Sunday, October 25, 2009

An Answer

I agree that the government, being made up of folks whose campaigns are financed by insurance companies and Big Pharma, is not likely to come up with a rational public plan that will actually work efficiently and economically.

That said, it is obscene that the United States is viewed by other countries as being barbaric when it comes to health care. It is obscene that our country's health care ranks 37th among the countries of the world - behind many 'third world' nations whose records are less than stellar when it comes to other human rights issues, and who have far fewer resources to spare.

And it is obscene that working people in the United States, people who have always been "responsible for themselves," frequently are bankrupted and rendered homeless by the simple and uncontrollable happenstance of becoming seriously ill.

Equating a public health care option with socialized government is like equating public schooling and public libraries with socialized government. There are certain things that people generally feel are critical to a rational/ordered/moral society. Education and health care tend to run at the top of the list for most countries, as those two issues have far-reaching impact on other aspects of a society's long-term survivability.

This is not a constitutional issue.

This is certainly not an issue of being responsible and self-reliant. Most of the people hurt by our current system are not the 'permanently unemployed' - they already get public health care. It is those who work hard at running their small businesses and those who struggle along in low-paying jobs that provide low-to-no benefits who suffer under the current system. And to a lesser degree, it is those of us who pay outrageously high premiums for our health insurance because of the cost to the system of treating people for whom Emergency and Critical Care are the only economically possible options.

This is a social issue. It is an economic issue. It is a moral and ethical issue.

I think it's (highly) unlikely that the currently proposed plan is going to work. What I am hoping is that it will put a foot in the door, and that once the door is open, we will eventually work our way around to a system that will be better than what we have now.

I don't hope for a perfect system, by any means - just a better one. Some day. Probably after I am gone, but hopefully before my son enters his dotage.

Some day.


timary said...

hear, hear.

Carrie K said...

I doubt the new plan is going to help much either but at least it's something. They really need to divorce it from employment but I can see where the unions would balk at that. And wth is wrong with a "private option"? Honestly, people.

Nancy K. said...

I couldn't have said it better. Being one of those people who work at low paying jobs and "have insureance" but can't afford to go to the doctor because I can't afford to pay the deductable or the co-pay ~ I worry that I'll fall through the cracks in whatever 'they' come up with, anyway. I still owe $800 (my share of the co-pay/deduct) from when I had my coloonoscopy ~ there's NO WAY that I could go to the doctor now ~ no matter how sick I got...

I don't usually mind being "poor" but the health thing really is scary.

Celticsprite said...

I agree with you all. I am lucky to have good health insurance but see the premiums go up and up, too fast for the cost of living. My dental insurance really sucks. They only pay $16 for a cleaning. Where can you get that...Africa? Teeth can reflect overall health, and bad teeth can lead to heart problems. I don't think it should be separate. I agree that it is obscene for the "richest" nation on earth not to give at least basic care for all of it's people. I also think chances for a public option to be slim to none, but I live in hope.

Dori Ann said...

OOOpps Another Answer
Well I have never been known to keep my mouth shut :)
You got your stats from "Who" you need to understand how it is created.
WHO’s health care rankings are constructed from five factors These are:
1. Health Level: 25%
2. Health Distribution:25%
3. Responsiveness: 12.5%
4. Responsiveness Distribution: 12.5 %
5. Financial Fairness: 25%
“Health level” is a measure of a countries “disability adjusted life expectancy”. However, even “life expectancy” can be affected by many factors not related to health care , such as poverty, homicide rate, dietary habits, accident rate, tobacco use, etc.If you remove the homicide rate and accidental death rate from this statistic, citizens of the US have a longer life expectancy than any other country on earth.
“Responsiveness” measures factors such as speed of service, choice of doctors, and amenities (e.g. quality of linens). Some of these make sense (speed of service) but some have no direct relationship to health care (quality of linens, good TV reception) each is a problem as well, wouldn't you agree soft sheets or good TV isn't really THAT important?

The other three factors are even worse. “Financial fairness” measures the percentage of household income spent on health care. The “percentage” of income spent on health care decreases with increasing income, just as is true for food purchases and housing.This factor does not measure the quality or delivery of health care, but the value judgment that everyone should pay the same “percentage” (level the playing field) of their income on health care even regardless of their income or use of the system. This factor is biased to make countries that rely on free market incentives (capitalisum) look inferior and rewards countries that spend the same percentage of household income on health care, and punishes those that spend either a higher or lower percentage, regardless of the impact on health. In the extreme then, a country in which all health care is paid for by the government (with money derived from a progressive tax system)socialized medicine, but delivers horrible health care will score perfectly in this ranking, whereas a country where the amount paid for health care is based on use of the system, but delivers excellent health care will rank poorly.
“Health Distribution and Responsiveness Distribution” measure inequality in the other factors. In other words, neither factor actually measures the quality of health care delivery, because “inequality of delivery” is independent of “quality of care”. It is possible, for example, to have great inequality in a health care system where the majority of the population gets “excellent” health care, but a minority only gets “good” health care. This system would rank more poorly on these measures than another country that had “equal”, but poor, health care throughout the system. Oh Boy that makes sense to me!!
socialized medicine definition - medical
so·cial·ized medicine (sōˈshə-līzdˌ)
A system for providing medical and hospital care for all at a nominal cost by means of government regulation of health services and subsidies derived from taxation.
Socialisum: Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
I don't see alot of difference, do you?
Isn't interesting that they come from all over the world for treatment here? I am all for Insurance reform,I am for purchasing ins from who I want instead of those just approved for my state. I am for limiting the suits against Dr.I am for not having pre existing conditions, I am for medical savings accounts from you employer, I am for privacy of my medical records, I am for making decisions for my families health care, I am for being responsible for my own bad decisions.
My choice,My decisions,My life!
Dori Ann getting off her soap box :)

The Violet Hoarder said...

RIGHT ON, sister! (Dori Ann, you certainly have a right to your opinion--but just like you want choices and decisions related to health care. EVERYONE wants and needs them! Not just people who can afford them. Offering those critical choices to everyone isn't socialism--it's just plain FAIR, it's wanting for everyone what you want for yourself. I'm wondering how much FOX news you watch... :)