Listen up my fellow Americans, especially those of you who fear that socialized medicine is the work of Satan.
Here in America we already have socialized medicine in the form of Medicare, a single payer, government run system for people over 65 and the disabled. Medicare comes in two parts. Part A covers hospitalization and Part B covers various tests and outpatient treatments.
Guess what, under this government run, single payer system, seniors get to choose their own doctors, their own hospitals, and since their health care is administered by the federal government, its administrative costs are much less than those of private health insurance companies( even given bloated government bureaurocracy).
There are no referrals or permissions necessary as with HMO's. On top of that, every hospital in the country accepts Medicare which means a New Yorker who breaks an arm in Arizona won't be turned away from the local emergency room if he hasn't got cash or a credit card. Medicare is good everywhere in the United States.
It amazes me how many grey-hairs I see in videos and TV coverage of the protests against the health care legislation now being hammered out in Congress. I'm stunned to find that many of these mature adults who are screaming about socialized medicine like it was the end of days, do not realize that Medicare, on which they rely, is socialized medicine. It may not be perfect, but it works. Every doctor I know spends more time hassling with insurance companies and filling out forms than seeing patients. Physicians can opt out of Medicare, but most don't. The fees aren't as high as for private insurance, but there is less hassle and they do get paid. Every hospital has a huge accounting staff just to handle insurance billing as every Insurance company has different rules, different forms and a different contract with the hospital.
Here's what folks. The American health care system is broken. We have to fix it, pronto. Entrenched Insurance interests are trying to scare the pants off you not because they care about you, but because they care about their bottom line. They won't make as much money if everybody has the single payer government option. It's that simple. They are businesses with a primary fiduciary responsibility to their investors and shareholders not to you. You are the product on which they make a profit. That's the way business works and in this country, health care is a business and a very lucrative one at that.
If I have to choose between corporate greed and government beaurocracy, I'll take the government. But you don't have to. As the President says " If you like your present plan you can keep it" Something for everybody. In the meantime, please remember that Medicare is not a dirty word.. Millions of seniors depend upon it and are happy to have it.