Healthcare Is A Shared Public Good.
I believe that health is a public good that needs to be protected from abuse.
If sick people can’t afford medical treatment, then sometimes they can’t afford to miss work either. Some people are just very committed to doing their job, even when they can afford to take time off. This sometimes means a spread of disease. These are different problems, but they combine in a bad way.
Some form of universal health care would at least let them know if they are contagious or not in case they have any sort of flexibility. And they would be able to start any treatment that would limit how long they spread it.
If injured people can’t afford medical treatment, then they sometimes become disabled people, who cannot work. Sometimes they become hooked on painkillers in an attempt to make their days bearable.
If mentally ill people can’t afford medical treatment, sometimes they end up homeless. Sometimes they can’t work without the medications they can’t afford.
If diabetics can’t afford medical treatment then sometimes they lose toes, feet or limbs. Sometimes they die. The price of insulin is on the rise.
The Affordable Care Act allowed for the insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions in patients. This was done through the individual mandate, which guaranteed insurance companies enough revenue from policies that they could afford the additional cost from having sign up new customers that immediately lose them money.
This effectively means that the young, who often don’t have as many medical needs, are subsidizing the old. Made perfect sense to me. Once you get a full-time job, they’re required to pay for your health insurance.
Not everyone lives that way though.
In poor areas, you struggle to get by. You don’t have a full-time job. There may not be any in the area at all, especially after Wal*Mart took over. They have a habit of hiring people for 38 hours a week in order to avoid insurance.
So. Buy insurance when you’re healthy? Probably not. You probably can’t afford the co-pays and fees anyway. Pay a new tax you can’t afford? Don’t have much of a choice there.
But the thing is you just injected money into a greedy industry. That means prices go up. Just ask Martin Shkreli. He was a wall street guy who bought a medical company and hiked up prices because he knew people would have to pay it.
He is now in jail. Not for hiking up the prices… that’s just our amoral version of capitalism. He’s in jail for defrauding investors. Never steal from above.
Right now insurance companies negotiate with hospitals, medical suppliers and others for better prices. The insurance companies are trying to improve their bottom line, as required by Wall Street. The CEO can lose their job if they make Wall Street mad and their bonus depends on how much money the business makes. They are not negotiating on your behalf.
Each side tries to see what they can do. Often the results are inflated prices on their products. See, insurance companies expect to save a certain percentage off of the “retail” prices. So now your costs need to take into account this additional bit of overhead.
If you don’t have insurance, you get the inflated price. You can negotiate it down if you know how. And the person you’re dealing with has any sort of authority. And they want to help you.
This is *literally* the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
Republicans from these states often understand this through first-hand knowledge and consider ACA immoral due to it. Those of them in Congress take self-flagellating moral stands by refusing federal money, ensuring that health care is further out of reach for their people.
Canadian style single payer would put the government in the role of negotiator on behalf of the People. Someone with the power to force the hand of an industry if they had to.
This did not need to be a government role. This is the result of decades of business demonstrating that they will *always* put profits over people.
Want to prove the government isn’t needed? Focus on finding a private way of solving this problem. In the meantime, the cycle must stop.