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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 27, 2008 4:29 PM. The previous post in this blog was It's true we make a better day, just you and Grampy and me. The next post in this blog is It's not just Hillary. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We can have it all

It was just a matter of time. Having solved the nation's civil liberties problems by withdrawing from the anti-terror task force; having solved the nation's energy problems by mandating ethanol and biofuels; and having solved the nation's problems of broadband monopolies with free wi-fi for all; now the City of Portland will solve the lack of universal health care by insuring every child in its public schools who doesn't have private insurance.

That's the proposal included in this petition that's been circulating for several months, and according to the city auditor, today the sponsors turned in the signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. The measure needs 27,255 valid signatures, and they submitted 30,520, around a 12 percent margin of error. Now the verification process gets under way.

If it makes it to the ballot, this measure is going to spark lots of discussion, to say the least. Supposedly for $50 a month or less premium paid by the city per child, some private insurance company is going to provide office visits with a $10 co-pay; everything else (including pharmacy) with a $7500 annual deductible; and no exclusion for pre-existing conditions.

Can you imagine the level of bureaucracy it's going to take to run this? And yet the proponents say it can be done with no new taxes, and it will pay for itself in a few years.

Let the games begin.

Comments (21)

You forgot, Portland Central Government also solved the homeless problem.

However, this will be the prelude to what we will be suffering through if the 'national health insurance' fiasco goes through.

But look who Portland elected as mayor, this will be but the first of truly boneheaded moves. You elected him, you get to live with it.

You can't blame Sam the Tram for this citizens' initiative. But I'm sure this will look tame compared to his agenda. Heaven help us.

On a more substantive note, you have to wonder what will happen under this insurance when the doctor writes the poor kid a prescription. With a $7500 deductible, he or she will have to pay retail for drugs out of pocket. Oh well, at least the doctor visit was only 10 bucks.

Since it's a liberal initiative the 30,520
turned in will the kind of verification that approves somewhere between the needed 27,255 valid signatures and the 30,520.

"proponents say it can be done with no new taxes, and it will pay for itself in a few years"

Boy is that a worn out line around here.

I declined to sign that petition because I thought it was so poorly thought-out. But it sure would be nice if folks here would save some outrage for the fact that there are so many people out there who can't afford medical insurance.

If you need healthcare, wby don't you just go to the Emergency Room? Can't drive and don't have cab fare? Call 911 and they'll come pick you up where ever you are and give you door to door service. All for free. And it's not just for illegals, you know.

$7,500 deductible? That sounds like catastrophic health care, not health insurance for the masses.

The $10 co-pay will be a barrier to all of the indigent, and some of the working poor. I wonder how man Pedos might waive it?

There are plenty of drug addicts that have dropped out treatment for lack of a $20/copayment. If the city/county can't cough that up, it's unlikely they'll chip in for the kids.

It's for the kids, gosh darn it. What did it take less than one week after being crowned before this garbage gets put in place?

Ah well, apres mois les deluge.

Can you imagine the level of bureaucracy it's going to take to run this?

It could be worse...think about it at the Federal level for 300 million people!

It would of course be impermissible for the city of Portland to discriminate against home schooled children or those children attending private schools.

The petitioners could have alternatively tried to compel the Portland Public Schools to directly add such a feature, as an incentive to attend public schools over the alternatives, and then to figure out how it fits within the local school budget in a way that is not incompatible with the core function of schools. Perhaps it could not be made to fit, at least regarding state statutes and allowable uses (or limits) for school district taxation?

The city, rather than the school, would still have to offer the program to all legally resident school aged children, or none at all.

Given the low birth rate I do wonder why we should encourage in-migration of families rather than encourage locals to simply have more babies, as a policy choice? Should it also cover pre-schoolers? A healthy baby does tend to learn better once they start school (as the cursory tie-in "finding" to "schools").

I wish we could get off this all or nothing approach to health care. There are really three types,

Preventative, routine, and catastrophic.

