American Health Care System: A commentary by Joe DeGroot


A commentary by Joe DeGroot,
North Bend, Oregon,
United States of America.

40 years ago back in 1975 my wife and I joined an HMO. At the time we lived in Philadelphia and through her teachers union we signed up for their health insurance through an HMO with an apple on the card I can’t remember the name of the company it was a big one though. 

What I liked most about the HMO coverage was that it cost $17 and change per month to maintain the HMO.  That was our contribution.  When we went to the doctor it cost five dollars and if the doctor gave you a prescription that cost two dollars and that was the only co-pay including referrals for surgery etc. everything was taken care of after that initial five dollar co-pay. 

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The simple truths about healthcare for Americans is that we had always enjoyed good value for the health care that we received and that the healthcare was given to us at an affordable price through well managed healthcare insurance companies.   That means that while the executives may have been well-paid they were certainly not earning anywhere close to three quarters of $1 billion as the chairman of Anthem was paid last year.

Profits were controlled by companies such as Blue Cross because their responsibility was to provide affordable healthcare to Americans.  When Ronald Reagan took office all bets were off the deregulation of everything began, and in terms of profits the incentive was on the HMOs to make as much money as they possibly could and that began The great turkey hunt for our healthcare dollars.  

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At age 73 and a receiver of healthcare through the government I urge that we adopt a single pay solution to our healthcare problems and let the government manage our healthcare as this is done in every other industrialized civilized nation in the world. 

Insurance companies should not be able to grind out billions of dollars in profit while millions of Americans health is compromised by inadequate health insurance, it’s a disgrace. 

If I was in my 20s or 30s, I would be so angry at how the government has allowed healthcare insurance companies not to care for people’s health but to gouge out millions and billions in profits for their wealthy shareholders and CEOs. 

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That is why we must throw all of our support behind the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who supports single pay as the beginning of a process to correct our sick healthcare system. 

Let’s hope the revolution Bernie Sanders is talking about will be enough to save our country from its disastrous collision course it is presently on. I fear if we cannot resolve these issues affecting the masses there will be a violent revolution but let us hope that we can resolve these matters peacefully. 

The odds are against us, for those of us who seek peace. It seems that every twisted turn of the Republican agenda there is talk of aggression and war and depriving the middle class of a future. If this continues the masses will revolt and it will be violent.  Seek change with love, peace and understanding.

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