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Sick Man Shows That His Insurance Company Is Prioritizing Wealth Over His Health And Doesn't Even Hide It (Interview With Victim)
According to Doctorow, the US has “the worst healthcare in the developed world.” He then explains why using his personal experience with health insurance and how his provider refused to cover the inexpensive medication that he needed.
Sick Man Shows That His Insurance Company Is Prioritizing Wealth Over His Health And Doesn't Even Hide It (Interview With Victim)
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The spread of the coronavirus means that the healthcare system and medical professionals are getting more attention than usual. Lots of people are pointing out the flaws in the system and Twitter user Doctorow is one of them. But this isn’t another coronavirus story.

According to Doctorow, the US has “the worst healthcare in the developed world.” He then explains why using his personal experience with health insurance and how his provider refused to cover the inexpensive medication that he needed. Scroll down to read Doctorow’s story in his own words.

Doctorow’s thread got over 3.4k likes on Twitter and more than 1.1k people retweeted it. The thread also spread to other social media channels, including Imgur where it got over 4.8k upvotes and was viewed by more than 131k users. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with Doctorow about US healthcare and how it can be improved.

A lot of people agreed with the Twitter user’s opinion about how the system in the US needs to be improved. Preferably, by following the fully-functioning example set by other developed countries.

The Atlantic writes that the US has the lowest-performing healthcare system in developed countries, according to the Commonwealth Fund. The highest performing nations are the UK, the Netherlands, and Australia, even though the US spends the most money.

David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, said that this is “consistent across 20 years.” He explained that there are 3 reasons why the US can’t catch up to its allies.

First of all, there’s a lack of insurance coverage: in 2016, over 27 million Americans were uninsured. That’s because they simply can’t afford it. “The literature on insurance demonstrates that having insurance lowers mortality. It is equivalent to a public health intervention,” Blumenthal said.

He also pointed out that the US wastes a lot of money on administration. “Doctors and patients [report] wasting time on billing and insurance claims. Other countries that rely on private health insurers, like the Netherlands, minimize some of these problems by standardizing basic benefit packages, which can both reduce administrative burden for providers and ensure that patients face predictable copayments,” the Commonwealth Fund reports.

Lastly, we have underperforming primary care in the US. “We have a very disorganized, fragmented, inefficient and under-resourced primary care system,” Blumenthal explained. “Many primary-care physicians struggle to receive relevant clinical information from specialists and hospitals. We don’t invest in social services, which are important determinants of health.”

In other words, if the US improves in these 3 key areas, it can solve the problem at its source and help millions of Americans get the care they deserve.

Doctorow told us that, in his opinion, creating a Medicare for All system with a single payer and eliminating the private insurance industry is the best way that the US can catch up to other developed countries.

“The poorest and richest Americans should rely on the same healthcare system so that anything that makes things better for influential, connected wealthy people makes things better for the nation,” he said.

According to Doctorow, the main thing holding the US healthcare system back is “unlimited political spending by a concentrated, highly profitable insurance industry.”

Doctorow said that this is due to a combination of “Citizens United and lax campaign finance laws; financial secrecy laws that allow for dark money campaigns; antitrust malpractice that has led to massive concentration in the health (and every other) industry; the rise of private equity and its financially destructive MO, which has transformed healthcare by consolidating hospitals, doctor's groups, labs, etc under PE structures that rely on debt-loading and other extractive practices.”

But what should Americans who can’t afford to be insured do? Doctorow had this to say: “Mobilize. Find a candidate that supports Medicare for All and donate, volunteer, and vote for them. This is a year in which M4A's significance and profile are on a rise and rise with no peak in sight. It's our moment.”

“The American healthcare scandal is a microcosm for dozens of similar circumstances, in which concentrated industries collect monopoly rents that they can use to influence politicians,” he said. “The policies that these politicians create—and the regulators who enforce them—are designed to make the donor class wealthier, not to improve the lives of the American people.”

