No health care revolution in sight

health

Health care seems on the floor right now

Though we have to admit there are some small steps toward an improving in general health care, we’ve expressed our opinion about how bad things are on numerous occasions. Only the fact that major pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising than research is a huge problem, that (along with others) leads to a domino-like effect with a result that’s not good for anybody. Almost anybody, at least.

A study conducted in 21 countries analyzing the health care systems and the prospects of improvement in this area led to dire conclusions. I’m not really sure what these 21 countries are (just a few of them, for example the U.S.), but I’d bet they didn’t go deep into Africa for this study. The findings were published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

“Our findings explain, to the dismay of many who would like to see more radical change in the U.S., why President-elect Obama’s campaign proposal regarding health care reform was pretty much a center proposal, compared to Sen. McCain’s to the right,” said Indiana University sociologist Bernice Pescosolido. “Why didn’t Obama’s go farther toward considering a state model? In normal times, societies can only tolerate systems that match their understanding of what a health care system should look like. It showed an understanding of the tolerance for change.”
“People are socialized into a contract that is essentially established between the state and the citizens of this country, and they come to believe that this is the best way to do it,” Pescosolido said. “Even though there are similar pressures on health care systems around the world, politicians really have to deal with public pressure, which is local, and this is going to produce different pathways to health care reform in other countries.”

Here are just a few findings:

Across the board respondents supported the idea that the government should “definitely be responsible for health care,” with some countries showing more support than others. Respondents from the U.S. were least likely to agree that the government should be responsible for health care, with 38.1 percent indicating support. Eighty percent or more of respondents in Slovenia, U.K., Spain, Italy, Russia, Latvia and Norway reported that the government should be responsible for health care.
Levels of support for the government “definitely spending much more on health care,” appeared in clusters, with U.S. respondents again being toward the bottom, with only 17.5 percent of respondents supporting this notion. Support from Canadian and French respondents ranged from 14.2 percent to 17 percent, with 19.9 percent of Germans supporting this idea. These countries tended to have insurance models of health care. On the other end of the spectrum, countries with centralized models of health care, such as Russia and Latvia, showed 64.2 percent and 53.2 percent support for the idea of increased spending, respectively.

3 thoughts on “No health care revolution in sight

  1. Cheryl

    What about the fact that Big Pharma sells marketing data to anybody for something like $15 per list. Its a list of which doctors prescribe which drugs, then that data base can be merged with other data bases which consist of our medical bills. And using that method, insurance companies and other interested parties can match up with our social security numbers providing prospective employers and insurance companies with this information. And that could be why those of us who are sick, who take expensive pharmaceutical drugs get the “wall of silence” in the workplace and with insurance companies. This is in a society that does not tolerate discrimination for a myriad of reasons: race, religion, orientation, disability, etc. The discrimination against sick people with big medical bills and the dreaded pre-existing condition is considered OK. Its privatizing profit and federalizing risk.

  2. Cheryl

    What about the fact that Big Pharma sells marketing data to anybody for something like $15 per list? Its a list of which doctors prescribe which drugs, then that data base can be merged with other data bases which consist of our medical bills. And using that method, insurance companies and prospective employers can match up our prescription drug info and our medical bills with our social security numbers therefore identifying us. Any information that exists on a database can be accessed by somebody. There is no privacy on the internet. Anybody who gets sick or who has a family member who is sick, unless you are part of a huge pool of insureds (such as federal employees), your medical expenses and diagnosis are out there in cyberspace. The effect is the same as having a bad credit score or getting into too many auto accidents, except we sick people cannot do anything about it. Employees who have had a lifelong excellent work record, some of whom have been in demand in the workplace suddenly find themselves strangely unemployable, uninsurable. I call it the “wall of silence”, the lack of any explanation for discrimination by insurance companies and employers. The current system discriminates against both groups: employees who are sick themselves or who have sick family members on the group health insurance policy, and it discriminates against their employers. This is the cause of unemployment and underemployment because it burdens the employers with a crushing monthly payment for employee health benefits. If this burden (of employers paying for part of employee health benefits) was eliminated, there’s the federal jobs program right there.

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