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    Monday, August 24, 2009

    The Healing of America: A Look at Global Healthcare Plans

    News and reporting you need!

    There's been a lot of debate and argument about what Obama and the rest of the government is trying to do to "make health care affordable and available" to all Americans.

    Let me start by saying that nobody knows exactly what they're doing behind closed doors, and we have no clue what type of plan they're hammering out up in Washington. Without that knowlege, we can neither approve of the Wasington plan, nor reject it.

    That bit of reason injected into the debate, let us begin.

    Many groups would have you beleive that long waits like those that exist in Canada are the only form of so-called "socialized healthcare" available. Fortunately, that's not accurate, as there are four large, wealthy countries just like ours that have a singular, overall government health care plan. Only one has a long wait for specialty doctors or physicians that cover acute conditions, and that's Canada.

    But we don't have to pick and follow Canada's government health care plan.

    Others talk about how expensive health care is in our country, and the drastic costs and tax increases that would be manditory to be able to pay for such an expansive plan.

    And you know what, they're right.

    But what they're not telling you is that the cost of a country's health care costs overall reduces drastically when there is only one main plan. That means one set of rules, one place to file insurance claims, and a mandatory period (usually just a few days) in which the fees are paid to the physicians. When a doctor or hospital doesn't have to stock up on money so they can stay open until the next insurance claim is paid, spend money on administration, and train & employ folks to handle the avalanche of paperwork that exists in our current system, the costs drop like a lead balloon. If that one plan covers everything but Botox and breast augmentation, then health and quality of life are assured, for less than we're spending right now on health care for the disabled and elderly alone! Of course, folks that want those unnecessary extras are allowed to purchase supplimental health insurance to cover those cosmetic procedures; We wouldn't want anyone going without what makes them happy...

    You also don't hear about how we could adopt one country's special super-secured health card that carries your encrypted health information in a centralized database. Nope, we don't hear about a card that can keep each and every doctor we see informed about how we're doing, what meds we're taking, our allergies, recent appointments and the like. Of course that card would take the place of all of the medic alert bracelets out there, make sure we got the best treatment possible in the quickest amount of time with no risk of negative drug interaction because we forgot to report a pill we were taking, or our alzheimers parent or grandparent's chart is lost... Not needing to take an updated list of curent medications to the doctor every time you visit sure sounds handy to me. It's all on the card, keeping us healthy and safe, even when/if we can't speak for ourselves.

    Imagine a land where no insurance carrier is allowed to be a for-profit, there's no price-gouging, doctors get paid right away for their services, costs are down, nobody can be denied health care for any reason, and you never have to drag yourself all over the place in order to get releases for your files from one physician to another...

    Life is simpler, healthier, and happier. The economy recovers, and we all live better for it.

    But don't take my word for it.

    As heard on National Public Radio, earlier today.

    "Journalist and author T.R. Reid set out on a global tour of hospitals and doctors' offices, all in the hopes of understanding how other industrialized nations provide affordable, effective universal health care. The result: his book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care.

    Reid is a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post — in whose pages he recently addressed five major myths about other countries' health-care systems — and the former chief of the paper's London and Tokyo bureaus.

    Reid was the lead correspondent for the 2008 Frontline documentary Sick Around the World, which examined five other capitalist democracies, looking for lessons on health-care delivery."

    Click here to listen to the full interview, and judge for yourself what America, and Americans, could do to create effecient, effective, and complete health care for all of it's citizens at a lowered cost, regardless of their health status or income level.

    As a other, I tell my children to learn from the mistakes and successes of others. It makes life easier, and more enjoyable. What if we, as a country, did the same?

    It's a real eye-opener!

    As an addendum, let me mention this; Everyone pays taxes to keep the fire department running, but very few people ever have a fire. Somehow, nobody complains that we pay that tax. Do you know why? It's because we know that our taxes go to ensure that if our home or office catches fire, for whatever reason, someone will be there to put it out without pause.

    No questions, no paperwork, no "can you pay your bill", just putting out the fire when it needs to be done.

    Wouldn't it be nice if health care worked that way too?

    Instead of figting over the if, let's join together and work out the best possible how.

    Isn't it time we took some action to make sure the government does the right thing, the right way for once?

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