He continued: “Whether it's cable and wireless, energy, finance, movies, music, online services, pharma, eyewear, or even pro wrestling, industries have dwindled to a handful of companies that use anticompetitive tactics to crush or buy competitors, reducing choice, competition, and the hope of a pluralistic future.”

Comments (76)
Claes Gustavsson
Yes, I can't beleive how armericans tolerate this. I would be furious. I'm so happy that I don't live in the US, I got sick last year (Psoriasis), I would be bankrupt by know. Maybe even dead. We have "free" healthcare in Sweden, of course payed by taxes, but we're happy to do so. It brings quality to life, not having to worry about getting sick. I've read these stories so many times now.
giovanna
Believe me. Every time I read this kind of things I CAN'T understand how you can accept it. How you're not demonstrating in the streets 24/7. It sounds Unbelievable to me. We have free health care no matter what in Italy. We could be unemployed and still have it. If you need surgery and you stay in hospital for a major surgery, and in ICU afterwards, guess what the bill would be? Zero.
John Louis
What amazes me is how billion-dollar insurance propaganda has led so many right-wingers to believe our current system is somehow better, with more access and more choice.
WilvanderHeijden
In the Netherlands everybody pays the roughly same premium: € 120 per month with €385 deductibles per year. You can choose to pay less premium and take higher deductibles at €885 per year. No, we don't pay 70% taxes to fund our healthcare system. Highest rate of taxes is 50% for people earning over €1 million. Most people pay around 30% of their income on taxes. Also: No, when there's an emergency we don't have to wait days or weeks or months to get treated . Also an ambulance ride doesn't set us back €1000 or more. Also: No,we're not a socialist country. My wife and I each have their own car and we bought our house and the government can't take that away from us. ( Yes, I've had discussions with Americans on this subject...;))
Venic
Ever notice you never hear people, say, in the UK, sighing enviously over American healthcare policies? You may hear them complain about the NHS (understandably - no system is perfect and that one has a lot of problems), but I've never heard someone from there pine for an exclusively for-profit healthcare system. (They do have private for-profit hospitals which some people do use as alternatives if needed, alongside the public options.)
Liszt
In the US there's a combo of dangerous factors: poor salaries ,so poor insurances, no paid sick days at all, so usualy they're forced to work even if sick.And of course the overcharged medical expenses, necessary not to treat people but to feed the money machine beyond the healthcare system: insurances, providers, etc.. I read the government finally stated to pay from test and paid sick days, but isn't engough. A serious Covid infected ( so in average 8/10%) needs 2 weeks or more of ICU hospitalization.ICU hospitalizatin (not mentioning visit, test, follow up, medicines etc) usually is 4-6000 US per day. So even if you have a "good insurance" the policy excess or copayment is very hard to efford. So lots of people have this hard choice: be killed by the pathology itself or be treated and then starving because of debts. This Covid is probably the nemesis of this profit-oriented, not care-oriented, system
Sylvia
Healthcare in this country is a crime against humanity. Insurance companies should be held accountable. I paid more than $350 each month for two very healthy minors. When one had to get a rash checked out the bill was about $89 and Insurance covered $8. WTH?!! Again, my belief is that this is beyond criminal. Sadly no one is doing anything about it because the ones in power have great healthcare.
Cold Contagious
As a person with several chronic illnesses, spinal joints, disc, nerve damage, and other joints in my body, I endure the medication issues all the time. They never want to cover some much cheaper meds that directly affect my health, like Nexium, for severe acid reflux, that caused pre cancerous cells in my throat. I've been paying cash for it for the past two years. They also won't pay for any other types of meds for my spine and joint issues, except for narcotics. They won't even discuss alternative meds ?.
Kazza
Until we Americans have an honest conversation about what is not working, we will never fix it. Waving the flag and repeating slogans and tropes doesn’t fix our healthcare- it just keeps the status quo.
Monty Glue
Vote for Bernie Sanders if you want to live!
Fairsher
