A. The plunder of the American people (6)
In Russia, basic health care is free. A product of the once-socialist system. In the USA…
“The total cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for an average American family of four is $25,826” (Forbes, May 24, 2016). Employers pay about 57% of the cost IF THE PERSON IS EMPLOYED.
Even with the employer’s contribution “In 2016 the average American worker personally paid $6,717 yearly for his health insurance, and in addition paid $4,316 out of pocket for a total of $11,033 in yearly medical expenses!” (CNBC, May 24, 2016). That is an average of $919 a month. In ruble terms (X 60), 55,000 rubles a month in medical expenses!
And if you are not working?? Remember the 93 million Americans without work. They have no employer to help cover medical expenses. Remember the additional 28,420,000 Americans who work part-time and almost never receive employer-sponsored health coverage.
More on healthcare: Medicare and Medicaid…
In the US, there are the governmental Medicare and Medicaid supplemental health programs to “cover” the indigent. What do they offer?
Medicare: “United States Medicare is funded by a payroll tax, premiums and surtaxes from beneficiaries, and general revenue. It provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system through the payroll tax. It also provides health insurance to younger people with some disabilities… In 2015, Medicare provided health insurance for over 55 million—46 million people age 65 and older and nine million younger people. On average, Medicare covers about half of the health care charges for those enrolled… No part of Medicare pays for all of a beneficiary’s covered medical costs and many costs and services are not covered at all. The program contains premiums, deductibles and coinsurance, which the covered individual must pay out-of-pocket» (Medicare, Wikipedia).
So you have to have “paid into the system;” you personally pay half of the medical costs and some treatments are not even covered at all.
Medicaid “is a social health care program for families and individuals with limited resources… all U.S. citizens and legal residents with income up to 133% of the poverty line, including adults without dependent children, would qualify for coverage… Medicaid does not pay benefits to individuals directly; Medicaid sends benefit payments to health care providers. In some states Medicaid beneficiaries are required to pay a small fee (co-payment) for medical services” (Medicaid, Wikipedia).
However, Medicaid is far, far from a guaranteed health program. Many states in the US have opted out of the current Medicaid expansion known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. «As of January 2014, confirmed opting out states include Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia & Wisconsin» (Medicaid, Wikipedia).
Even worse, all too often physicians regard the government’s payments as too low and will not accept Medicaid patients! “Medicaid insures more than 70.5 million Americans… Largely low-income health care consumers, these patients have had a notoriously difficult time finding physicians to treat them, and in a reasonable amount of time” (USNews, May 26, 2015).
If you are poor and urgently need medical help…
Yes, the US has something like public medical care for the indigent. What is it like? “Almost one in three Houston (Texas) residents – more than a million people — lack health insurance, and about 400 are turned away from the county hospital district’s call center every day because they can’t be accommodated… Those seeking care at the public hospital’s emergency room, meanwhile, arrive with blankets and coolers full of sandwiches and drinks in anticipation of waits that may go 24 hours or longer.
«‘“Seventy percent of the people we see here are employed,” said Dr. G. Bobby Kapur. ‘They’re hourly wage earners, nannies, working in lawn care services or dry cleaning or real estate, or people working two part-time jobs and neither will pay for health care,” he said… The number of uninsured in the city is four times the 300,000 patients they serve. They can’t possibly meet the demand for services, no matter how efficient they are.” (“High rates of uninsured burden public system,” mcclatchydc.com, June 21, 2012).
Unless you are an member of the millionaire-billionaire-wealthy class in the US, the lesson for the out-of-work and part-time workers is: DON’T EVER GET SICK OR REQUIRE MEDICAL CARE! You cannot possibly afford $25,826 for your family’s yearly medical expenses and the governments’ medical programs are far, far from adequate.
And it gets worse…
What if you suffer a medical emergency? “Emergency room costs vary based on treatment, but a 2013 National Institute of Health study put the median cost at $1,233” (Urgent Team, Apr 15, 2016). Health insurance may cover part of the costs, but about 29 million Americans are uninsured healthwise (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com).
What if you need an ambulance? “For patients without health insurance, ambulance service cost typically depends on location, whether the trip is for an emergency or scheduled transport, how many miles the patient travels and whether basic life support or advanced life support is needed. The cost usually ranges from less than $400 to $1,200 or more plus mileage” (CostHelper.com).
Some figures are even higher: «According to a 2012 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an ambulance ride can range from $224 to $2,204 per transport…” (Consumerist, Feb 22, 2016)
If we take the average of these figures, an ambulance ride in the US costs about $1,000. That would be 60,000 rubles, thank you very much. In Russia, скорая помощь is free.
God Bless America…
In the US, “the about $700 cost of an iPhone comes nowhere near the average annual cost of health-care spending, or about $10,000 per person… a new survey shows that Americans have trouble affording most unexpected medical bills, even in smaller amounts. For a majority, or 52%, an unexpected medical bill that cost more than $500 would be out of reach. And unexpected medical bills that cost more than $100 would be unaffordable for 37%, or more than a third, of Americans” (“Forget iPhones — many Americans can’t pay a $100 medical bill” MarketWatch, Mar 24, 2017).
Правительство США жестоко нарушало мои права человека при проведении кампании террора, которая заставила меня покинуть свою родину и получить политическое убежище в СССР. См. книгу «Безмолвный террор — История политических гонений на семью в США» — «Silent Terror: One family’s history of political persecution in the United States» — http://arnoldlockshin.wordpress.com
Правительство США еще нарушает мои права, в течении более 13 лет отказывается от выплаты причитающейся мне пенсии по старости. Властители США воруют пенсию!! Всё это — ещё доказательство, что настоящий действующий закон в США — Закон джунглей.
ФСБ — Федеральная служба «безопасности» России — вслед за позорным, предавшим страну предшественником КГБ, выполняет приказы секретного, кровавого хозяина (boss) — американского ЦРУ (CIA). Среди таких «задач» — мне фактически запретить выступать в СМИ и не пропускать большинства отправленных мне комментариев. А это далеко не всё…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США