I guess my critics are right. There are some things that I do not understand. I mean, I just read that Australia has raised its birth rate to 1.77 by paying a $3,000 baby bonus to mothers upon the successful birth of their child. While Australia’s birth rate is lower than the US, their population is probably increasing at a greater rate due to our higher rate of infant mortality. If I had to guess, I would say that the world’s population growth is one of the biggest threats to the stability of life on this planet. I believe corporate greed and the United States’ Military/Industrial complex occupy the number one and two slots.
But about that birthrate and the infant mortality rate, the chart I consulted is telling. It shows dramatically how every developed country, in what we think of as the western civilized world, has a much lower infant mortality rate than we do. And, according to the World Bank, the life expectancy in the U.S. is currently 78. In Sweden and Canada, that country with the horrible health insurance we keep hearing about, they live to be 81. In France, Italy, and Switzerland, it is 82; In Germany, the Netherlands, and in the United Kingdom, the country with the health care system that all of America likes to denigrate, it is 80. Yes, we are supposed to have the best healthcare system in the world and yet our babies and old folks are dying faster than anywhere else in the western, civilized world.
Well, maybe we do have the best doctors and hospitals in the world. I don’t know if there is data on that. What I do know, however, is that there are a great many people in this country who have no access to it.
We just passed a health care bill in this country with the goal of making healthcare more affordable. We have been hearing a lot about “older people” being laid off and, of course, not being able to find another job. I am talking about people in their late 50’s up to 65. Now, the tea baggers say these folks are lazy, they would rather collect unemployment than go out and find work. Tea-baggers say there is work out there, the old folks are just not looking. For one thing, if they think people would rather live on unemployment, they should try it sometime. Besides that, I can tell you that employers are not looking for them. This is not an age where you retrain for a new profession, even if there were jobs out there. They also do not have the mobility of younger people, to move around the country to look for work. And, I can tell you something else they don’t have. They still do not have affordable health care.
Older people, who have worked all their lives, are being laid off and in spite of what the tea-baggers think, they cannot find work. They do not qualify for Social Security until age 62, even though they have been paying into it all their lives. AND, they do not qualify for Medicare until they are 65. So, how does this new health care bill help them? Not very well.
In the state of Florida there are two companies that offer these people insurance through the “Cover Florida” program. They are “Blue Cross and Blue Shield” and “United Health Care.” Both of these companies offer a basic healthcare that will not cover you if you are hospitalized so I will skip over those plans and go straight to the other (premium) plans. BC & BS’s Healthcare is almost affordable at $195/month for one person, but it has a “lifetime cap” at $50,000. One could say that it could be eaten up by several visits to the Emergency room. Not true, however, because they don’t pay that much of each bill.
I mentioned two companies. I won’t even go into United Health Care’s plan because the coverage isn’t much better and it costs $500/month for one person. Isn’t that a fraqing joke? Yes, but the problem is that the joke’s on you.