Showing posts tagged healthcare

Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?

Published on Aug 20, 2013

In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who’s at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It’s that one.)

For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist:…
The Commonwealth Fund’s Study of Health Care Prices in the US:…
Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story:…

(by vlogbrothers)

(Reblogged from cedarhere)
(Reblogged from azspot)



“In August, the administration announced new rules requiring all new insurance plans to cover birth control and emergency contraception by 2013. At an early October fundraiser in St. Louis, President Obama himself hailed the rule. And when President Obama appeared before the U.N. in September, the administration touted the contraception rule as an example of America’s commitment to women. So when Carney says “this decision has not yet been made,” he’s wrong. It has been made—and by reopening it, President Obama is succumbing to pressure from anti-choice groups.

Even worse, Carney says President Obama is trying to “strike the right balance between expanding coverage of preventive services and respecting religious beliefs” without acknowledging the fact that the rules announced in August already included an exemption for churches.”

White House says Obama considering rolling back mandatory insurance coverage of contraception

This issue is not that simple.1

First, let’s get some facts straight. The rule issued previously was an interim rule, effective August 1, 2011. Public comments on the interim rule were accepted through September 30, 2011. The whole point of issuing an interim rule with request for comment is that you read the comments, and consider whether or not to amend the rule. The real scandal would be if the Obama administration didn’t consider the comments it solicited.

Second, I think it’s misleading to suggest that an exemption for churches is enough to satisfy all concerns about religious beliefs. Religious organizations also operate hospitals, schools, universities, etc.. That’s what the Catholic church is concerned about..

The Catholic church opposes contraception in pretty much all cases. While I disagree with them on this—I can’t deny that they’re sincere about it. We have a history of protecting religious beliefs from undue governmental interference. It’s part of that separation of church and state thing enshrined in the first amendment. And that’s where the issue gets messy.

Co-pay free access to contraception is extremely important for a whole slew of important societal ends. (Because I’d be preaching to the choir on this one, I won’t reiterate all those reasons here.) On the other hand, forcing Catholic organizations to provide services they believe are religiously prohibited is a serious burden on religious liberty. It raises some serious constitutional concerns as well.

  1. Like many things, I haven’t made up my mind on this one. Yes, I think employers and insurance companies should be required, in general, to provide access to birth control without a copay as part of a full health insurance plan. That’s good policy. And yes, I think that organizations should follow suit. But whether they should be required to provide insurance that provides access to birth control or sterilization even if it violates strongly held religious beliefs is a much tougher call. 

First there is no requirement that people use these services, but it is not appropriate to deny a woman healthcare because she works for a Catholic institution (and I am not too sure what that would include a church, a charity shop, a hospital?). Second part of the problem with our current system is that it is not a system there are dozens, hundreds of policies and variations and exclusions — everybody is paying and paying a lot get claims through the system. Some doctors even refuse to deal with insurance because it simply takes too much time. Some basic care needs to be included in all plans for the good of the patients and as a cost cutting measure.  

(Reblogged from squashed)
(Reblogged from sarahlee310)
(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)
(Reblogged from sarahlee310)


CALL your Congressman…YOU or He could be the next Cancer Victim!

(Reblogged from sewbee)



My dad is unemployed due to disabilities obtained on the job.  He’s in need of health insurance but is NOT ELIGIBLE for Medicare because he could be covered on my mom’s health insurance. 

The problem is, if she adds him, she would OWE her job $$ each month and have no take home income.  The sole income upon which they rely. 

After 25+ years of happy marriage, my parents are considering DIVORCE just so he can be eligible for Medicare.

WE are the 99%.

This happens a lot—and is a real tragedy. Many people either divorce or decide not to marry because of how it would affect health insurance.

(Reblogged from squashed)
(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)



NHS cuts protesters occupy Westminster Bridge - in pictures

More than 2,000 protesters blocked Westminster Bridge in London to protest against the government’s planned shakeup of the NHS

You know, if socialized medicine is really as bad as critics claim it is, why would anyone, much less thousands of people, actively protest against cutting it?  The horror stories that folks on the Right tell about Britain’s NHS make it seem completely indefensible.  Yet here are thousands of people who live under it and are actively campaigning to defend it.

(Source: Guardian)

(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)
(Reblogged from sarahlee310)