Why Health Insurers Don’t Want You to Know the Truth About Gov’t Run Healthcare
After being swiftly booted off of my parent’s insurance I gambled with my health for more than a year by forgoing coverage. It was scary and uncertain grounds, but I just couldn’t afford it at the time and didn’t have a job where health insurance was provided.
Luckily, I made it through the no-coverage period and now have private insurance (that I begrudgingly pay for). I say begrudgingly because I’m one of the rare people here in the states that has experienced universal health care that was publicly provided.
An American’s Experience with Universal Health Care
It was in Cost Rica, a third world country. Yes, a third world country had a functioning, extremely helpful and fairly efficient government run health care system, something the U.S. somehow can’t manage. And all I had to do was pay something like $36 for the travel insurance for the entire month I was there. I pay $150 a month for my current plan! On top of co-payments, and a deductible, and for prescriptions.
Repeatedly, to this day, I recall sitting in the emergency room in Costa Rica thinking a couple of my ribs were broken. However, the patient just before me was a boy with the side of his face smashed in where he landed after a bad fall. He looked like he had been playing outside all day, and with the little Spanish I knew and some charades I gathered from him that he had fallen off a roof.
The whole time I couldn’t shake the thought, ‘if this was America and he and I were in the hospital, I would probably be in front of him in line’. Even though he was there before me and had a more serious injury. But there I sat waiting after him, and I was happy to be there. But how many times before then had that happened back home in the U.S. and I just didn’t realize it, or notice it?
I was just 19 at the time and had never missed a day of being on my dad’s health insurance plan that was provided by the federal government.
Government Run Health Care Isn’t Something to Fear and They Work
What really gets me is that it’s obvious that a universal health care system can and does work for many countries. Quoting from Wikipedia:
“Universal health care is health care coverage for all eligible residents of a political region and often covers medical, dental and mental health care. These programs vary in their structure and funding mechanisms. Typically, most costs are met via a single-payer health care system or national health insurance, or else by compulsory regulated pluralist insurance (public, private or mutual) meeting certain regulated standards. Universal health care is implemented in all but one of the wealthy, industrialized countries, with the exception being the United States. It is also provided in many developing countries and is the trend worldwide.”
Health Insurers Interest in Politics
The profits that the health insurance company makes because they are now spending less of every dollar I pay on actual health coverage for me in part goes towards making donations to politicians who then later help them spread fear about their competition (public health care) in order to maintain the status quo that makes the companies boat loads of money.
Final Remark: the Republicans are really making it hard not to hate them the way they parrot what the lobbists for health insurance companies feed them, all the while knowingly misleading the public with misinformation.
Check out the bitch slappingly good Wendell Potter health insurance interview here.