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Thursday, May 13

More Facts You Should Know

More bad news today, oh boy... US Health Care sucks. As much as you would love to believe that this is the greatest country in the whole wide world and nothing can compare to the US... well you are wrong again. Once again big business trumps tax payers.

Did you know that the US has the highest rates for at least 10 cancer types and the HIGHEST INFANT MORTALITY RATE of all developed nations? Imagine with all the newest medicines being developed in this country we have such a high cancer rate? Luckily we have drugs that give men harder erections though. Whew. Glad that was such a priority.

According to statistics compiled from World Health Organization data and a Harvard University study:

The US ranks NUMBER ONE in COST of health care, but NUMBER 24 in disability-adjusted life expectancy, and NUMBER 37 in the overall performance of its medical system and NUMBER 40 in the level of satisfaction recipients express for their care.

Nearly half of all people in the US with below-average incomes report that it is "extremely, very, or somewhat difficult" to get medical care when they need it.

INFANT MORTALITY RATE per 100,000 births
Sweden: 382 Japan: 396 Norway: 413 France: 476 Austria: 492 Denmark: 551 Canada: 552 UK: 586 Israel: 662 US 772
ELDERLY CARE (From 2000 Harvard School of Public Health report)
More than 1 in 4 (29%) elderly Americans have a difficult time meeting their basic monthly expenses. Additionally, 32% of US elderly have no drug coverage, 20% of US elderly pay $50-$100 per month out-of -pocket for drugs, while 16% pay more than $100 per month. By contrast, under 5% of the elderly in four other developed countries pay more than $100 per month. Finally, 15% of elderly people have foregone filling prescriptions because they could not afford it, while 18% have problems paying medical bills.

The US also has the greatest disparity between the health of the poor and that of the wealthy of all industrialized nations. Black infants, for example, have a mortality rate that is more than twice that of white children (14 versus 6 per 100,000).
While we are hell bent as a nation to stop abortions, we can't provide healthcare to all people and even if a woman takes a child to term, we still have the highest infant mortality rate of any developed nation. And God forbid you live to be old, you will get zapped unless of course you are among the wealthy or have good children who can take care of you.
The US also has the highest rates in the world of the following cancers: colon cancer in males, cancer of lung, breast, oropharynx, larnynx and bladder in women; and for both sexes: pancreas, thyroid, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, multiple myeloma, myeloid leukemia. America's five-year cancer survival rates for all types of cancer for all races: 4% (whites 5%; blacks: 2%).

And now here's a crowning fact in the cancer department. Billions upon billions of dollars are donated each year to cancer research from private, local, state, and federal sources. But cancer research fundraising has become just another Enron-style cash cow and PR op for the elite. .... only 16% of the billions poured into cancer research goes to cancer research. The rest goes to high-profile, big-buck figurehead positions and schmoozing.
More people over 30 are dying of cancer than ever before. Cancer research is a big waste of money. Drug companies are big business and corrupt and in cahoots with big government.

Interestingly just a week before the 9/11 attacks, Thirteen major medical journals from around the world joined forces to expose and condemn the manipulation of drug trial results by pharmaceutical companies. It seems the drug barons have been pressuring the university researchers who conduct drug trials into producing reports of results that will help gain drug approval. That story quickly dropped.

Remember Tom Brokaw holding up a bottle of Cipro after the Anthrax attacks? Well big business drug companies got their foot in there too. Cipro was very very expensive, yet a much much cheaper drug, doxycycline would do the same thing as Cipro and with less side effects. (remember how I was talking about irresponsible journalism yesterday?)
So what is the answer to this systematic abuse of Americans? For the Democrats it is to aggressively promote a universal healthcare system which guarantees that every American has an equal shot at healthcare. The misinformation about universal health care that is being spread by the insurance industry and their henchmen in the GOP is appalling. For example, promoting the lie that universal healthcare would bankrupt the government. Study after study has shown that the cost of administering a centralized single-payer program would be less per citizen than the current ridiculous HMO system. In addition, the reduced number of lost days due to sickness and disability would be greatly reduced, as would the cost to the taxpayer of taking care of people who have gone without healthcare so long that they are, ultimately, thrown onto welfare or SSI unnecessarily.

Healthcare MUST be independent of job. Corporate indifference to employee well-being is notorious. Workers are routinely finding their providers changed, 'edited' (as in covering less for more $) or the cost jacked up. Then, when the company decides to throw its workers overboard so the overpaid CEOs can hoard the lifeboats, right in the midst of the stress of becoming jobless, workers are suddenly without access to healthcare.
Considering that most of us are not secure in our jobs anymore and benefits vary from company to company, why aren't more Americans alarmed about this? Most of us are just one paycheck away from no healthcare or we have no healthcare. Yet somehow we elect those who do everything in their power to hamper universal healthcare and buy the myth that it would bankrupt the country or cause us to wait on long lines which is simply not true. That is part of the propaganda. Once more, our government only has big business in mind and not you!

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