TGIT Moment: Driving Me Crazy: Chris Sheridan Talks about Health Care Debate!
I have to be honest, I have an entire series of posts that need to go up talking about health care– mostly from people who have put together well-written essays about health care issues and this might just be the “kick-off” of that series. Who better than to kick off or be the keynote speaker on the issue of health-care is Chris Sheridan. with his amazingly witty, funny and spot-on commentary video series “Driving Me Crazy”.
Bottom line is this people: if you want changes in the health care system including pre-existing conditions, better drug coverage, catastrophic coverage in case of cancer or accident and much more. People shouldn’t have to choose between food and their medical situation.
What’s interesting to note is that reports in the media dating back to June 2009 (and citing statistics going back to 2003) that according to www.consumerismcommentary.com, majority of bankruptcies are due to medical bills.
Medical bills are involved in more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, an increase of 50 percent in just six years, U.S. researchers reported Thursday.
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
“Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income,” the researchers wrote. “Most medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.”
The researchers, whose work was paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the share of bankruptcies that could be blamed on medical problems rose by 50 percent from 2001 to 2007.
Illness and out of control medical expenses are at least partly responsible for about half of all personal bankruptcies filed by Americans last year. From the study’s author (Elizabeth Warren, JD, professor of law at Harvard University): “You’d think that most people who file for bankruptcy are free spending credit card junkies… For many Americans, bankruptcy is only one major illness or catastrophic injury away.” (The study will be published this month in Norton Bankruptcy Law Adviser)… And its not that these folks are uninsured. “Rather, they don’t have enough insurance.”
The survey also found that families headed by women are twice as likely as those with a male present to file for bankruptcy due to medical reasons.
Among debtors 65 or older, 46.7% listed medical reasons as a cause for bankruptcy, compared to only 7.5% of those younger than 25.
NurseWeek (May 8, 2000; page 6)
Compare the above with this from the LA Times:
Norwegian novelist Erik Fosnes Hansen agrees that the mental relief provided by social democracy is probably an element in Scandinavian writers’ success. “Socialized medicine and national insurance provide everyone with a sense of safety and security,” said the 35 year old author. “Even if you get a serious illness, you don’t have to worry about ending up with huge bills to pay.” (May 31, A6)
And how about these stats from FAIR (May/June, 2000):
1. Per capita health spending in the US is $4,000 last year, compared to $1800 in Canada.
2. 24% of US health spending went to administration, compared with 11% in Canada.
3. Real per capita health spending in the US has risen by 27% since 1990, in Canada it has risen by only 7%
4. A 1998 survey by Zogby, a Republican-oriented polling firm found that 51% of Americans would favor a “government run healthcare plan that covers everyone in the same way, like the system used in Canada. It would be paid for through taxes and cover all necessary medical costs.” Only 38% were opposed.
Now if that 1998 survey (albeit it’s 12 years old) would hold today, what Republicans would stand up and “be counted” for that change in the health care system?
As Sheridan states, the only people/person who can make a difference here and make things happen is YOU! Sounds weird and that maybe your voice won’t be heard, but if enough of you– that means US as analogous group– write/email/call their congressperson, senater and state representatives then the legislators will be hearing from their consitituency. Unless you say something clearly to them, they don’t know what you want.
Make it clear what you want to see, what you don’t want to see. It’s important! *Find out who is on the committee for the Senate and Congress healthcare committees. Email the president.
Make it easy on yourself, write the email and keep a copy. Copy/paste it into a document or an email and send it back to yourself. Add/edit it for the next week or when you hear of something that really hits you hard.
This is not a “business as usual” situation for Washington DC. It’s about the citizens making their voices heard– from the President on down to the local governments on what you the voter, the citizens of your city, state and of this country want and don’t want to have happen.
Make your voice heard. This is the first in a series of commentaries that I will run from various sources, people, bloggers with disparate perspectives– or maybe they won’t be so disparate.
Please comment and tell me what you think on Facebook, Twitter or comment here.
Stevie Wilson, LA-Story.com
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