Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Response to Nationalized Health Care Issues

This post is in response to the comments left at this article by Steve Chapman. I believe that a lot of legitimate issues that we have with our current health care system. The specific posts that I am addressing will be in italics.

You are implying that the private insurers run their plans efficiently and fairly. Does anyone who deals with the sea of "EOBs" and disputed charges that are generated with each doctor visit really agree with this? Unwieldy bureaucracy defines the private insurance system. How much worse can a government-run system be? Further, I would argue that you are looking at this from the wrong perspective. If you start with the assumption that the current system of having 40 million uninsured Americans has to be fixed, then the issue of maintaining competition in the health insurance marketplace is really far down the list of priorities in fixing the system. Do the private insurers do such a good job that preserving them needs to be a major concern? Those that are truly outstanding will compete against the public system. Those that don't - good riddance. Their employees can all find new jobs - but at least this time, they will still have access to healthcare unlike those Americans who currently are being laid off. - Posted by: SMY23 | Jun 15, 2009 3:42:40 PM

Steve never implied that private insurers are "fair", simply that they are efficient - far more efficient than the government. If private insurers were not efficient, they would not be in business. Have you looked at Medicare, Medicade, USPS, Amtrak, etc. Government-run systems are much, much worse than private insurers when it comes to being efficient, because there are no consequences for their actions. Yes, there are a lot of people that have to go through the private insurers bureaucracy to get things covered. I am not one of them. In fact, the only issue I have ever had, was trying to get my private insurer NOT to pay a bill that I was disputing. But I do know that there are issues. Do you really think that government bureaucracy will be better? If you look at any other government run health care system, in the US, England, Canada, etc, you will find that waiting lists are long, procedures are rejected, etc. Further, 40 million is 13% of the population (not even taking into account that many of that 13% are illegal aliens, those that are making plenty of money to afford health care but CHOOSE not to, and those that make a small enough amount to make them eligible for our current government run health care but either are not aware of it or CHOOSE not to sign up for it). REALLY, you want to destroy a good, but not perfect, system to help 13% of the population?! Maybe the system should be fixed, rather than destroyed. You refer to private insurers as if they are GM or any other company that is going bankrupt. Yes, there are issues and some are worse than others, but that doesn't mean we destroy them all. (Should we destroy all used car companies, also?) They cannot compete against government run insurance for a couple reasons. One, the government will make things more difficult for their competition. Higher fees, regulations, etc, will destroy private insurers. Second, the private insurers will be held accountable for their actions, the government will not (they can just take more tax dollars).

The problem with Mr. Chapman's analysis is, the current free-capitalist model of healthcare has not worked, at least not unless the person in need of health care is rich.

Instead of shooting down Obama's ideas with vague fears of government bureaucracy (apparently he's never dealt with PRIVATE insurers' bureaucracies before), I'd like to hear Mr. Chapman's plan to fix this broken system. That is, assuming he even thinks it's broken. - Posted by: Clarence Ewing | Jun 15, 2009 3:51:58 PM

First of all, our current system is not REALLY free-capitalist. There are many government regulations that limit competition. Second, the model has worked for me and everyone that I know, and we are far from rich. I do not know anyone that has had issues with getting proper care because of private insurance. (I'm not saying that there are people to not have bureaucracy issues with private insurance, just that they are not as rampant as everyone seems to think they are.) The only person I know that has had issues, is my mother, who died of cancer. Only, the issues were not with private insurance, they were with the government system denying her treatments.

If every other country in the world has socialized health care than why can't the most advanced country in the world? I am not one for socialism but if there is one thing that should be socialized it is Health Care. It is ridiculous that if you get hurt and don't have insurance you will not get treated or have to file bankruptcy due to the medical bills. Also a universal health care system will remove the "keep them sick" attitude of the private doctors. As of now doctors want you to stay sick so they can make money off of your prescriptions. If you are healthy then you are worthless to them. Does anyone out there realize that in France a doctors gets bonuses based on how HEALTHY his patients are! Doesn't that make more sense to you?

In America a doctor gets a free trip to Hawaii if he sells you enough Viox which will kill you....

In France they get a bonus if you don't have to see them!

