OK, admittedly, this country is a little bit messed up when it comes to health care. Health benefits for most Americans are tied to their employment, ideally, unless your employer is big enough, or small enough, to avoid paying into it. Employees of Walmart, America’s largest retail employer, qualify for Medicaid. Is this a great country, or what?
But it’s beyond that, Americans pay by far the highest price for health care with very mediocre health outcomes. 45,000 Americans die every year of treatable conditions undiagnosed until the ER docs tighten their lips, shake their heads. Millions of Americans with preventable diseases are treated at a cost of billions of dollars a year, 75% of US Health Care costs go to treating complications of obesity, gluttony, poverty, stupidity. Insurance companies don’t like to pay for preventative care, why would they?
Many believe that the gigantic federal government is the problem. Forget the many problems the federal government has historically solved, like a century of lynching of blacks in the former Confederacy. Like the terror of a penniless old age, solved by Social Security, medical bankruptcies for old people ended by Medicare.
And yet the wealthiest and greediest continue to beat the drums that tax is evil and the government is the enemy of the people, a libidinous rapist poised to have its way with good, honest, God-fearing, dumber than shit Americans. Air pollution? A lie. Man’s contribution to global warming? Commie twaddle by disloyal Americans who hate our freedom. The Affordable Care Act? The most destructive legislation in U.S. History, we are told over and over, without elaboration. The facts speak for themselves, after all. Say them often, and loudly, enough and they start to sink in.
The president was elected after a brilliant advertising campaign financed by tens of millions given to him by people like those who hired the drafters of the Affordable Care Act. The woman who was the prime author of the ACA left government to return to a multimillion dollar job in the health insurance industry. Change you can believe in. The most transparent administration in history was promised, but whistle blowers and journalists were prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. Nobel Peace Prize for our articulate president, even while he authorized collateral damage killing of children and other mourners at funerals. Obamacare was met with much fretting — but don’t worry, if you like your insurance you can keep it. Unless your insurance carrier sends you a letter terminating your insurance effective 12.31.13. In that case you go to the website, which NPR tells you is now, after a disastrous roll-out, working perfectly. There you will see this (and don’t bother calling that number, it’s a robot):