Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Health Care Reform - Blaming the Patient (Only in America)

One of the many depressing aspects of the health care "reform" process (more appropriately called the "preserve private health insurance profits" process) is the degree to which the patient is being blamed.

Republicans all but assert that Americans use too much health care because they don't pay directly for the services they get. To Republicans, there is no difference between buying health care and buying a car. Insurance company profits? Not an issue. The lack of true competition in most health insurance markets? Not a problem. Doctors ordering tests because they have a financial interest in the labs? Not a problem. No. American citizens are at fault.

But Democrats, too, blame the patient. We don't exercise enough. We don't eat right. We don't get regular checkups.

One can only conclude that Americans belong to a different species, that we are physically and psychologically distinct from Canadians, the British, the French, Scandinavians, the Japanese (who, BTW, visit doctors more often every year - an average of, if I recall the statistic properly, 17 times a year - than any other nationality), etc. all of whom live in countries where the average cost of health care as a share of GDP and per person is significantly less than it is in the good old U.S.A.

No comments: