyond belief.
The neo-cons will tell you that there are too many entitlements in our country, and that those entitlements are the problem with our economy. They are the Gordon Geckos of the 21st Century, spouting to their buddies that “greed is good” while the rest of the population suffers as a result of their avarice. They are the people that the folks in Kansas put into power when they were more concerned about the “right to life” than they were about the quality of their lives.
But what most people don’t seem to get is that it is not only the poor suffering at the hands of these greedy bastards. It is every working person that does receive some sort of health coverage from their employer or is forced to purchase that coverage on their own, if they can afford it at all.
Today, as a result of the lack of regulation of the insurance industry instituted by the Bush Administration, it is no longer doctors making our medical decisions. It is accountants and actuaries who decide the proper length of our stay in the hospital after surgery and the proper drugs for us to take. All of us in the middle class are the victims of these people.
The other day, I went to the doctor. I have been suffering from really bad acid reflux, and the Tums and Zantac were really not doing the job for me. My doctor, like all people in his profession, attended numerous years of graduate school to learn his craft. He recommended a new drug to me that he said I would only need to take once a day, and that could, over time, help my damaged esophagus to heal. Then he warned that it might not be covered.
Sure enough, when I went to my friendly neighborhood CVS, I learned that the medicine I needed would cost $135, because the insurance company had deemed that non-prescription strength Zantac was more than adequate for my problem. The drug, it turned out, was recently approved by the FDA, and the insurance company saw no need to provide it to their clients.
Now, I am not particularly in love with the health insurance industry. I resent the fact that a bunch of bean counters has gotten the right to tell me which doctor I can use and which drugs I can take. I recently changed primary care physicians because the doctor that had been treating me for several years no longer accepted my insurance. He explained that the payments to doctors from my insurance company were so low that he actually lost money on each patient he treated. I don’t know if that’s true, but in searching for a new doctor, I discovered that fewer and fewer local medical folks were taking my insurance.
This is a real problem. We now have insurance companies dictating the major health issues of our time. Why, if you suffer from that little problem that seems to afflict Rush Limbaugh, you know the one that got him arrested at an airport when he was unable to provide a prescription for his Viagra, the insurance company is now limiting the number of pills you get a month.
It’s bad enough that these nosy bodies in the administration want to look into people’s bedrooms to see what they do and with whom. Now they want to limit the number of times a month they can do it.
Then, there is the issue of veterans’ prescription benefits. There was a time when a veteran could, at any time after serving, fill out a few forms and get a prescription filed at the local VA hospital for a mere $7.00 co-pay. One did not have to avail themselves of this service immediately after leaving the military. All a vet had to do was show up when and if he or she needed it.
Thanks to President Bush, the compassionate conservative, veterans of the Viet Nam era and earlier are no longer able to get those prescription benefits unless they were already receiving them before the chicken hawks came into power.
These people are beyond conservative. They are outright mean and immoral.
They are the very rich, and their ultimate goal is to establish a two class society. George W. Bush was right on the money when he referred to his supporters as the haves and the have mores.
Maybe, the next time one of those folks in Kansas needs drugs to help that pain, or maybe when one of them has to go through a drive through mastectomy, they will realize that it really doesn’t matter if the gay guy next door marries his partner. What matters, or at least what should matter, is the health and welfare of the people of this country.
That is something that doesn’t matter to the leaders of this country in the Republican Party, and it never has. It didn’t when the Clintons tried to get universal health coverage for the people of this country, and it still doesn’t.
Shame on them for letting our lack of proper health coverage take us further down the road to becoming a third world country.
Shame on us for letting them.
HENRY A. HONIG – THE PUNDIT