While the number of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lawsuits may have leveled off and even decline, the fact remains that mesothelioma is still affecting tens of thousands of Americans.
Corporate cover-up and deception is one reason for the massive amount of litigation now underway in the U.S. and why plaintiffs are entitled to awards for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and emotional distress. Despite the fact that such damages cannot be quantified, this reason for litigation will remain. The other side of the situation, however, awards for medical expenses, might have been completely avoided and might still be handled in a way that eliminate the need for these awards. Today, 50 million Americans have no access to health care. Those fortunate enough to have insurance at all virtually always wind up paying large “co-pays” that drain their resources. Each year 18,000 Americans die because they cannot afford health care. Well over half of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are due to health care expenses.
Americans pay three times as much for health care as those in other nations, yet get far less benefit. And when the uninsured wind up in emergency rooms or go untreated, all of society pays in the form of lost productivity, poorer general health and higher taxes. U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is one of the few people who understand that the problem lies in the fact that health care in the U.S. is run as a “for-profit” business by private corporations. He has introduced H.R. 676, the “Medicare For All” Bill, which would simply expand the existing Medicare program to cover all Americans. Employers who balk at the idea of a 7.7% tax to fund Kucinich’s proposal should consider how much more they are paying in the current system, a figure which rises every year and does little but provide bloated salaries for CEOs and inflated returns for private investors. Ultimately, everyone pays for asbestos litigation. Taxpayer-funded health care for all would eliminate one cause of such litigation.