Saturday, June 30, 2012

Healthcare Rant

Profit is a good thing, and we should certainly respect the right of anyone to make a profit. But the issue is far more problematic in healthcare because for-profit companies, who have been touted as being the solution to many of the nation's ills, have not been part of the solution to healthcare accessibility and lowering healthcare costs. When companies who rely on bottom lines see those lines and not the people affected by those lines, that's when capitalism takes a nose dive. And deregulation carries that nosedive to a whole new level of greed. 
I'm not a Marxist (although I have been mistaken for Harpo on occassion) or Socialist or any -ist.
There are fundamental flaws in our healthcare system. Making health a for-profit business invariably disenfranchises and can eventually kill those who cannot afford healthcare and, therefore, can't add to the insurance company's bottom line. People get sick, go in debt...have pre-existing conditions, go in debt...have terminal illnesses, go in debt, die, and then leave the debt to their families. It's a horrible cycle that few can afford unless you have the comfortable job that allows you the luxury. And even if you are comfortable in your current health care paying scheme, the debt may get you in the end via a catastrophic illness (God forbid).
Granted, the government has been known to botch many things in our lifetime, but I truly believe that the only lucid and rational answer is a strong government role. The government, whether we like it or not, is not a a business. It is a government. And being a government, it is not a business that relies on making profits in order to keep stockholders wealthy by maximizing profits and reducing risks. The government should work for the people it governs and be concerned with the well being of the populace and not profit margins. And the government should pay its bills, which is what the individual mandate (tax, whatever) allows the healthcare plan to do. Only collectively can the nation make it work. And frankly, if our nation is so self-centered as to not be aware or assist people in distress from healthcare costs and liabilities, then our nation has become foreign to me.
To me, that's a nation that is not a great nation.
That nation is screwed up and screwed.

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