Money Driven
Sickness Care in America

I thought I heard the other day on the morning news that 40% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills! Ha! How good is that! Whoops! I just went and checked. I was wrong. It's 50%! Ha!

I'm just glad we have such good care! We're No 1! America Loves a Winner! Yes, Brothers and Sisters, we have the Highest Medical Care Costs in the Entire World! Ha! How good does it get? In 1999 (a little old but probably not obsolete) we were spending $4,178 per person in the U.S. The next closest was Germany at $2,424. 13.6% of Gross Domestic Product for us, 10.6% for them. In Overall Health Care System Performance we ranked 37th. In Longevity we ranked 24th. And for this exemplary performance, for this outstanding contribution to The American Way of Life, Two Million Americans got Bankrupt as well as Sick. But, hey! A lot of MD's get big houses, flashy cars, and pretty spouses, so it's not all bad, is it!? Heck No! It's only fair, they're smarter than the rest of us. They deserve it.

Why is it so expensive? Check this piece, "Top 10 Reasons for Soaring Health Care Costs." I'm not positive that is the end-all, definitive statement, but I read it and it sounded plausible to me.

And! If Bankruptcy isn't enough to scare you off, check this out! It's taken from Australian statistics, but the articles itself says that the statistics are about the same in the U.S., U.K., Canada, etc.

If you go to a hospital for treatment there is a 10% chance that a mistake of some sort will be made in your treatment. If you are in the 10% of patients who the system makes a mistake on, there is a 20% chance that it will have serious consequences, it will cause serious harm. And, for the patients who have mistakes made in their care, 1 in 30 will die. Dang! You better be pretty sick before considering doing anything that requires hospitalization if you ask me! Go see a veternarian. No joke, I've seen a lot of those guys who I would trust more for medical advice than some of the MD's I've seen.

And thank goodness for those pharmaceutical companies, eh? Without them we wouldn't have Tylenol (pain, anti-inflammatory), Viagra (erectile dysfunction), Zyprexa (schizophrenia), Bextra (osteo-arthrits & rheumatoid arthritis), and Vioxx (arthritis). Tylenol is now the leading cause of liver disease in the U.S. Viagra has been strongly linked to blindness (which everyone in love has, of course). Zyprexa causes diabetes, and Eli Lily apparently knew it all along. Bextra caused enough heart-attacks and strokes that it was withdrawn from the U.S. market by Pfizer. I wish I'd sold my Pfizer stock before they decided to do that, I almost had a heart-attack over the whole deal. Vioxx had essentially the same problems, "cardiovascular events", heart-attack and strokes.

I could spend all my time posting links to prescription-drug related recalls, scandals, withdrawals, they are everywhere. I saw a statistic that about 106,000 deaths occur in the U.S. each year from prescription drug side-effects. And I don't know if that includes some or all of the 100,000 plus that die of medical-accident related causes. I saw that last statistic just the other day but I lost the URL. I'll try to do better. Illegal drugs kill about 17,000 people each year in the U.S. For comparison, automobile accidents kill about 45,000 every year. Tobacco, a gubamint subsidized drug, kills about 425,000 people every year. And you can get arrested and fined for not wearing your seatbelt - Ha! You know how they justify that seatbelt law? "The injuries caused by not wearing your seat-belt drive up societies medical costs!" Ha! . . . Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I Love America! Really. I can say stuff like this and only get dead-cats in my front yard. So far at least.

So, Brothers and Sisters, Thank Goodness we have the Pharmaceutical-Medical Complex looking after our well being and health. Don't you feel better now?

If I were you I'd stay away from doctors, hospitals and drugstores unless you have bones sticking out thru the skin, or your appendix is getting ready to burst. They have a fair track record on those items, although not spotless. But visiting friends and relatives in the hospital is a worthwhile endeavor, just be sure to take shallow breaths and wash your hands at every opportunity. And take a WiFi enabled laptop with you so you can Google anything the doctor tells you, especially drug recommendations.

Candidates Health Care Plans from the Candidates Websites
In the Order Google Found Them
Who's Running?

Kucinich, D. - Dem Congressman Ohio

Edwards, J. - Dem Senator North Carolina

Obama, B. - Dem Senator Illinois - "Universal Heath Coverage" by 2012, whatever that means

Clinton H. - Dem Senator New York - "Universal Health Coverage" by ????, whatever that means

McCain, J. - Rep Senator Arizona

Giuliani, R. - Rep Mayor New York