Wednesday, September 9, 2009

For Lisa

A commenter on another blog got me to thinking about our health care system. Where we are right now and where we'll be if something isn't done post haste. Her mindset seems to ignore all of the facts in the situation. I'm just glad I won't have to work next to such a person on any haz mat job. She'd either be seriously injured or dead by the jobs end. Can hear it now. " Oh I try not to pay attention to that crane lowering those three ton I beams when I'm walking under them. Too scary you know."

But here's the facts: 1.The U.S. now spends $2.5 trillion each year on health care. When I first looked up the number last year it was $2 trillion so we know the number is rising.
2. The number of uninsured is going up by 14,000 per day as we speak. That number would be higher had it not been for a bill that extended and paid part of COBRA (that's the temporary health insurance you can get if you're laid off and your former employers plan runs out) as well as the passage of SCHIP the coverage for children.
3. There was already 46 million without insurance and since our economic down turn that increased to 50 million. Some of those may be the young that don't think they'll get sick or work for low pay with no coverage. And there may be some who are now on medicade because they lost nearly everything and are too poor to do otherwise. Then there are some who are now homeless and can get nothing because they have no address. No address you get nothing.
Don't believe me here's the facts

The commentor seems to think that there are 85% who like the insurance they now have. No they don't "like it" they endure it. I read quite a bit even have a degree. I've read many a technical manual and enough legal jargon to fill a library but I must say the one area that stumps even me is to read an insurance policy. Buried in the heretowiths and the aforementions is always some clause that is open to interpetation. So vague that only most trained legal expert could understand let alone give a ruling on. It's always an out for the insurance companies. That's why they pay their lawyers the big bucks.

What she fails to realize is that: 1. With an ever shrinking customer base the insurance companies wil have to raise rates to maintain profits. We're seeing that right now. Blue Cross just raised rated in Michigan, Pa, Wa, and I'm sure several other states I haven't checked them all just yet. I've seen figures from 19% to as high as 48%. So if they raised your rate 48% could you afford insurance? Of course not.
2. The population of the country is set to retire or if they don't it just shows that our population is aging and you know what that will mean. With age comes the onset of medical problems and it doesn't matter how well you've cared for yourself, the human body wears out. The peak year for the baby boomers will be 2016. With no other options they'll sign up for Medicare and maybe a supplimental policy but even those premiums are rising faster than flood water. Sadly Medicare was set up like a Ponzi scheme. It worked quite well when there were 3 or 4 workers paying into the pot. Now it's unsubstainable. If it's not changed it will drag down the rest of the economy just as the banks nearly did and they're still not out of the woods yet.

She says in her comment that the health care bills' 1800 pages are lies. I'd defy her to even begin to try and write a health care bill. With the sheer amount of different medical circumstances, different people in different stages of life with different medical proceedures I'd hesitate to try and tackle that myself. I've only once managed to write a rule for a HOA that was enforcable in a court of law and that was after several days of consideration. And they've had over 20 years to come up with a workable plan.

In conclusion we need a public option that spreads the costs over the entire population. To do otherwise is a setup for failure. To continue the bulk of health care for profit will not work because as the population ages they fall into a fixed income while costs continue to go up. I'm sure the republicans would just secretly love to eliminate Medicare. They were the ones who didn't want it in the first place. If they did that they would have a system that truely would be a death panel. Grandma might have the choice of giving up her house or dying. All for the mighty dollar.


Randal Graves said...

As long as the DC goopers get theirs, they'll be happy to see the carnage for the unwashed masses, even that of their rube followers. Good times.

Anonymous said...

When I worked on the fire department, people without insurance would call our ambulance so they could be taken to the hospital ER for a sore throat, while our insured residents would drive themselves to the hospital with a heart attack. The problems go alot deeper than what can be "fixed" by a nationwide policy. And no "fix" will ever please more than a few people who might benefit.

However the healthcare system is changed, it should also be used by the politicians who put it into practice for the rest of the population.

Holte Ender said...

I've said this before somewhere, so excuse me if I am repeating myself, on your blog.

I cannot understand why health care has to be for profit? Some things are too important, potentially too tragic, for dividends to shareholders and millions of dollars in paychecks for CEOs, to override the needs of people in need. That sore throat versus heart attack anecdote, is a god almighty red herring and just about sums up the weakness of the argument from the naysayers.

The drug companies and HMOs et. al. are among the most dishonest companies in the United States. Pfizer just got fined $2.3 billion for improper marketing. They can afford it. The medical insurance companies are always being sued, because they are cheats and liars.

Roger Owen Green said...

one of the repub arguments is that there are all these people who could have health care but choose to "go naked" because they're young. quite possibly true, but it also includes low-paid folks who don't believe they can afford even their contribution to the plan.

I guuess it makes me lean towards mandatory participation if only because those who use the ER as primary care - and I'm not faulting them - make the process so much more expensive.

Of course, there are other issues like MDs not going into primary care anymore because how much less it pays cf the specialties...

Tom Harper said...

Good response to Lisa. It's amazing, this head-in-the-sand attitude of so many conservatives. "Oh, everything is fine the way it is, you just want something to complain about."

She also says (another favorite rightwing talking point) that malpractice lawsuits are one of the biggest health care problems. It's all because of those whiny patients.

BBC said...

Why are you so obsessed with health care? You're getting old, you're going to die, get over it.

I cannot understand why health care has to be for profit?

What is not to understand about it? Doctors think (generally speaking) they deserve fancier homes, toys and vacations and more money for putting others back together, never mind their stupid oath.

They justify it by saying they spend years in a college program and such things and have earned it.

As if I and Demeur haven't also spent years in our trades constantly retraining and learning to keep up.

Yet many doctors that had me fix their cars bitched about the labor rate, well doc, fuck you, in my days as a mechanic forty-five bucks an hour labor rate was dirt cheap compared to what you charge me for an office call.

Believe me, we wasn't getting much net out of that forty-five bucks with all the overhead we had.

We damn sure wasn't making enough to pay for health care or insurance. If we was we would have had to charge you an extra ten bucks an hour.

Dana, bottom feeders always do that. Maybe I have become a bottom feeder, I don't know, but all I have is medicare.

But I'm not going to sweat it all, if I think I'm having a heart attack I'm not about to call 911, I'm just going to lay on the bed and it will pass or I will die.

Makes no difference to me, I'm tired of this fucking planet anyway and there is freedom in death.

BBC said...

Only pussies don't want to die.

The Blog Fodder said...

Dana is right - any system will be abused. ER is one of them. Our extended hour walk-in clinics have taken some load off but there are still people who go with minor problems.

In Canada ambulance is not covered by Medicare except in certain circumstances. How come Fire Dept ambulances are different from other ambulances ie why their own ambulances?

I agree with not for profit health system to a point. Some things can be contracted out cheaper than done in-house such as lab work.