Healthcare/Medical 2015/One Woman’s Opinion
by – Sheri de Grom
Statistics regarding our U.S. healthcare system are often alarming and baffling at the same time. Numbers I’ve discovered while researching one topic or another include the following:
- We’ve created a healthcare system in the U.S. in which 1.5 million people work in the health-insurance industry while less than half as many doctors provide the actual care.
- America’s total health care bill for 2014 was $3 trillion. That’s more than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia.
- We spend $17 billion a year on artificial knees and hips, which is 55% more than Hollywood takes in at the box office. All the extra money the U.S. spends often produces substandard care or worse.
- There are 31.5 MRI machines per 1 million people in the U.S. but just 5.9 per 1 million in the U.K.
- We spend another $85.9 billion trying to treat back pain, which is as much as we spend on all of our country’s state, city, county and town police forces. Experts say that as much as half of that is unnecessary.
All of these high-tech advances: pacemakers, MRIs, 3-D mammograms, have produced an ironically upside-down healthcare marketplace. It is the only industry in which technological advances have increased costs instead of lowering them.
Healthcare is so hard to fix because it’s our largest industry, employing a sixth of the country’s workforce. Additionally, it’s the average American’s largest single expense, whether paid out of our pocket or through taxes and insurance premiums.
I’m always surprised when I check the numbers and learn the healthcare industry outspends all other interest groups for lobbying. Who would have thought healthcare lobbying would outspend the #2 Beltway Bandit by 4 to 1? Healthcare spends $4 to every $1 the military-industrial complex spends.
It doesn’t matter which population our congress serves. When our chronically dysfunctional politicians decided they wanted to mess with our healthcare, we knew we could bring them to their knees.
Obamacare gave millions of Americans access to affordable healthcare, or at least protection against being unable to pay for a catastrophic illness or being bankrupted by bills.
But, I ask, what about those of us that had our retirement accounts [accounts not belonging to the government but to the individual] robbed to make subsidies available for those who could not afford to buy insurance?
I’m not happy about this. Not for one minute. Would you want your personal 401k dipped into for a stranger to have insurance?
I’m not in favor of paying subsidies to anyone. I worked hard for my retirement and didn’t receive set-aside monies for my education. There’s been nothing privileged about my education or career success. I worked full-time while earning my college degrees plus took care of a family.
Each time Congress has been unable to fund a program in the last six years, they’ve looked to the federal employee or retired federal employee and retired military to make the sacrifice. I don’t have a warm fuzzy when I know others are receiving subsidies for health insurance and my retirement funds are making it possible for them to live a life I don’t have the luxury to live.
The monies being taken are not from social security or medicare. They are not taken from any federal revenue sourced program. These accounts belong to individuals and no one else. We’ve saved monthly from our salaries to secure a safer retirement.
This is one woman’s opinion, but please, if you read this and you’re receiving a subsidy for insurance under Obamacare, think about the fact that I’ve worked 40 years while you are at home with your children or perhaps following another path more to your liking. I’ll be 70 next year and excuse me if I sound harsh when I say to you, pay your own way. I’ve paid for mine, more than once.
As always, thank you for reading with me. I appreciate you and wish you only the best life has to offer.