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View Diary: Perspective On Health Care Reform (166 comments)

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  •  if I read this right....less than 1/3 of (2+ / 0-)
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    ER Doc, Bob Guyer

    Americans want to expand health insurance coverage to the UNINSURED?  Isn't that the same thing as wanting to expand health CARE to those without insurance?

    Why would so few Americans NOT CARE about their fellow citizens?  What is wrong with Americans?


    by dancewater on Fri Jan 25, 2008 at 08:20:15 AM PST

    •  TEH SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!!!11!!!one (5+ / 0-)

      I work for a small company, about 180 people total.  It's a niche market where we're one of the top players.  Our best people used to get picked off by competitors, then after a buyout by an enlightened investor (!!!), the new management knuckled down and gave us one of those "gold plated" plans.  the company picks up about 80% of the premiums, which run about $6000 for individuals and $12000 for families, total.

      We've changed carriers three times in the last three years, as we're a "full utilizer" of our plan (heh).  With the last change, our prescription and office visit co-payments went down, but hospital co-payments went up.  No one's had anything major happen since the last shift to BCBS, so no one can say how good they are about paying.  The last carrier, Aetna, was horrible.

      We have two full-time people to manage and administer this mess.  Add to that, the HR director spends about one month a year on budgeting and negotiating the plan changes or renewal.  That right there costs the company about $150,000.

      When I was mentioning the sad state of the healthcare "system" to one of these two HR people, her alarmed reply was "we don't want socialized medicine like they have in Canada or England!"  So, she spends all day up to her arms in employee complaints and assistance, navigating a plan that would give Torquemada the chuck horrors, yet she still buys the right-wing talking points wholesale.

      The bogeymen thrown up by the vested interests - private insurers and private hospital networks - are deeply ingrained in America's collective consciousness.  Despite the very large local retiree population, who enjoy Medicare and probably a supplimental plan from an erstwhile union job, there is at least one foaming letter to the editor every day in the local fishwrapper decrying the horrors of the Canadian/UK/French systems.

      Fear is the "best" motivator, and people have no problem with wilfull cognitive dissonance.

      •  It doesn't have to be "either-or" (1+ / 0-)
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        I'm with those folks who don't want an English or Canadian system, but those aren't the only models around.  France and Japan work differently, though I am trying to remember what the Japanese model is.

        All of the "we don't wants" ignore some important facts.

        First, we already have socialized medicine if you're old, poor, or a veteran (I think vets still get care - but, for all I know, that's gone away).

        Medicare is pretty bad (My mother is on it and I'm ten years away), but it is there, and it does sort of work.  Ditto for Medicaid.  I've got friends on both.  They complain, but are very grateful to have something.

        In a sop to the other side -- we also have a substantial health care "system" that severely limits malpractice suits.  That would be the Workers Comp.  Again, complaints enough to notice, but, overall, works.

        What seems very wrong to me is that an economy whose vitality depends in part on the fact that nobody is guaranteed a job should tie availability of healthcare to jobs the way our economy does.

        It's insane.

        I don't care if everybody gets the same coverage.
        I don't care if employers can sweeten the pot.

        People -- especially children -- need the assurance that some reasonable standard of care will be available.

        Of all countries, ours should be able to provide for that.

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