I have such sympathy for my south of the border citizens. I cannot even think how stressful life is when it comes to health coverage or lack of. I pay higher taxes living in Ontario Canada but my healthcare costs over the past 59 years have been a lot more and will continue to cost. You all should band together and demand it. They would have no chance against all of you. You all deserve it, everyone needs it, you should have it.
Ed Souza
Don't be silly people. I too live in America. The simple solution is just don't get sick...
Id row
The majority of this country is ignorant, that's why it's tolerated and why the cheeto is in office. They hear the word 'socialized' and start panicking, thinking the Russians are going to invade and we're going to turn communist. Then they grab their booze, bible and guns and go attend a pro-life rally in their MAGA hats. This country is beyond stupid. If we just outlawed lobbying and stopped giving our lawmakers gold star health insurance for life and made them fend for themselves like the rest of us, the entire system would be overhauled in less than a year. It's literally that simple.
Jodie Osborne
Glad I live in Canada when it comes to health care. 2 babies via c-section. Didn't cost us anything. Was in serious ATV accident almost 3 years ago…1 week in ICU after major intestinal surgery and another week out of ICU on the surgical ward, not to mention another intestinal surgery 12 months later…didn't pay anything out of pocket. I truly don't know how after paying $2000 a month just for health insurance you can afford a lifestyle.
deanna woods
Our health care system in the United States is terrible and I can say this as one of its victims. My sister has epilepsy and has been denied disability several times. She is at the point where she can't go into places by herself because she might have a seizure and she pays out of pocket almost two hundred dollars a month for her meds. I have diabetes and high blood pressure and I can't go to the doctor on a regular basis because I don't have health insurance. Our system is messed up and we need to just admit that.
Miguel Ángel
The whole idea od the USA being "the best country in the world" is a fucking joke.
kurisutofu
And yet, Bernie is not gonna pass ... you get what you deserve. If you want better, make things change. It's hard but it's better than waiting that someday, people at the top decide to throw you a bone.
maswartz
WE FUCKING KNOW
Kjorn
never been so happy to live in canada. maybe if american who has gun just go in washington and claim to have the same thing they could… but so many people who live down there are so selfish and won't accept to pay for others so everyone can have medical care. yeah i paid lot of taxes, but i know i'd never have to make the choice between paying my rent and my medical treatment.
Russian Otaku
Ffs it's not a opinion it's a fucking fact. USA has the de facto worst health care, worst public transportation, worst food, worst leader, worst drivers out of ALL developed Nations even have the worst people on earth Americans are the most disgusting wasteful pieces of shit on earth and usa has less humans then even undeveloped countries usa has too damn many monstrous beach balls who pretend to be people with feelings while eating mostly fake food from taco bell or mcshittles
Neave GrimWyck
Does America at least make walk-in clinics free?
Benjamin A Brooks
We don't but thanks for more horse shit
Carol Emory
We don't have the worst healthcare in the world, we have the most expensive healthcare insurance system. Our professional doctors, nurses and pharmacists are some of the top people in the world. But, unfortunately, insurance companies, lobbyists, big pharma and politicians are getting in the way. A Universal Healthcare system is what we need. Take the politics out of the medical field.
Noez ??
It's weird that Americans accept it. Why aren't you pissed? Go out and riot or something, stop accepting this insane health care system you have. It's treating you like crap and you seem happy for it?
Gerald Monyok
Obama Care fixed it
Nhaundar
Trump has trampled the obamacare.... I think obamacare could have been better than this... I have no clue i live in germany. But it does sound better than the actual healthcaresystem.
G Porter
Quit politicizing everything. I come to boredpanda to get away from politics. If you bring it here your website will fail in the future.
G Porter
If you are going to politicize BoredPanda I will stop coming to it. I am SO GD SICK OF ALL THE POLITICAL HATE. This is just more HATE. Stop it. IF you can't then you deserve this virus.
PS G
The question to this man is if you were in Canada and the U.K. what are you doing in this sh*t hole third world country? I'd run back home. And by the way, Celebrex doesn't help much and neither does therapy. When this virus is over get your hip replaced and really teach Cigna a lesson. They'll love paying for that. It's actually a pretty easy recovery. Much easier than a knee.
