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Capitalist health care

JAMA study

"The US population in late middle age is less healthy than the equivalent British population...."

— The Journal of American Medicine, 3 May 2006

My father discovered in the spring of 2006 that he had cataracts.* The condition was in an early, mild stage. His vision was blurry, like smudged glasses. He thought that's what it was.

But the condition was persistent, so he visited an optical specialist, and found this diagnosis.

The cataract is progressive, and the treatment these days quite routine; so after professional consultation, Dad opted for immediate treatment.

But his insurance company declined to pay for the operation. As Dad told it via email, his cataracts were "not bad enough yet."

Not bad enough yet. A progressive condition, a necessary operation. A routinely-practiced therapy that only needs to be done once.

The basis of healthcare upon capitalist arbitration is neither practical nor humane.

Happily, Dad was later able to have the operation, after the condition had become "bad enough" — or at least after medical professionals were able to convince insurance-company professionals that it had become so.


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* Cataracts are a clouding of the eye's lens. Potential causes are multiple — genetic influence, overexposure to ultraviolet light, secondary effects of diabetes — and the condition is progressive, so the disability is also age-related.

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