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  • Mark Lavie

An(other) American medical travesty

The person mentioned in the post below is in his 80s. He's a wonderful guy. When my father was dying, he piled my wife and kids into his private plane and flew them to the next state, to give me some private time with my dad. Now he's in bad shape, healthwise. You would think that a person who has worked all his life, paid his taxes, paid into social Security, never in any trouble, could count on his society to take care of him in his last years. But not in the US, where health care is mostly privatized. Oh, yes, there's a provision for the penniless--but as you'll see here, this American's illness has saddled him and his wife with thousands of dollars of medical fees:

I'm really pissed!! Thought xxxx had qualified for Medicaid and was happy. Turns out he only qualifies for "medically needy" and we have to accumulate several thousand dollars of bills in one month for them to pay the rest (we're still responsible for the initial thousands). We have thousands of dollars in bills, but spread over a few months. At $1300/month in Social Security he MAKES TOO MUCH money to qualify for Medicaid!!!! That's sick. He's over the limit by $300/month. They counted my measly $600/month in that calculation. I guess you have to be homeless and starving to qualify for government aid. So.... we still have to pay the thousands we owe. Somehow. Grrrr......

So you're still opposed to "socialized medicine," that extension of the devil himself, so much worse than the minor health insurance reform called "Obamacare," vilified as a plot to ruin the entire United States and force everyone into...what? Coverage?

Please excuse my cynicism. Thing is--I know for certain that when/if I reach that stage, I will be cared for. I won't have to sell my house, my kids, or my grandkids to pay for my medical care. That's because I live in Israel.

Here, under the sensible combination of public and private medical care, my government-backed HMO will take care of me for as long as I'm around. There's a chapter in my book about how the system works, and it's worth reading. The story based on my need for an emergency heart procedure, and how I got it done for the price of parking.

Israel's medical system is based on the commitment of the society to take care of its people. That, my friends, is the definition of socialism. It's not Communism, which is a whole different thing. There is a vile tendency in the United States these days to confuse the two, to denounce any proposal designed to help the needy as "socialism," which has joined the newly created list of curse words that include "left," "Democrat," "liberal," and "Obama."

But look what that means. To every one of you. It means that when you're old, you may well be bankrupted by your wreck of a health care system. If you're OK with that, I wish you a long and healthy life. If you're not--take a look at Israel's health care system, chapter 18, and tell me if that isn't a better way to deal with your own people.

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