Praise the Day

It’s time to get out your Hope posters and yell out “Yes We Can.” President Obama has changed health-care in America for good.

U.S. President Barack Obama will sign a historic health-care bill Tuesday.

It’s been a long, arduous debate which should have begun in April last year but was instead pushed back to September – and attacked and  inflamed and calmed and finally resolved today. American health-care is possibly the most nonsensical system in any country of the developed world. In a country of over 300 million that boasts unity, equality, power and influence, health-care for its citizens comes only after making a big buck, so to speak.

America’s current health-care system was proposed by Richard Nixon in 1974 – in the form of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act. Under this system, heath-care has been privatized and insurance companies would pay for health-related costs. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea. Just like in the case of car or property insurance, you pay the company and the company helps you, right?

Wrong! Insurance companies don’t want to help you. Companies basically exist to make money. So the less help they give and the more money they retain, the more money the CEOs get. Michael Moore’s controversial documentary Sicko outlined the problems with the American health-care system very well.

Firstly, insurance is expensive. Many jobs do offer it for a cheaper  price, but for much of America, health insurance is just not feasible. What about all the people who do have insurance? They must be okay, right?

Wrong again! Insurance companies have a term called ‘pre-existing conditions.’ Meaning that if you had a condition prior to applying for insurance, or if the company finds there was something you didn’t mention, your coverage goes out the window. Here’s something else that’s scary. Let’s say you have a good job and you are paying health insurance through your work. Then you have a heart-attack. The insurance company pays for your care and recovery. Then you decide to switch jobs for personal reasons, which also means giving up the insurance. This new job also provides insurance, but guess what? Since you have a “pre-existing condition” – namely the heart attack, you are no longer eligible for coverage.

This is the kind of crap most of America has to deal with. At least 32 million people can’t afford insurance, and for those that can, this just a taste of what they have to tolerate. Health insurance is great for the rich and famous. In a so-called developed country, it is appalling that health-care is viewed (atr least primarily) as a profit maker.

However, President Obama’s Reform has just changed all this. Under this new Act, insurance companies must abolish the “pre-existing condition” terms and are required by law to provide health insurance. Moreover, the government will provide subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance normally. This kind of radical reform, though late and still not ideal, is not only necessary, but heroic.

Of course, with every change, there are complaints. These complaints come from insurance lobbyists who will undoubtedly lose money, as well as from the Republicans who can’t see beyond their own thick heads. In addition to this, rednecks and idiots join the fight against the bill, claiming that it is “socialist” and “communist” and will destroy American values and customs. These people honestly believe that things are good the way they are and that government is interfering too much. File:International Comparison - Healthcare spending as % GDP.png

What a load of trash. America spends the most amount of money on health-care, and yet is 33rd on the  infant mortality list behind countries such as Cuba, South Korea, and of course, Canada. How is this good the way it is? America is too caught up with being “America”  – and not enough focus is given to what truly matters. A country consists of its people. Once the people are gone, so is the country. President Obama has done something truly monumental, and even if the narrow-minded opposition cannot fathom the gravity of this action today, someday millions of Americans will remember how he changed their country.

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  1. While I agree with many of your points, the significant problems with insurance are overuse and abuse. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which has been around since 2004 limits insurance companies from excluding claims because of preexisting conditions.

    Most large companies and municipalities are self insured. What this means is that the company or municipality decides the coverage that will be provided, who it will cover, what the deductibles or co-payments will be and how much of the cost will be passed on to employees. The role of the insurance company is to negotiate lower payments to doctors and handle the administration. If the costs skyrocket it is because the employees utilized the service more and NOT because the insurance company is jacking rates. It bristles me when I hear about insurance companies taking the heat when a corporation has 20%+ rate increases. Why? because it is the fault of the people using or abusing the service.

    Some quick background, I live in Hartford CT the “insurance capital of the world”, or so it used to be. The major health insurance companies have long since left town. Those who still have a presence employ fewer staff. These people are my neighbors. They are hard working and struggling Americans. They are not cigar smoking fat cats looking to screw people every chance they have.

    The folks who are doing the screwing, though, are the lawyers who look for every opportunity to exploit the medical system to fatten their wallets. So, providers charge more to cover their malpractice insurance and who pays? We do. And we do with increasing frequency. It amazes me how people run to the doctor every time their kid gets the sniffles, a fever, cut or minor sprain. With all the information out there on medical care, it is ridiculous how few people self treat common ailments.

    Where does that leave us? We are a group of profiteering, service-hungry, risk adverse gluttons of the modern medical system. We ignore the fact that our behavior is responsible for our costs. Yet at the same time we are unwilling to have our taxes raised to pay for our increasing usage. As a whole I guess that makes us a bunch of nuts. What we need is a few trips to the shrink to fix us. Is that covered?

  2. Rana Chakrabarti

    Definitely healthcare is overused and abused in the most part, but I do not claim that those employed in the insurance companies take the blame. Regular Americans working day jobs to support their families are not the problem. Instead it is the corporate executives who run the whole infrastructure

    Yes, lawyers are a problem but it is these companies who hire the lawyers in order to strengthen their claims and to give themselves nice Christmas bonuses. The majority of the workforce are honest people who hate the rules set in place by insurance companies for turning away potential clients, but these rules ARE made by the cigar smoking fat cats looking to screw people every chance they get; namely the CEOs.

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