This Would Be Common Knowledge If More People Knew About It. I know … I know … the health care insurance system in these United States has been talked about and talked about until everybody’s eyes have glazed over. We pay twice as much for health care and in return we rank 42nd in the world in life expectancy and 33rd when it comes to infant mortality. The last time the subject of “Health Care Reform” came up, health care companies and their 3,000 registered health care lobbyists … that’s six lobbyists for every member of Congress by the way … spent $1.4 million a day to make sure our money continued to flow into their pockets.

Old news … right? Nothing to see here folks so move along to the next topic du jour. Now that the Democrats, the Republicans, and Obama, have “reformed” Health Care … it’s off to fix whatever else needs reforming. But a couple of days ago I went back to thinking about Health Care Costs. I don’t know why. For some reason I just started wondering about how much our family was spending on Health Care Premiums every month. All throughout the “Health Care Debate” that brought out the screaming Tea-baggers from wherever the hell it is they came from, I looked at our nation’s health care costs … but I never looked at our own.

My wife takes care of our finances. She’s a financial analyst by day so it makes perfect sense for her to be the one to juggle our books. It’s not that I’m incapable of handling money … it’s just on a day to day basis I’m extraordinarily bad at it. But I do own a calculator, and I’m proficient in simple arithmetic, so a couple of nights ago I asked her to patiently explain to me … very slowly … How Things Work.

Our health care premiums are almost $13,000 a year. My wife’s company pays over $30,000 on top of that. By the time the dust settles health care coverage for my wife, our son, and your humble narrator is $14,673.68 per person.

You’d think for that kind of money we’d get something out of it. Not really. Even at $14,673.68 a year there are co-pays, deductibles, and if things get really bad … caps on how much the insurance company will allow.

We had to pay for my glasses, my teeth, and every time I went to see my doctor or bought a prescription there was a “co-pay” amount we had to shell out. Years ago we were without insurance for 3 months. When we had insurance one of my prescriptions cost $10. I was really sweating how much I was going to have to pay without insurance. It came to $11. All those premiums we pay out only knock a dollar off the cost of my prescription. Such a deal.

This is the racket insurance companies are willing to spend $1.4 million a day to protect.

In 2009, the United States federal, state and local governments, corporations and individuals, together spent $2.5 trillion or $8,047 per person, on health care. 44 to 55 million Americans aren’t covered. How much more would it be if everyone had health care? I’m not talking about how much more it would cost if everyone had health care insurance. How much would it cost if everyone had health care?

Well … Canada spends 60% less than we do, $4,867 per person, and every Canadian citizen is covered by the national health care system. Costs are generally paid through funding from income taxes. And of course Canadians are taxed at a rate slightly higher than ours. But they actually get something back. When was the last time you got a call from the government informing you that next weekend it was your turn as a tax-paying American to take an F-16 out for a spin?

Is the Canadian system perfect? Not according to the World Health Organization. Health care systems of 191 member nations were studied and Canada came in 30th. So it’s not so perfect. But it’s soooo much better than our system. A Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to that of the U.S. If you want perfection you have to move to France.

I don’t speak French, I’m too old to learn a new language, and we’re definitely not going to move to a different country just because of their health care system. But we are packing. We are going to move.

By the end of the summer we’ll be expatriated Americans living in Canada. The reason we’re leaving is simple. Our son is 11 years old. We want to give him the opportunity to spend the last of his childhood … and then grow up … in a country that hasn’t gone completely crazy. There’s just too much stupid going on here. Too much crazy as far as the eye can see.

We know we’re not moving to Shangri-La North. When the artist Robert Crumb moved to France years ago he said, “France isn’t – you know – perfect, or anything, but – it’s just – oh, slightly less evil than the United States.

Like that.

And so fellow Truthseekers … This is the last “Moment with Bob” for awhile … at least until we’re unpacked and settled in. There are too many things that have to get done before we go and I don’t have any free time these days to think about, much less write about, the psychopaths crouching just outside the door.

Until next time …

This Would Be Common Knowledge If More People Knew About It June 10, 2011


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