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article imageOp-Ed: Millions of uninsured Americans suffering from chronic untreated medical conditions

By Paul Wallis     Aug 5, 2008 in Health
The ongoing atrocity of American health insurance continues. A 2004 study, just released, indicates that 11.4 million Americans are afflicted. Nothing like timely information. Health insurance is now doing more damage to the US than World War Two.
Have to love the timing of this report, too, just before an election. What, nobody had the guts or the efficiency to bring it up sooner? That was four years ago, y’know, and things don’t seem to have become a damn sight rosier since.
The New York Times:
The report, based on an analysis of government health surveys of adults ages 18 to 64 years old, estimated that about 11 million of the 36 million people without insurance in 2004 — the latest year of the study — had received a chronic-condition diagnosis.
“These are people who, with modern therapies, can be kept out of trouble,” said Dr. Andrew P. Wilper, the study’s lead author. Therapies for someone with diabetes and hypertension “are routine and widely available, if you have insurance,” said Dr. Wilper, a medical instructor at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Yes, all perfectly treatable, it’s just that those particular diseases, untreated, have a tendency to kill people rather efficiently.
The sample was of 12,486 people, and they were used to produce the total figure for the US.
The Annals of Internal Medicine page refers to a total of 54.5 million people suffering from chronic diseases, from which the figures for the uninsured are derived. Given the nature of these diseases, the prognosis for untreated patients over four years is horrendous.
But, given the mystic, mumbo jumbo nature of American health policies, this isn’t surprising of itself.
What’s surprising is that there hasn’t been a second Revolutionary War to overthrow the antiquated regime which is imposing this “Let them eat medical bills” approach to health care. The War of Independence was started by taxes. Health insurance has now become a sort of tax, and a heavy one, where people get to pay for the chance to live, or at least survive their health care system.
Apparently it’s not held to be self evident that all people have the right to be insured equally.
The other disease, usually not reported, is that US health care, that rather sickening contradiction in terms, is contagious.
A lot of other countries have also got the Charge Whatever You Can Get Away With disease, and are using those cost bases, ridiculously overblown as they are, as the formula. The abysmal quality of service is also becoming more prevalent, as administrators realize how little politicians seem to know about why health care systems exist and what they're supposed to do.
You can now get better, and cheaper, health care in some Third World countries.
The Second World War only caused 600,000 casualties. Vietnam caused about 450,000, rough figures. Iraq has caused about 35,000.
Health care, single handedly, was doing about ten times more damage than these wars combined, back in 2004.
What’s been done about it since 2004? Pharmaceuticals have gone through the roof, reports of medical malfeasances are now daily, not yearly, events, and the pandemics are doing fine, thanks for asking, Washington.
Even on a dollar based assessment, it would be cheaper to just go out and shoot 1 in 30 Americans, than to pretend this form of health care could ever work at all.
If the alternative to a “nanny state” is having millions of people dying in the streets, Vote Fran Drescher in 2012, I’d say, is the best way out of it.
That is, if there's anyone still alive to vote.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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