More appalling stories of ‘the greatest health care system in the world’

The Guardian has been running a series called The Mother Load that looks at what happens to pregnant women in the US. Giving birth can be expensive enough even when things go smoothly, but if there are any complications at all, the costs can go so far off the charts that families are ruined. Jen Sinconis writes about what her family went through when her twins were born very prematurely. It is a harrowing tale, not least because while the parents were worrying themselves sick about how to enable their tiny children to survive and grow, they were being socked with massive bills. This was 11 years ago before Obamacare came into being that removed lifetime caps on insurance payments and eliminated pre-exiting conditions clauses that limited coverage. Those two features alone would have made a huge different to them, though they would still have incurred major costs.
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Witness the greatest health care system in the world in action

Imamu Baraka was leaving work in Baltimore when he was stunned to see security personnel from the University of Maryland Medical Center take a woman and leave her out in the cold at a bus shelter and dump her things next to her on the ground. Despite the weather being near the freezing point, she was wearing just a flimsy hospital gown with no shoes or underwear. You can see the video he took here.
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The criminal waste in the US health care system

Pete Dolack estimates that about $1.4 trillion dollars are siphoned out of the US health care system each year because of its private, for-profit nature, more than enough to pay for a single-payer system. How does he arrive at this figure? He calculates the average per-capita expenditure on health care for Britain, Canada, France, and Germany for the years 2011 to 2016 and arrives at $4,392 per year. For the US the figure is more than twice that at $8,924. If you take the difference and multiply that by the US population of 317 million, the excess comes out to $1.44 trillion.
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Destroying Obamacare: An illustration of an obsession

My personality is such that once I start work on solving a problem or fixing some thing, however trivial it is, I will carry it out to its conclusion, usually working on it straight with hardly a break. This is true with yard work, work around the house, writing projects, science and math problems, anything. Once I start, and as long as I believe that I can succeed and that effort and my own skills should be sufficient in arriving at a satisfactory solution, it becomes a kind of obsession and I will plug away until I see it through to the end.
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I did not know this

As the Republicans in Congress and Donald Trump try to round up 50 votes to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care denying bill in opposition to pretty much everyone except themselves and their most rabid supporters, they are trying to bribe those senators who are as yet reluctant to support it, such as Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, by carving out special provisions for that state that would make it more palatable to her.
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The health care debate heats up

There will be a town hall style debate on the new health care bill on Monday at 9:00pm on CNN. It will feature Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy on one side and Bernie Sanders and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar on the other. It should be a good debate since I doubt that any senator has studied the issue of health care more than Sanders. But unfortunately I don’t get cable TV and will have to read about it later.
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Not even the health industry likes the Graham-Cassidy bill

It turns out that even the major players in the health industry don’t like the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Backers of the GOP Graham-Cassidy health-care bill — Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., plus President Trump via Twitter — maintain it doesn’t touch protections for those with pre-existing conditions. And Cassidy also says the legislation will cover MORE people than current law does.
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