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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 13, 2008 8:07 PM. The previous post in this blog was Oops. The next post in this blog is Creepy XVI. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

You can go to college, but your mom will die

This country is seriously, seriously screwed up.

Comments (19)

People need to think these things through before they get sick.

I think we should get rid of all the HMOs and insurance companies and go back to paying based on your ability to pay...based on your income. Its really the only way to make it work, and then all the anti-capitalists can be happy that rich people pay more than they do.
As for complete government-provided health care, I just dont think a system for 300 million people is feasible (or can be trusted to the folks who brought us the DMV). Yes, it seems to work for countries like Canada, but their population is about the same as California.

Allan, I assume you are being facetious.

My uncle-in-law is an ophthalmologist, one who adamantly defends his right to a large income doing cataract and retinal surgeries on half-blind old folks and does not buy into my arguments that, as human beings, we should not be making profits at the expense of sick fellows.

People in insurance companies, drug companies, insurance billing companies, factoring companies, and indeed individual docs apparently forget this: we are all essentially the same and we will all be sick and dying at some point.

Making a profit off of some other humans misery means that we agree somebody else can do the same to us.

God, I hope somebody in this sad country realizes that it's just as important to provide dignified care for the least of us as for those who think they are the most important.

And the ones who have the option of tapping into the college fund are the lucky ones...

Jon, the universal health care systems in Canada and Briton don't work. They are going broke.

I just dont think a system for 300 million people is feasible

how many people do you think it is feasible for?

Jon, the universal health care systems in Canada and Briton don't work. They are going broke.

...while the health care *users* in America go broke (or die.)

when i read discussion of health care, it's infuriatingly stupid, and goes something like this:

American Kid: Mom, why can't I go to the doctor?

American Mom: because we don't have insurance, dear.

American Kid: but don't you work and pay taxes and all of that?

American Mom: yes dear, I do.

Kid: but, why don't we have insurance?

Mom: because nationalized health care in Europe is broken, dear.

Kid: huh?

Mom: when you're older you'll understand. remember: anything the government takes care of is Socialism, and we hate Socialism.

Kid: Why?

Mom: darned if I know.

"Jon, the universal health care systems in Canada and Briton don't work. They are going broke."

Yup the British one has been going broke for about 50 years now and will probably be going broke for the next 100 years or so. Meanwhile people in this country are dying.

Greg C

I don't care, I have good insurance coverage, right now anyway.

"Meanwhile people in this country are dying"

Don't you think you're exaggerating just a tad? No one is denied care in the ER. I repeat, no one.

Yeah, let's let big gummint run health care, they've done such a bang-up job with welfare, social security and Medicare.

Chris:

Have you had a mammogram? A prostate exam? A pap smear?

You can't get preventative care without insurance. So by the time you're too sick to work or whatever, that nagging pain that's been bothering you may have morphed into something more life threatening.

I've known to many people that couldn't access care until it was too late, most public clinics are closed to new uninsured (crazy??) and have no access to expensive diagnostic testing. Trust that Ms. Uninsured will be tossed out of the hospital long before Ms. Blue Cross Blue Shield.

But I'll be sure to tell the three people that I know who have DIED in the past year. . . . that they shoulda "walked it off". You don't do chemo in the ER.

Contrarian, don't even attempt to lecture me about paying for health care. Over the past decade, I've paid more into the system than many. In my younger years, I had no health insurance and paid for Dr. visits out of my own pocket. Currently a large chunk of $$ pays for my insurance premium as well as a heavy deductible.

Yeah, it costs money to live... and eat...and drive... and be healthy. Why do I need to subsidize the masses who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives?

Why do I need to subsidize the masses who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives?

Did the person who wrote this moronic sentence even read the original blog post? If people with absolutely no understanding of the concept of insurance are allowed to breathe the same air as the rest of us, we are sunk.

This was me... My mother has multiple sclerosis and takes Copaxone, that refrigerated injectable drug pictured in the NY Times article. While my folks were paying for my college, that drug cost my mom more than my classes did.

And think about this, all you healthy people who think the free ER is a great universal health plan:

People, like my mother, with chronic debilitating diseases, like multiple sclerosis, can't work. They're disabled. Which means they don't get employer-paid health insurance. It also means private health insurance won't cover them because they have a pre-existing condition.

And in my family's case, my father raised us while my mother worked. And when she was slammed by MS (and I mean slammed - one day she was fine and the next she was in the hospital on an IV drip and a ventilator with the new diagnosis - she's in better health now) and forced to retire at age 40, we lost our health insurance. The whole family. My dad hadn't had a job in 10 years. He couldn't just put a suit back on and go out and get a job that promised health insurance for him and his dependents. And there was no way any health plan would ever cover my mother. (For you health policy wonks, COBRA dropped my mother after a couple of years on a technicality.)

So my mother is on the Medicare Prescription plan, which is f*ed, like the rest of the government's social services. Some months, she only needs to pay a couple hundred bucks for the MS meds and the other meds to treat complications of the disease. Other months she pays in the thousands.