As a nation we are wasting millions right now on administrative costs for routine and preventative. I remember my mom, who was a nurse twice a year donating a morning to do immunizations at the local schools. When we had our kids in the 80's we had to take them to a Dr. at $150 a pop. Even third world countries have recognized the value of preventative care. This can best be a community or school based service, and much more economically dispensed that way to the age groups already assembled. If tax payers vote to do this I don't see anything wrong with it for the kids.

It is the catastrophic that everyone is so afraid of and long term care. That is what we need a single payer pool for, so good people don't get punished for the luck of their gene pool.

K-12 schools could do their part to increase the pool of care providers by creating a pre-pre-med program comprised of reading writing and arithmetic.

Instead, nearly all people that have a perch atop any official position that is colorably related to government (or any entity that has obtained a "non-profit" designation) try to go beyond their designated and confined role to instead be the megalomaniac Doer-Of-All-Good-Things-To-All-People, damn the downsides.

The Multnomah County Health Department has a web site:
http://www.mchealth.org/

Distribute a flier to students and parents with the link.

This "ordinance" should trigger a discussion of "jurisdiction" (subject matter jurisdiction) both as to the city and the school.

The "ordinance" is instead only one-half of a statutorily described "Intergovernmental Agreement" for which there are applicable state statutes:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/190.html

The petitioners have forgotten that they need to bind the Portland Public Schools to the city's mere offer to enter into such an agreement. Even if passed, it would not become operative without the other party's assent to the terms.

I see an urgent need for an elementary course in Public Administration.

Jack's title for this post nearly encapsulates the concept in its entirety.

I wish we could get off this all or nothing approach to health care.

Thats the fault of the state. The folks in Salem have regulations as to what all insurance carriers must offer in their plans to operate in Oregon.

Things like pregnancy. Why should elderly or people who have decided not to have kids be forced to pay for a plan that offers pregnancy coverage?

"Why should elderly or people who have decided not to have kids be forced to pay for a plan that offers pregnancy coverage?"

and the logical extension is;

why should folks with no kids pay for schools or those with no cars pay for roads or those with no .... pay for anything at all!

Don Bev is right.

In my neighborhood, I'm surrounded by retirees whose property taxes pay to put my kids through school.

Thanks guys!

The relative morality angle is circular.

Is it any more immoral for limited-income elderly to refuse to cover a medical bill that is not of their own than for a doctor to demand payment for their time, rather than offer their time for free? Can the old get the free use of the doctor's time too, on equal terms?

"...and it will pay for itself in a few years."


Um, what?


There is a good reason for the "folks with no kids" to help pay for schools insure a healthy generation to follow. Folks forget these are the workers whose social security will support them when they retire. Because a lot of folks did not choose the lifestyle of raising kids, there are fewer to support us aging boomers then our parents had. They will need to be more productive and healthy to support us in our old age.

Swimmer,

Is that an argument that supports denial of coverage by the City of Portland for legally resident students/children that do not attend Portland Public Schools?

and the logical extension is;

why should folks with no kids pay for schools or those with no cars pay for roads or those with no .... pay for anything at all!

Thats not a logical anything. Apples and oranges. Taxes or for the benefit of everyone. My insurance premiums for me only.
Why should I pay a premium on a selective service for something I will never use? I can pick my coverage options for my car or house, why shouldnt I be able to do that for my body?
Am I paying premiums for coverages other people will use? That doesnt make sense.

Here is another outcome I see...people dropping personal coverage of their kids to let the government pay for it. Why not? Hell, maybe even employers will drop the coverage for dependents if the government is doing it. Why should they put out the money if they dont have to?

What I was trying to say is that some health care can be distributed much cheaper en mass.

Lining up all the kiddos for shots at an immunization clinic after school, is much cheaper, the vaccine can be ordered fresh, and the parents don't have to sit around a Dr. Office for a couple hours. We also used to be screened once a year again by classroom we lined up and did some jumping jacks and were probed, and checked, and screened for dental and vision problems. I ran across one of those certificates the other day, where we had Stars we put on all the different health screenings we "passed".

They caught things and sent home notes to if something needed to be checked out with our family Dr. They helped lower income families connect with lower cost clinics and dental work. Otherwise these kids might have never seen anyone until they hit an emergency room.


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