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Drug, insurance companies win

Posted: August 4, 2009 10:04 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
In case our Congressman doesn't know it ("Leave government out of health care," Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Opinion, July 19), he is already part of a government-run health care system called the Government Employees Health Benefits Program.

I know because while working as a government employee, I got to choose my health care vendor. The government simply administered the program.

The government deducted a matching percentage of the cost of my plan. It was effective and timely; no one had to wait weeks to be seen by a physician.

Administrative costs were about 13 percent, as opposed to private health care plans, which were more like 30 percent in administrative costs. There was no "cherry-picking" as in some other plans.

Health care isn't about small business owners but everyday people and their families.

People seeking insurance shouldn't be excluded for pre-existing conditions or faced with bankruptcy when illness strikes. No one should profit from another's illness.

According to www.healthcarereform.gov, California families shoulder a hidden health care cost of $1,400 per year as a direct result of subsidizing the costs of the uninsured.

Another percentage of Californians simply do not visit doctors because they cannot afford to. Household budgets are strained: 19 percent of middle-income families pay more than 10 percent of their incomes on health care costs. And since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 114 percent in California.

Save the Children found that infant mortality in the U.S. is 2.5 percent higher than in Finland, Iceland and Norway.

Americans seem to be paying more for less health care.

If you can afford it, all's well and good; if not, then too bad for you.

This is not equitable or fair. We are creating a generation of Californians where 15 percent of the children are obese, 17 percent of women older than age 50 have not received a mammogram in the past two years and 40 percent of men older than 50 have never had a colorectal screening.

These statistics were obtained from the Web page cited above.

Affordable health care is getting out of reach not only in California, but also across the nation.

So far I do not recall Republicans offering anything on health care but they remain the "Party of No" or the "Party of Go Slow," which is the same thing.

It's time to wake up and smell the coffee, people: Health care cost is going up, people and businesses are less able to afford health care plans and the winners are insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

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