All the while, my folks paid for my in-state tuition, and they're still paying for my brother's. And it costs less to go to school at a University for four years than it does to have a disease like MS.

Don't you think you're exaggerating just a tad? No one is denied care in the ER. I repeat, no one.

you're assuming that since there's an emergency room, people don't die due to lack of (or inadequate) health care?

are you serious?

Yeah I'm serious, Eco. As I said before, I visited the Dr. many times in my early years without health insurance. And yeah, I paid for the cost of treatment out of pocket.

You seem to think Canada and Britain are somehow devoid of major issues with their healthcare systems. You also seem to forget the U.S. system is heavily regulated and miles from free-market.

Funny how Fred Meyer and the evil WalMart started offering prescriptions at reduced prices. They responded to a demand in the market. You think a statist system will do that as effectively as private institutions?

Moreover, Britain's NHS has actually denied care to folks for being too old or expensive to treat. Why aren't you carping on that little factoid?

You seem to think Canada and Britain are somehow devoid of major issues with their healthcare systems.

no, you made that up and attributed it to me. i've never said that. if in doubt, read my comments.

You also seem to forget the U.S. system is heavily regulated and miles from free-market.
so, the "free market" would solve the health care problems of America?

Funny how Fred Meyer and the evil WalMart started offering prescriptions at reduced prices. They responded to a demand in the market.

no, they did so because they're conglomerates that have more buying power than anybody else in the nation, and so cut deals for deep discounts. the cost is then shifted to consumers who *do* have insurance. did you not know this?

You think a statist system will do that as effectively as private institutions?

so far, they do, in every first world country that has the "statist" system.

Moreover, Britain's NHS has actually denied care to folks for being too old or expensive to treat. Why aren't you carping on that little factoid?

because i could give a crap whether Britain's system is perfect or not. what I *do* care about is the profound problems of *America's* health care system. which, by the way, is worse for children and the elderly *by far* than any other first world country.

in other words, if your argument is "nationalized health care has problems", it's a poor one. *every* health care system has problems. but America's system is far worse, more systemicically broken, and harder on the most vulnerable than any of those countries you're criticizing.

.."in other words, if your argument is "nationalized health care has problems", it's a poor one. *every* health care system has problems. but America's system is far worse..."

There's so many things incorrect about that statement, I don't know where to start. Perhaps you should be just a tad skeptical of studies coming from leftists institutions and the UN.

Compounding the issue is the fact healthcare is symptomatic of the US's larger, more complex issue of welfare and entitlements. The high mortality of poor blacks can be attributed in part to welfare programs that encourage government dependance and stifle personal responsibility.

Johnson's 'great society' hasn't done a tinker's damn to alleviate poverty. And you want big government to manage healthcare? Please.

There's so many things incorrect about that statement, I don't know where to start. Perhaps you should be just a tad skeptical of studies coming from leftists institutions and the UN.

of course you won't start. and I'm not using the UN as a basis for my conclusion about the US health care system.

next specious argument?

Compounding the issue is the fact healthcare is symptomatic of the US's larger, more complex issue of welfare and entitlements.

so, now you're picking a new direction in your argument?

The high mortality of poor blacks can be attributed in part to welfare programs that encourage government dependance and stifle personal responsibility.

wow. i'll hold back on a more appropriate response and just ask you this: prove it.

Johnson's 'great society' hasn't done a tinker's damn to alleviate poverty. And you want big government to manage healthcare? Please.

what the heck does Johnson have to do with the state of health care in America?

next specious argument? Chris, dodging into the corners and picking a new topic ("hey, but what about LBJ? *he* didn't succeed" or "hey, black folks depend too much on welfare") doesn't impress anyone.

what are we going to do about the state of health care in America? is your answer simply "let the free market fix it"?

Obfuscate all you want Eco, it doesn't change the fact that half our system is run by the gummint and is heavily regulated. It's obvious you're reticent to admit this *might* be a large problem with costs and inefficiencies. Furthermore, there are other factors beyond the realm of just 'healthcare' that should be addressed before proclaiming a national system is the only option. Our current entitlement system is one factor. Our aging boomer population is another.

But since you asked, here's what I think are required changes to our current system:

The government should encourage consumer-directed health care by withdrawing mandates for individual insurance policies, fostering Health Savings Accounts for day-to-day medical expenses, making health insurance true indemnity insurance and not health maintenance, and by addressing meaningful tort reform.

Furthermore, there are other factors beyond the realm of just 'healthcare' that should be addressed before proclaiming a national system is the only option.

i agree.

fostering Health Savings Accounts for day-to-day medical expenses

doesn't help those in need. a tax break for saving money when you're poor or underemployed has almost zero benefit. and, when you're poor or underemployed, you can't save enough to make a difference anyway.

making health insurance true indemnity insurance and not health maintenance, and by addressing meaningful tort reform.

i disagree. (preventive) health maintenance is one of the key parts of improving health care (and, er, health) overall. it's what the American system largely discourages and lacks, and what the "statist" systems you dislike have in spades.


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