“A patchwork” (2 minutes):
Does this ever happen to you? I bet it does. A question from a friend sent me off into a lengthy period of deep thought. The question was simply “What kind of Medicare supplement do you have?”
For such a simple question it sure evoked a ton of thoughts. My first thought was ‘for gawd’s sake don’t get tangled up in any of that so-called Medicare Advantage which is not Medicare and the only advantage is to the giant corporations that are once again controlling your health. “
Knowing the questioner I really had little concern that would happen, but stated that warning anyway. But then other thoughts around the laughingly called “health care system” that we have in the United States. Our health care system is a series of often disconnected practitioners all trying to improve a person yet often missing the connecting problem.
Medicare is perhaps the best health care system we have in the US for what it costs, yet to get the best coverage you still have to pay for a supplemental insurance and a drug insurance policy to get the maximum mileage out of Medicare and those aren’t cheap. Plus there is no dental, vision or hearing coverage all of which can be critical to senior health.
The thought of all those additional insurances that are needed to make Medicare really work made me think of the many proposals that have come to the fore in recent years only to be beaten back by the regressive far right Republican Party plus a few misguided Democratic politicians.
As I have said many times before, we pay twice as much as any other country for health care and we get 1/2 of the benefits that other countries get. That makes our health care a long ways from being as effective as it could be. As noted above critical dental, sight and hearing problems are often ignored or put on the back burner due to costs. This does not happen in other first world countries.
As extreme right wing MAGA Republicans threaten to totally crash the nation’s economy, I just can’t help but think that if they had not purposely driven the country deeply into debt and given massive tax cuts to the wealthy what kind of a health system could America afford.
Driving the country deeply into debt was not an accident, it was a strategy. The far right’s calculation that as the debt grew to humongous proportions, those on the left would have to give up their beliefs that government could be a tool to level the playing field for the poor. Having comprehensive and universal healthcare would be a big component of that leveling.
So over the past several decades Democrats have proposed various forms of Medicare For All, perhaps best epitomized by Bernie Sanders proposal that is a fairly simple and straight forward proposal that covers all citizens in all aspects of health. That would include dental, sight and hearing along with the other basics.
This is what other first world countries do. In the US our health care system is throttled by a few extremely wealthy individuals and corporations that can buy politicians. Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of they whole system is that for much less than what we pay now, we could have a fully functioning health care system. Were the extreme far right truly concerned about the budget and deficits and debt, they would see Medicare For All as a no0brainer.
But the far right will not budge. They refuse to even discuss a truly universal health care system that would save us money and lives. As they hold the economy hostage what were once achievable dreams such as universal health care, free high quality public schools through 4 years of college and good housing for all seem to have faded in light of the right wing’s dominance of the political system and their threats to the political world.
I bring this up now because even though it seems like the next election is an eon away it is actually only 18 months. Government led by Democrats can resurrect these dreams so that the US can once again reach for the dreams like universal health care. We need to turn away from the hate and fear that the far right runs their party with. We need to dream again and work to achieve those dreams.
President Biden gets it. Young people get it.What was once the middle class is starting to wake up to what can be. Stand up and speak out. We want an America where health care is available to all and covers all aspects of health care, including abortions, including dental, hearing and sight.
Let the Democrats show you how we can have better care and lower costs. It has been done everywhere else. It can be done here with the right leadership.