Hmmm... And you want to keep things the way they are??? - Posted by: RG | Jun 15, 2009 4:07:29 PM

And why are we the most advanced country in the world? Not because we are sheep that follow the rest of the world, but because we march to the beat of a different drummer - his name is the US Constitution. If you are hurt, you will have no problem receiving treatment. Your statement is ridiculous. You do not have to file bankruptcy, in those times that I had a hard time paying my bills, I simply called the hospitals and doctor's that owed and set up payment arrangements. They were only $5/month for over a year, but as long as I was making a payment, they had no issues. I am not sure what the laws are currently, but I would be willing to discuss a law that states a medical center cannot go after a patient if they are making payments. I have had a lot of experience with doctors and it has NEVER crossed my mind that the doctors are trying to "keep me sick". I just don't believe this statement and there are other posts by those that know more than me that combat this idea. I did not see anywhere in Steve's post that stated he wants to keep things the way they are.

Yes, Obama perhaps fudged the facts, but his fudging is a candle in a windstorm compared to the lies from the other side, which is only concerned with maintining the exhorbitant salaries of health care CEOs as they continue to get rich denying health care to people. Maybe Medicare isn't as good as advertised, but compared to what? Compared to dollar Bill McGuire making 1.7 billion denying coverage to people. I'll take a good government program, thank you very much. - Posted by: John Pearson | Jun 15, 2009 4:34:39 PM

Why does everything have to be sides? We need to be talking about what's best for the country. The plan that Obama is purposing is not what is best for the country. Let start talking about real answers to the issues.

Personally, I doubt that a public plan is essential to fixing health care, but I have some questions of all those who are oppose to the President's efforts. I'm earnestly interested in people's responses.

Do you see any responsibility for society to aid it's weakest member?

Is basic healthcare (not the most expensive high-end plan) something that we could consider a human right?

If not a human right, isn't it something a nation as great as ours could still strive for?

Finally, is there any amount of tax you would pay in order to see our country's poorest citizens have better healthcare?

Could this tax be seen as an investment in our nation's productivity?


Chris - Posted by: ChrisH | Jun 15, 2009 5:29:02 PM

Yes, I as a human being feel for the weakest in our community. And I am more than willing to help them, but not via the government. I want to give where I feel that my money is being most well spent. Not on those that refuse to work, but to those that are down on their luck. No, health care is not a human right. No, there is no tax amount that I am willing to pay to "see our country's poorest citizens have better health care". (In our current system they are already covered, they don't have "better" health care because the government is running that health care.) I am willing to give money to area clinics, shelters, organizations that are not run by the government to cover their cost of health care.

Is that the best use of our money as an investment in our nation's productivity? We'll be adding over a trillion dollars to our debt (no, that is not the cost, it is just the amount we will not be able to pay for) to boost the productivity of 13% of the country? I think there are probably better ways to use that money. Like the TARP money is an amount that is enough to pay off every mortgage in the US, don't you think that would have been a better use of the TARP money? Not that I think there should have been any TARP money going to either the banks or home owners, I'm just saying it would have been a better way to address the issue of foreclosures.

Let's start with eliminating unnecessary, or duplicate tests, and educating the masses about proper diet and exercise. - Posted by: John | Jun 15, 2009 8:49:09 PM

Those unnecessary, duplicate tests are due to malpractice suits. I am not completely sure how to address this issue. I'm not sure that caps are the answer, but something does need to be done. Maybe judges with more common sense. Maybe different caps, depending on what harm was done. Obama's plan does not address the issue of malpractice suits at all. As far as educating the masses, I believe that the government already does that in our school systems. Could we use more education, sure, but not paid for by the government. If you want to educate the masses, go right ahead.

Mr. Obama is simply bringing back both public and corporate welfare!
Why has the phrase "single-payer" become such a negative? It IS the only way to insure medical coverage for EVERYONE.
The systems in more civilized countries like France, Canada and England work, but are being totally ignored as an option in the U.S. Why?
Mr. Obama has been bought and paid for by the ever-too-powerful medical insurance lobby . . . it is so obvious! -
Posted by: mark | Jun 15, 2009 9:23:48 PM

It is not the government's job to insure medical coverage for everyone. It is fundamentally against our countries ideals. The systems in France, Canada & England do not work. I don't know where you got your information, but they are a disaster. Why do you think so many come to the US for medical treatment?

