Posted on October 7, 2009 at 20:10:42 EST
by Christopher Hodges.
Copyright © 2003-2013 The Anti-Terrorism Coalition. All rights reserved.
Please laugh at that picture with me so I don't lose what little faith for the human race I still have. It gets worse little by little with each passing day it seems. People get lazier and lazier and a good majority become simply brain dead. It's pathetic.
Anyway, let's get down to business:
Ok, so, as some of you may know by now, we're supposed to be in come critical crisis regarding healthcare. Well, I'm going to expand on that a little and give a bit of my own opinion here and there, so try to keep up, please.
The latest piece of data to come through the poverty sector this week is a bit of a doozy. It's said that some 47 million people in the United States are lacking the proper medical insurance. Ok... that's a new record I guess, but not a social disaster like everyone is saying.
According to a number of self-appointed intellectuals, the great tragedy of our healthcare system is that so many people go uncovered. A passing glance at the data would make it appear for that to be the case. Mind you, that's at a passing glance. If they actually took the time to stop and process the data, these people would realize that it's nowhere near crisis level.
That passing glance might be why a broad spectrum of politicians, ranging from Sen. Hillary Clinton on the left to Mitt Romney on the right, advocate universal health care as key to health reform. Even Wal-Mart has joined with its nemesis, the Service Employees International Union, to call for universal health care.
That being what it is, this case is no different than any other issue you hear about that's being spun around every which way by the media. In fact, most of the steaming crap you're fed each night on network news regarding the uninsured is wrong.
The Census Bureau reported this week on the issue of poverty and healthcare in the U.S. that so many well-to-do people can easily afford health care but choose to go without it.
The median household income, according to the data released this week, is $48,200. You might be surprised to discover that 38% of all the uninsured (that’s almost 18 million people) have incomes higher than $50,000 a year. An astounding 20% of all uninsured have incomes over $75,000. These are people who can afford coverage.
Is it really a smart idea to tax the working people of this country to cover those who refuse to pay for a necessity they could easily afford to buy? The obvious answer would be a resounding no.
One other breakdown of the data is instructive. By far the group with highest share of uninsured is Hispanics. Some 34.1% of all Hispanics lack coverage.
That latter piece of data is alarming. Drilling even deeper, one finds that fully 27% of all the uninsured in the U.S. (that’s 12.6 million people) aren’t even citizens.
Not coincidentally, the government also estimates that about 12 million illegals now reside in the U.S., though some think tanks put the number as high as 20 million.
Putting the two together, this suggests that (big surprise) a major reason for the uninsured "problem" is our failure to enforce our border.
Some estimate that a good 20% of people are uninsured for only a few months out of the year. Recently, TV journalist John Stossel noted that as many as a third of all people eligible for public health programs don't even bother to apply.
Once you break it down bit by bit, you start to see that the real number of hardcore uninsured (because they really can't afford it) is quite small – possibly half the reported 47 million, or maybe even less. Crisis? Disaster? I think not.
Yet it’s not clear that shrinking the 47 million to zero would help all that much. Because the uninsured still get health care. They get it through Medicaid, the state-run, federally funded program for the indigent. They get care, by law, in any emergency room in the country.
Now I know what some of you might be thinking, and let me just start by saying, no, that may not be the right way to care for people, BUT, saying that millions of people have absolutely "no access to healthcare" as is constantly thrown at us day by day is a damn lie.
Moreover, it’s not clear that those who go the emergency care route are worse off. A study by health economists Helen Levy of the University of Michigan and David Meltzer of the University of Chicago found "no evidence" that boosting coverage for all would be a cost-effective solution to improve overall health.
If there is a real problem here it is a tax code that encourages third-party payment of our health care bills, thus driving up costs. An estimated 86% of all health care purchases go through third parties. As anyone with a credit card understands, letting someone else buy something for you without any controls is an invitation to financial disaster.
Making consumers responsible for spending their own health care dollars (and letting them benefit when they control costs) is the real answer to our "uninsured problem."
It would lead to lower costs and wider coverage (something universal care advocates promise, but can’t deliver).
Oh, and you know what else would help? People not being so damned lazy all the time. One way to ensure you don't have to be in and out of hospitals all the time would be to take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right and don't smoke. Those three things alone can improve your health dramatically.
One huge problem with healthcare is that a ridiculous number of people in this country are overweight hypochondriacs. Universal healthcare is a dream come true for them. Free healthcare coverage for every little problem they might think up to have. You know what that is for the rest of us? A nightmare.
Think about that for a bit before you get into your next conversation about why free healthcare would be a good thing...
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