Kevin Hickey
One of the best parts is when you get an invoice that says, "This is not a bill, pay this amount."
Slune
Health insurance (without dentist) 20k Swiss Francs (equals dollar) per year for two persons and still have to pay annually 2000.- each for deductible, plus 10 percent for the medication and treatments.At least I have free choice of doctor. We have nice salaries here, but at the end of month.....:((
Stephany Van Alstyne
Yep yep yep! My husband and I are retired and not yet on Medicaid.... we pay $1900/month for insurance and my husband was denied a MRI that his doctor ordered. We had to pay out of pocket.
Xi Jinping
中文系统更好。 中国制度:让病人死亡。
jamie1707
We suck boa balls when it comes to health care, unless you're wealthy. In the US, do you know that most insurance companies refuse to cover a simple bottle of cough medicine with a dollop of codeine? I was coughing my head off for weeks on end and they couldn't figure out wtf was causing it. I tried every OTC remedy (and that crap isn't cheap either) but I finally had to bite the bullet and shell out $85 for 7oz. That didn't last long. Thank the gods they finally figured out what was going on. I was horrified and promptly changed doctors.
Yugan Talovich
UK and Australia have the best healthcare? Taiwan says, hold my beer. All I know is that Brits and Aussies here say Taiwan's healthcare is way better than theirs.
AlphaPuck
I have to say I am skeptical of this story. First this person has a condition that is not a medical necessity. It would certainly be nice, but not necessary. Second, buy the drug OOP, you clearly have the money. Third, change insurance companies. Its an open market and nobody is stopping you. Competition drives down prices.
Timothy Patel
I lived in Britain and experienced NHS, and it is not great. It works well for minor aliments, and maintenance. Any challenging care is not covered and I can promise you as you age, it is also reduced. Watching the Conoravirus rates and deaths, Germany is outstanding and would like to implement similar system they have that still offer choices.
Nanette Cordell
I think it depends on your insurance company. I have a GREAT insurance company. I have never had anything denied. In fact, I just emailed my doctor and said it was getting too difficult to care for my husband in our regular bed and could the insurance help me pay for a hospital bed. Mind you I didn't ASK for them go GIVE me one.... but guess what.... the next day I got a phone call from the company that provides medical equipment asking me when was it convenient for them to deliver the bed my doctor had ordered....... I have GREAT coverage..... and I pay (out of pocket) less than $200 per month for my husbands portion of care.
Timothy Patel
I've experienced the British NHS and still have family there and it is not a good system at all. There is a bureaucracy in the NHS as well, and they dictate who and where you can get services. Looking at Germany's death rates with the Coronavirus compared to other countries, it is less than 1/2%. I think looking at their health system is worthwhile as choices are still fully available. The below from Wikipedia: Germany has long had the most restriction-free and consumer-oriented healthcare system in Europe. Patients are allowed to seek almost any type of care they wish whenever they want it.[10] The governmental health system in Germany is currently keeping a record reserve of more than €18 billion which makes it one of the healthiest healthcare systems in the world.
MWM
This man is talking about Health Insurance, not about the US Healthcare System. 1. He has terrible health insurance. 2. How has he not realized that if he just banked the 2k per month in an account, he can negotiate with any doc or hospital with cash in hand and be able to easily pay for practically any procedure. This man isn't the victim of the US Healthcare System, he has poor financial sense and the Insurance industry has taken advantage of it. This is on him, not the Health Care System. People have completely forgotten how to take matters into their own hands. If you go to a doctor with cash in hand and they will typically work with you to a reasonable cost. If they don't, move on to the next doctor until you find one that will. There are plenty of individuals in the US Health Care industry who actually care about helping people without bankrupting them. I can't believe this guy thinks 2k a month is acceptable! That is one hell of a mortgage payment going down the toilet
cjay smurphite
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, severs you right fucking white american sack of shit. You deserve it.
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