I spoke with a friend yesterday who is ill. They have an undefined serious debilitating illness that has caused them to lose their job and in that process lose their health coverage.
Under Cobra, the system that allows workers to continue with their health plan by making their own payments, it's costing my friend fourteen hundred—one thousand four hundred—dollars A MONTH to continue health care coverage for themselves and their family.
Not only is this adding to the general stress of the ways in which the Great Recession has hit this family, and causing greater stress which in turn I am sure contributes to the health issues, but my friend and the doctors involved have to find ways around looking for some obvious causes that may be long term and therefore the health plan may not cover!
My friend and their family is what this country calls "middle class"—a term rejected in the 1960s by my radical friends of that time as meaningless. They used to say (and as I've said here before): "If the ruling class rules and the working class works, what does the middle class do, middle?"
No, what we have in this country—very much like many so-called "developing countries" or what used to be called "the third world" or more honestly in my boyhood, "poor countries"—is a ruling class of overseers, the one percent who control as much or more of this country's wealth as the bottom 95%—yep, you read that correctly—and their minions who do their bidding or more importantly do what is in the interest of that one percent—i.e. the managers of corporations, the media managers and their minions, and most of the politicians in DC and various state capitols.
Just talking to my friend got me so riled up about this stupid so-called "healthcare system" in this country I could go on a tirade for days, let alone one blog post. But I think this quote from a post on Huffington yesterday by Robert Creamer sums it up pretty obviously:
"We spend $7,290 per person and end up in 37th place. They [the French] spend only $3,601 and they are number one. That's just not right.
On the average, Frenchmen live almost three years longer than the average American. That's infuriating.
What's more, every legal resident of France is covered by health insurance, and in the U.S. 46 million people are uninsured. When someone in France goes to the hospital, everything except a small co-payment is covered - it's that simple.
The government doesn't deliver health care in France. Private doctors and hospitals do most of that. It just provides health insurance for everyone.
[For the whole article go here.]
How simple. How successful. How too democratic and in the spirit of equality and justice for all. Not in the USA! Oh no. Here it's "every man [and woman and child] for themselves" and what's the wealthiest one percent is theirs and what's ours is theirs too, and we can die trying to fix it, because their minions ain't giving up access to their small chunk of that wealth for our sakes.
[And here's another Huff Post article that answers the GOP criticisms of "the public option" in a pretty original way.]