This is for annaeppy, who was unaware that we in the United States are not required to carry health insurance ~
~ even though, ironically, those of us with vehicles are obligated to purchase auto insurance. Priorities screwed much?
The below chart is for the average cost for employer-offered health insurance plans.
As you look at it, just imagine how much more expensive it is for people who must find insurance on their own instead.
No, the U.S. does not offer any government-run health insurance plan. We are limited to ALL privately-run corporations, which operate for profit! The only government medical coverage is through Medicare and Medicaid (social security and welfare). So far, for various reasons, I cannot qualify for that.
Health Research & Educational Trust
If it's available where you live, I strongly suggest seeing Michael Moore's Sicko movie (click link for its Wikipedia entry). I think you will be shocked and appalled. As I mentioned before, our health care is run for PROFIT by the huge insurance and pharmaceutical companies. In this country, we are raised to believe this is normal, and that other countries' systems are far inferior.
However, the actual cost to citizens for health insurance is the least of our worries. Here are the immoral methods that all the insurance companies utilize for business as usual:
- They discriminate for pre-existing conditions.
They refuse you coverage because of your medical history.
- They charge exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles and co-pays.
No caps on how much they can charge.
- No cost-sharing for preventive care.
They charge for regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms and eye and foot exams for diabetics.
- They drop coverage for the seriously ill.
Insurance companies regularly terminate or water down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
- Gender Discrimination
Insurance companies charge you more because of your gender.
- Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage
Insurance companies place annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
- No extended coverage for young adults
Children cannot continue to be eligible for family coverage after they turn 18.
- No guaranteed insurance renewal
Insurance companies are not required to renew any policy even when the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies are allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
All this is perpetuated because the American people are scared they will become "socialist" or "communist" ~ and, believe it or not, many Americans are stupid enough to think socialism and communism are the same thing. The rich right-wing likes to frighten them into thinking that way!
I have heard that when the leaders and citizens of other countries are told about our health care mess, they shake their head in disbelief. But it's all true. No wonder our insurance and pharmaceutical corporations are so wealthy!
In most ways, I would like to think that living in America is the best (of course, I'm biased) ;)
However, even though our doctors may be some of the best, our country's health care system is the worst of ALL the civilized/developed countries in the world.
As I'm writing this, the TV is playing live coverage of the senate debate on the health care bill. If your country permits access of the White House website, you might enjoy perusing it:
Here's another interesting look at it all
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