Notes and thoughts on the healthcare issue

The issue of healthcare/health insurance in America and Obama’s reforms to the same are a huge issue–too large to be explained or even fully considered in any single blog post.  So instead, below are some of my thoughts related to the issue.  I encourage those who know more/think differently/have anything at all to add to do so in the comments.  Rich?

  1. To be clear, I support a government mandate to carry health insurance.  I would prefer universal coverage, but I see this as an acceptable compromise.
  2. I wish that those on the right would refocus their anger about the mandate to the freeloaders who are happy to go without insurance and then rack up large medical bills that are picked up either by the government or rolled in to higher rates for the insured.
  3. I was badly burned when I was living and working in Japan.  I spent two months in the hospital and had three major skin grafts. By virtue of my resident status and Japan’s universal healthcare insurance, the vast majority of the costs were covered by the government.  The remaining portion was covered by insurance provided by my employer–but would not have bankrupted me had I been responsible for it.  The care I received through this nationalized health care system was excellent.  While I realize this is only one anecdote, it is always at the front of my mind when we discuss health care.
  4. A question: how many of the protesters outside the Supreme Court today don’t already carry some form of health insurance?
  5. Another question: what is it with conservatives and their distaste for broccoli?  First President George H.W. Bush, now Justice Antonin Scalia:  “Everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food; therefore, everybody is in the market. Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli.”
  6. I’m no lawyer, but I think I do understand the basics of how insurance works.  And based on that understanding, this statement by Michael Carvin who is representing the National Federation of Independent Business makes no sense whatsoever:  “There’s a perfectly legitimate way they could enforce their alternative, i.e., requiring you to buy health insurance when you access health care, which is the same penalty structure that’s in the Act.”  Um, that would be like trying to buy car insurance after you have an accident.  (As an aside, Mr. Carvin was a lead lawyer for Bush in Bush v. Gore.)
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3 Comments on “Notes and thoughts on the healthcare issue”

  1. mbdechant says:

    I would like to see some polling that actually asks the people who would be on the receiving end how they feel about this issue. Are people really going to turn down ‘free’ health insurance? Also, I heard on the radio that the number of people that would be forced to buy insurance (which, after subsidies, would be on the order of $100 per month) is VERY tiny – like 4% or something.

  2. Rich says:

    Agree with #1 (single-payer plan wouldn’t have needed to involve the Supreme Court but the wimpy Democrats, when they had absolute control, failed us in a major way by trying to appease Big Pharma, Blue Dogs and the Republicans), #2 (and what about those freeloaders who don’t pay association dues but benefit from our hardwork?), #3 Japan does insurance for everyone cheaper and with better health outcomes and saved you. I’m just a job loss away from losing insurance and soon thereafter heading towards bankruptcy myself, #4 Everything hinges on Kennedy in the Supreme Court. No one else really matters cause we already know how they’ll vote.

    Our current health care system is a cluster #$%^^. So I go to the doctor, whose nurses check to see if I’m covered and if the procedure I need done is covered, and if I have a pre-existing condition but I should have got that pre-approved, I might be excluded but if not they bill the insurance company while charging me a copay which applies to the deductible and towards the maximum out of pocket which I’m not sure is part of the 25% co-insurance. So I get a check in the mail from the tax saver Flex plan of which I put in $150 a month pre-tax or was it from the self-funding pool? Weeks later I get an EOB which says I owe more than I paid but is at least less than I got in the check from the Flex plan which will come in handy when the hospital sends it’s bill with charges from this year and six months ago. Luckily, I didn’t sign up for AFLAC because the monthly premiums are more than the reimbursement for the health screening I got from the doctor on the same day I had the procedure done. But I might regret not having AFLAC if I have a short term disability before the long term disability insurance kicks in. Either way, I have to figure out a year in advance how much emergency health care spending I’ll have so I can lower my tax bill through a Flex plan.

    Please, can’t they just give me government-run healthcare so I can bypass all this sh*&!!


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