Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Question Thursday is moving over to accommodate Pointed Question Thursday

When a simple no would suffice

What do you think of the Health Care Reform bill?

I don't really think of this as health care reform so much as I think of it as a multi-approach attempt at insurance regulation. And since the Grand Old Party put its fingers in its ears and shouted I'm not listening through the whole process, I really wish the Democrats would have put the public option back in and passed the sucker.

Basically what we have is two businesses -- Doctors and Insurance Companies -- battling over the dollars that consumers -- The Patients -- are putting into the system.

Since a few consumers put up all the money that's in the system, (which is a for-profit model) that money covers all the people who are outside the system but in need of treatment -- The Uninsured.

Now the cost of that is spread out and bolstered by The government (WE THE PEOPLE) through taxes. Since WE THE PEOPLE need services we can not always pay for, and since WE THE PEOPLE have made commitments to the poor and the elderly, WE THE PEOPLE who are in the middle are stuck with sticker shock.

But since WE THE PEOPLE haven't made enough provisions for The Uninsured, that cost is usually passed along through the increased cost for services, which transitions naturally into increased premiums for The Consumer. Never. Ending. Cycle.

Now, because the for-profit model benefits the shareholders, WE THE PEOPLE need to take care of the consumers and make sure they get what they pay for.

The mandate to buy insurance isn't the BIG G government telling people how to spend their money so much as it is spreading out the costs for the services WE THE PEOPLE need to afford.

I like to think of it as planning ahead.

We know we need to care for people, we ought to start caring.

Making insurance companies pony up is a first step in the process.


Sarah said...

Coming at this STRICTLY from the ways in which this will make or could have made my life easier:

1) No more caps. When TRex was born, our insurance had a per-incident cap of $250K. The last time we did the math her NICU bill was in the neighborhood of $490K. Luckily for us, we qualified for MedicAid because we were poor and she was considered disabled.

2) No more pre-existing conditions. Premature birth = preexisting condition. GERD = preexisting condition. Asthma = preexisting condition. My child is one big BALL of pre-existing conditions.

3) Insurance 'til 26. I was able to stay on my parents' insurance until I graduated from college (and actually never used it... my college health center was sufficient for my needs) and then I was fortunate enough to get relatively good insurance through my graduate employee union. But my sister sure would have benefitted from this.

And then there's just the fact that it's a simple matter of justice: I see access to health care as a right. This doesn't completely fix things by any means (me? I'm a Dennis Kucinich-style socialist and proud of it), but it gets us a lot closer than we've ever been before.

Bill said...

I have no idea why there's such pushback to a public option. I mean, I get why politicians won't do it, since so many get so much money from the insurance companies. But why normal people refuse to consider it just because other countries do it? Why on earth do we make things so hard for ourselves?

And the argument that you don't want the government in charge of what's covered? Hello? I'd rather have the government, who is in theory not for profit, do it than people who's goal it is to pay out as LITTLE as possible.


Kcoz said...

The mandate to buy insurance will turn into the same fiasco as the mandatory auto for nothing for the insurance companies.
I remember the days before mandatory auto insurance and the rates were good...competitive! I carried "uninsured motorist" option so I was covered if someone without insurance hit me....and if the insurance company messed with me I'd drop them and would still be able to drive to work until I found another provider.
After Hurricane Katrina my auto insurance went up $100 for no reason at all, when I asked them WHY they would not say...I had no tickets or accidents. for two months I had to pay the extra rate until i found another provider with reasonable rates.

This mandate to buy health insurance you will find will still leave one with all kinds of out of pocket expenses for WE THE PEOPLE once we try to use it...most everything will not be covered under the basic mandatory I said, "Money for nothing"


toyfoto said...

It's a good point, but I'm not sure I agree with the comparison entirely. We are in a health care crisis, as far as I can tell, because of the insurance system and the for-profit nature of the businesses of medicine and medical reimbursement. So in that sense, we are already in that place and it's just getting worse.

I realize that getting more people into an already f*ed up system would seem counter intuitive, but when you regulate that system more strictly the system should work better.

I'm not expecting an end to out of pocket expenses, or even dirt cheap premiums. But I am expecting small changes that will lead to more changes and ultimately affordable healtcare for everyone. I'm expecting fewer tests, better use of resources and an eventual end to the for-profit model as the standard entry for care.