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Problems in Healthcare

I support Universal Health Care and a single-payer system.      Having lived in Europe, I have experienced it myself and I think it's far superior than our current healthcare system in America.     It's not only work better, it's much cheaper.    Universal healthcare and a single-payer system will also help businesses, particularly small businesses because they don't have to face the burden of providing medical care to their employees.    

The U.S. health care system is seriously broken.    Having worked for years as a volunteer at the emergency center at Stanford Hospital and the Pacific Free Health Clinic which offers free health care to uninsured underprivileged patients, I realize how bad the American health care system is.     And many of the factors that contribute to the dismal state of the U.S. health care system are due to the careered politicians like Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.     The issue is linked with illegal immigration.   Because she wants to pander to a particular group of people in order to get vote; she supports the illegal immigrants who come into the emergency centers to seek medical care, it drives up the health care cost for every American citizen.     The New York Times last year published a series of articles about Grady Hospital in Atlanta, a public hospital, that offers a medical service to the illegals at the cost of $50,000 per patient per year.    In order to support the program, the tax for American citizens in Atlanta is going through the roof.    With incentives for the illegals like this program, it's no wonder why the American health care system is bankrupt while Americans and legal immigrants don't even have basic medical care (I know because I volunteer at such a place) and American families have to declare bankruptcy because of health care costs.

New York public hospitals become a dumping grounds for the illegal immigrants.    The New York Times published an article a couple of months ago about this problem.

The article wrote about an illegal immigrant from China, Mr. Yu Kang Fu, who has spent years living in a New York hospital costing American taxpayers millions of dollars.    It's no wonder why the American healthcare system is bankrupt.

Every time I go to Europe and walk into a pharmacy store, I can find the same drug for 70-90% off of what the American consumers are paying.    I feel like American consumers are being ripped off by the pharmaceutical companies with the help of corrupted politicians like Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.    The reason drug prices are so much cheaper in Europe, Japan, and other countries is that all industrialized countries require their government health care programs to negotiate drug price with pharmaceutical companies.    But the U.S. Congress has been bought by the same companies to block such laws from taking effect in the U.S.    The result is that American consumers are paying through the nose and Medicaid and Medical costs are going through the roof because of high drug prices that contribute mightily to our Federal deficit that hampers economic growth and force American citizens to pay it off for generations.    It also causes hardship among the uninsured and our senior citizens who live on limited income.    

Worse, after taking contribution money from the pharmaceutical companies, she voted against the law that allows the re-importation of drugs into the U.S.  (You can see it for yourself at  Go through the years 1998-2008 you can see that pharmaceutical companies are among her top political contributors)

Among industrialized countries, the U.S. spends the most money on healthcare, but get much worse results.   For example, the U.S. spends 17% of GDP on healthcare  vs France 8%.   In dollar term, in 2009, the U.S. spent $7960 per person, twice as much as France.

But on the World Health Organization ranking of the healthcare outcomes, France is ranked #1 as having the best healthcare system in the world vs the U.S at #37 just below Costa Rica (#36) and just above Slovenia (#38) and Cuba (#39 -- a Communist country).    With all the money that we spend on healthcare, this is a national embarrassment.

The reason is that unlike other industrialized countries that offers universal healthcare and has implemented a streamlined single-payer system or something similar, the U.S. still has very fragmented system -- a patchwork of private insurance companies.   Each of the insurance company has its own reimbursement fees and schedules that create mountain of paperwork for doctors, patients, and hospitals.   I personally have seen it.   Having lived in France where I've seen a doctor office consists only a doctor and maybe a nurse to help him out vs in the U.S., a doctor office needs at least a couple of people just to handle the insurance billing and reimbursements.     There is so much waste in the American system.   In addition, because there are many different systems in the U.S. which may use different technologies, have different billing codes, etc.   Communication between the uncoordinated systems don't work well which result in medical and billing errors that further drive up our national healthcare costs and deficit.     Moreover, because of the disparate systems, it's hard to get a handle on how much it actually costs.

Just visualize the savings we could have saved and the many American lives due medical errors we could have saved if we  implement a universal single-payer system similar to other industrialized and democratic countries.   With the savings, we could use them for other purposes and we could fund Medicare for decades to come.    But I think we must do it before the healthcare system in the U.S. will collapse due to the costs of our current system.

To those who think that the European system is socialized medicine, it is not.    You should watch the video "Sick Around the World," to learn about the healthcare systems in other countries and see how we should learn from them.   For example, the staunchly capitalist Swiss barely passed national healthcare reform in 1994, but now their citizens are very satisfied. Switzerland spends more per person on healthcare than any country except ours, but we spend 50% more than they do -- $700 billion per year of excess! Yet our health and longevity are worse, and we have a million families per year declaring bankruptcy due to medical bills.

If elected to Congress, I intend to continue volunteer at Pacific Free Health Clinic in East San Jose.  It's a chance for me to know many of my constituents who are underprivileged and work alongside local doctors and medical students who are at the frontline of our healthcare system.    I love to hear from them how we can improve our country healthcare system to serve the needs of American citizens.


I am not the only one who believes Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is terrible. These are the voices from Americans across the nation who expressed their views about her on the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Hill, San Jose Mercuy News, etc. in the comment sections of the articles that mentioned her name:

sangell3 at 6:22 AM April 23, 2011 Just make if 'voluntary' like the other Federal programs Lofgren likes. You remember, don't lower your state highway speed limit to 55 you don't get any Federal highway money. Don't raise your drinking age to 21 same deal. Don't want to cooperate in enforcing Federal immigration laws, fine, its 'voluntary', just don't expect any Federal money for your police, schools or hospitals. Right Zoe baby!

Great American Dec. 8, 2011 at 10:53 p.m. Actually, the real way to help small businesses would be to relieve the businesses and their employees of the yearly fleecing from for profit health insurance corporations. A single payer national health insurance company based on Medicare or a similar non profit single integrated bureaucracy would enable health insurance premium and co-payments to drop dramatically, and drug prices through economy of scale bidding, to lower to that of what the rest of the world pay for their medications. Without the burden of exorbitant health care expenses, and with the increased portability of a single payer, American businesses, workers and institutions would be free to be competitive with the rest of the world.