Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Freedom From Health Care!

The argument against decent health care in the U.S. has got to have reached its penultimate absurdity when opponents condemn 'government having the say' in health issues for individual patients. The existing situation, wherein insurance companies make all the decisions about patient care, has utterly failed.

Those bilge production agents of the right, talking about having 'better ideas' - a line I heard from Washington state Republican Reichert this morning on Washington Journal - are declaring by this means that the public is dumb. The public, after all, rejected those wonderful ideas in 2006 and 2008 - those great ideas that got us into this mess. That dumb public has voted in a government that campaigned on making things better for the dumb public,

That dumb public has been kicked out of government for eight and more years by the domination by right wingers. That dumb public has seen its expenses go through the roof while the quality plummeted in health care. Now it is being asked to substitute Freedom for Care in the health care equation. I guess freedom doesn't really appeal to that dumb public when it has health problems, since it is increasingly registering its support for the government protection it pays for.

From the Wall Street Journal comes a suggestion for the right wing in reporting on a poll on public opinion about the administration taken Monday;

On health care, the poll flashed warning signs for the administration.

Forty-nine percent said they were willing to pay higher taxes so that everyone can have health insurance, compared with 66% who said the same in March 1993, when President Bill Clinton was embarking on his ultimately unsuccessful health-reform effort. That underscores why the administration is focused on cutting costs, not covering the uninsured.

'Not covering the uninsured' is very inventive, (as President Obama has never expressed an inclination toward it), but not a subject of the poll. This way of working in an unrelated suggestion as if it were a deliberate objective is masterful, worthy of the Soviet in its prime. However, it is not attributable to any presidential intentions.

An actual goal for the president, instead, is to provide instrumentality of insurance by the government, that winger bĂȘte noire. The public has shown partiality toward that prospect in a poll taken by CBS/NY Times poll taken Monday.

Fifty-nine percent of Americans surveyed said they wanted a national health insurance program to cover at least some health problems with 49 percent responding that the government should issue national health insurance to cover all health problems and 10 percent saying national health insurance should cover emergencies only. Less than a third, or 32 percent, thought that health insurance should be left to private insurance companies. (Emphasis added.)

The continuing attempt to justify leaving the insurance companies in charge of our health system has been seen for inadequate by that dumb public that has the right wing in such a dither. Us dummies seem to keep getting in the way as the wingers try to keep it in control of business interests.

The government might be a bugaboo to the right, but health care in the hands of insurance companies has proved much more scary. As each and every family goes through the experience of seeking health care and having it denied or at least diminished by insurance companies, we see ever more clearly that our present system is antithetical to actual health care.

As Avedon points out from London this morning, the right wing stories about how great health care in America is, compared to the rest of the world, are purest bilge as well.

For the record: I don't have to wait an ungodly long time for appointments or treatment. More importantly, I know I will get the treatment, and that no health insurance company is going to tell my doctor to let me die or go blind or whatever because I'm not covered. If I call my doctor's office wanting an appointment because I'm ill now, I almost always get to see him that day, and if it's not an emergency, I will see him within a day or two at most in almost all cases. And I never have to think about the cost.

Its end is near, if the Party of Nope continues to ignore the interests of that dumb old public it has taken oaths of office to serve.

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Blogger AnnPW said...

Great post, Ruth. I have never understood why the business interests in this country haven't pushed through government-provided universtal healthcare since that portion of employee benefits has been gobbling up their profits for years. The insurance lobby has certainly had a lock on this debate. I hope the tipping point has finally come.

11:22 AM  
Blogger TAO said...


It hasn't gobbled up profits, because they right off the full amount as an expense and then justify not giving raises because of the increased health care costs.

I ran a self funded plan for nine years and we ran a PROFIT for five of those years and we did things like pay employees to take day off and get a free annual physical...

We also paid the gatekeeper (family doctor) more per visit as a way to get the doctor to pay more attention. If you get $66 dollars to see someone then all you want to do is refer them if you get $100 then you are more apt to deal with people seriously.

The issue is not the cost but the inefficiencies in the system.

11:56 AM  

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