I don't want to start a flame war here but someone posted earlier the single party health care is unconstitutional, immoral and economically disastrous. You challenge other posters to look though the constitution and bill of rights for something that would provide the constitutionalism of single payer/ or universal health care.

Preamble to the Constitution reads:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

hmm.... welfare what does that mean exactly

1: the state of doing well especially in respect to good fortune, happiness, well-being, or prosperity

Is the current system serving all American and insuring their well being? No. Insurance companies all to often deny claims and benefits on the basis of preexisting conditions and that that person is high risk. High risk for what exactly actually using the service you are supposed to provide.

Calling universal health care socialist is laughable. Why? Well you should be used to socialism by now. You went to a government run socialist institution for about 12 years. That is if you graduated high school. Government funds our schools through our taxes. Granted public schools could be better but for some reason people keep shooting down more funding for schools. Saying that universal health care will bankrupt America is equally absurd. People get caught up on the numbers 1 trillion dollars will bankrupt America. Really? Well why did we go do that Iraqi freedom thing. That costs us a trillion dollars not spent bettering the lives Americans but getting them killed in war that no one really understands. How about our defense spending? Would you seriously take a look at that? The U.S. spends 50% of all money (worldwide) spent on military. Do we need this much? Can we allocate some of that budget to help people here in the United States please? I mean it is our money after all. I am also curious how universal health care could possibly slow innovation. You see the thing is the U. S. government funds lots of the medical innovation in the United States through grants and other subsidies. Moving to universal health care will not cause American's to have worse health care we already have it. Look at life expectancy by country. Canada the U.K. and other countries are beating us soundly. With all this great health care we should be number 1 right? Nope we are number 30. And that's according to the CIA factbook. The United Nations has us doing worse. Right below Cuba. Guess who has top 2 spots. Japan and China. Well Hong Kong, China that is you know since they actually have hospitals there. By saying that you don't want your tax dollars to be used to support other people, you are being the worst kind of hippocrit. An uneducated one. Our tax dollars are going to help people in other countries all day long , through freeing people who weren't aware that they needed freeing, that's fine. But when it comes to helping out your neighbor your actual neighbor who can't get health care because of preexisting conditions (like cancer) the spendthrift comes out. Immoral is ignoring people who are dying because they are dying and didn't have health care because they couldn't get it. Unconstitutional is ignoring our responsibility to provide for the welfare of people in this country. And useless is what we are as stewards to the world if we let our people die or suffer by our own inaction and greed. You can say you don't support universal health care on your dollar. But I can say I do, because I don't want that on my conscience. - Posted by: alex c. | Jun 15, 2009 9:40:30 PM

The Preamble does not give the government the right to run health care, it simply states the purpose of the document. The definition of welfare, also does not give the government the right to run health care. It simply says that the government should do what is best for us. What is best for our well-being is not government run health care. No, someone should not be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. But should they pay higher premiums? Absolutely! They would have to pay more in medical bills anyway. I don't understand why calling government run health care socialist is laughable. The government run schools are laughable and I am against a government run school system. They should be run by the local communities. As far as the defense budget, it is currently 21% of our budget. The same percentage as Social Security and 2% less than Medicare & Medicaid. We have been questioning the Iraqi war for years and they will continue to take a hard look at it. But we're not talking about the Iraqi war, we're talking about health care. Talking about the Iraqi war is no kind of argument for nationalization of health care. Why do Japan & China at the top of the life expectancy list? Because biologically they are different & have completely different diets with lots of fish.

Again, we, as humans, are responsible for the welfare of our citizens. The government is not. It has nothing to do with greed, but everything to do self preservation. That is fine, if you want to fund government run health care. I would have no issue with it being an opt-in program. I am not FORCED to pay anything into it, but those that choose to, may. Though, I contend that a community based organization would do a much better job at administering this type of program, than a government run program. But you do whatever you want with your money.

1 comment:

  1. Well put, I hope the original author sees your comments.