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more about Health Insurance Reform

August 6, 2009

i came across a comment to my first Healthcare Soapbox Post in my Spam queue from Jack Smith.  it’s an extreme position about reform, largely in the spirit of bashing the Republicans, which is why i haven’t approved the comment, combined with the fact that i’m not certain this Jack Smith is a real person (hey, i respect anonymity in the blogsphere but Jack Smith?  might as well be Jane Doe, yes?). 

i will pay credence to this comment by posting what i think is relevant to consider, as such:

“LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY.”  (Thomas Paine)  good quote, Jack, and thanks for fueling my inclination to speak about something i think it critically important.  i’ve never found much benefit to my individual by way of following.

Jack also points out “We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of  means.”  i touched on this a bit.  and Jack is right, the details of such a thing are worth serious consideration. 

at the end of an anti-Republican rant, he cites this article from the NY Times, Conscious of a Liberal.  making no mistake about the viewpoint of the author, i find some useful tidbits here to.  firstly, the author breaks down the failure of the free market as it relates to healthcare in an even simpler way.   he closes his argument not by uniformly supporting Obamacare but instead by saying (emphasis added):

All of this doesn’t necessarily mean that socialized medicine, or even single-payer, is the only way to go. There are a number of successful health-care systems, at least as measured by pretty good care much cheaper than here, and they are quite different from each other. There are, however, no examples of successful health care based on the principles of the free market, for one simple reason: in health care, the free market just doesn’t work.

i agree 100% that the current plan is not the only way to go.  so what is the other way? 

when i researched what the Republicans are offering as a counter to the plans offered by the Dems, i found that they offer nothing.  this is a bother.  if the answer weren’t so clear i would wonder why private insurers are so afraid of opening the health care market to competition by a government program?  i would argue that most people believe government run programs are highly inefficient, so why are they scared of losing business?   granted, this argument may be a stretch… but guys, a little competition is actually in the spirit of capitalism.   in theory, if private insurers pay claims and keep costs down for their customers, they won’t lose business, and the public option will not be attractive.

since the one way resting on Capital Hill is to build a plan for Health Insurance Reform largely sponsored by the Dems and the other way is to oppose any Health Insurance Reform because Health Insurers are winning at lobbying Republicans to support doing utterly and completely nothing, then i see only one position to support.  doing nothing is not option, guys.  i’m all for designing a plan with balance in mind so offer some balance that does not include screaming fear into the media outlets and masses, a cry motivated and funded by the fear that private insurers will make less profit off denying our claims and costing everyone in America more money.  that is flatly not sufficient.

now for the heartstring… i received an email from an MS patient who is a member of the National MS Society.  i have ridden a bike ride several years with this charity and come to learn more of this disease by doing so.  the email urges me to consider the thousands of people with chronic illnesses who lose their private health insurance each day.  just think about it.  how sad.

seriously, call me a bleeding heart liberal, call me whatever.  to me, this is not about red vs blue.  this is about all of us.  this is about our parents and our children.  this is about creating a greater good for our country.  i pay a lot of taxes too, and i’d prefer it if my tax dollars went to the betterment of all of our health and wealth.  it is not to be feared.  i urge you to please not get wrapped up in that negativity.  it’s a distraction, and it’s not useful.  this reform is important and we deserve better, folks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. fortheloveofguava permalink
    August 7, 2009 10:41 am

    I absolutely agree… since you wrote your last post I’ve really been trying to focus in and while I still don’t know every in and out and detail of it there does seem to be a lot of mass panic shielding what is really trying to be changed! Plus, there’s the new distraction of that blog post where they asked for links to false information…. now really I’m as suspicious as the next person (and by that I mean probably a little more so…) about government “big brother” type monitoring but do I think this is really some evil communist rebellion squashing plan??? I feel like people are really reaching here… if there are pieces we don’t like let’s discuss but keep everyone in mind while we’re having that discussion. And I know I’m biased because of which side I lean to but you’d think the economic state would make everyone just a tad bit more open to the fact that hard times can fall on any of us.

  2. anand permalink
    August 8, 2009 3:36 am

    I agree with the plan that you suggested.

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