Wednesday, September 9, 2009
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.