Right now America is in the throes of trying to fix its fractured health care system. One thing for certain, no matter what is done, it is going to be painful for some. It is going to be painful for the taxpayers (at least at first). It is going to be painful for the elected officials who must decide what is right. And it is going to hurt doctors in the pocketbook. But trust me on this. It is NOT going to be painful for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. No, they are now pumping so much lobbying money into our Congressmen’s pockets in order to maintain their own interests, that sincerely I doubt if anything changes at all unless it is advantageous for the insurance and pharma industries.
I would like to take just a moment to point out a blogger friend’s series on Universal Health care in Germany and the differences between here and America. I know that it will involve reading, but I suspect that it is information which every American should know while trying to make an informed decision.
Here is just an excerpt:
How do health statistics compare between Germany and the US?
Looking at the World Health Organization’s Core Health Indicators, Germany has better numbers than the US in most health care related statistics. Here are some highlights:
- Life expectancy at birth, for both sexes combined, is 80 years in Germany and 78 in the US
- Healthy life expectancy at birth, for both sexes combined, is 72 years in Germany, 69 years in the US
- Infant mortality rate (per 1000 births) for Germany is 4.0, the US is 7.0
- Hospital beds (per 10000 people) is 83 in Germany and 32 in the US
- Physician density (per 10000 people) is 34 in Germany and 26 in the US
- Total expenditure on health as percentage of GDP for Germany is 10.7%, the US is 15.2%
- and Per capita expenditure on health is $3250 in Germany and $6350 in the US
Scary isn’t it?
Please take a moment and visit AmiExpat’s site for more information.
- Her first in the series was a description of the health care system in Germany.
- The second was her own experiences in the German and the US systems,
- Third up was reader submitted experience with health care in Germany.
- The fourth post was experiences with universal health care around the world.
- A fifth post is asking those living in the German system to talk about their experiences.
Personally I have two brothers who are as of right now uninsured. One is “underemployed” one is self-employed, and both are unwilling (read unable) to fork out the extra dough required for personal insurance. It scares me to think about it, but if something serious happened to either one of them, it could mean foreclosure on their houses. I myself rode the no-insurance wheel in America for a long time when I was either in between jobs or was only working part time.
What else should you do to make an informed decision before following the herd…? Read! Here is HR 3200, in its entirety.
I think I will write out my own experiences with German health care, but I’m afraid that will have to wait for a day or two. But if you didn’t visit the links above, please do reconsider.