Health care in the US

So now that I have lived here for over 18 months and we’ve visited a number of doctors and health care professionals in that time, I think I have a bit of an understanding of how things work. Or don’t work.

I’m glad at least that most of our visits have dwindled down to the level of “occasional.” The next thing on the agenda is for one of the older kids to have their wisdom teeth out.

I’m not going to bore everyone to death with a long post about all that is wrong with this system. I will just note a few observations.

The first is that it is now law (I think) that everyone must have their own insurance, so if you can’t afford it (if you’re homeless, for example) then you are breaking the law. This was under the “Affordable Health Care” Act.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

Another observation is that Americans pay a lot of money through their taxes into the health care system, just as Australians do. I think it’s a comparable amount per capita. But whereas in Australia, much of the healthcare is free or low cost, here there are enormous expenses to pay whether you have insurance or not. It seems that a serious, but common, medical ailment could bankrupt you here. Oddly, there has been no revolution and Texas has not yet seceded. I can’t work out why.

Australia might have “socialised” medicine, but at least we normally only pay once, not twice over.

Two things, which are already in place, could make a big difference if they were fairly widespread.

1. Going to those doctors which do not have anything to do with the Insurance Companies. I don’t know how many such clinics are available, but they charge no more in co-pays (up front fees) than the regular clinics. In general Co-pays are about $40. More for specialist doctors. In my limited experience these clinics are just as good as any other family doctor clinic. They charge about $10 per vaccination, if you are into that.

2. Medishare type schemes. These are much more affordable than conventional insurance schemes. Some people (perhaps many) have health care insurance as part of their Wage Slavery Conditions Salary. For those that don’t, Medishare may be a good option.

I’m no expert, but someone somewhere in this system is making bucket loads more money than they have any right to. I don’t believe it’s the family doctors and it may not even be the specialists or the hospitals. But someone is fuelled entirely by greed.

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