The Medebacle

28 Jul

I don’t talk about politics here very much because there’s really no upside. This kind of stuff, peple who agree with you go “Hell, yeah!” and people who don’t just shrug and move along (or start sending you links to stuff you really don’t want) and nobody’s mind ever gets changed.

Plus, most is this stuff is just beyond me. Not beyond my understanding, per se, but beyond my ability to come up with any good answers. I’m not exactly an answers guy. I’m usually all about the questions.

But this time, I have some thoughts. They may actually be relevant (who’da thunk?).

The personal situation. My family has health insurance right now. It’s not perfect, but its ok. Its expensive, and co-pays are going up, but its something, which right now, something is kind of everything. We only have this health insurance because of my wife’s employment. And since she works for a state agency, this could end just about any time, leaving us with nothing.

If we had to go out and get our own private plan, even if we were able to pay any amount out of pocket (which, of course, we couldn’t), we would not be able to have health insurance. Because of pre-existing conditions (congenital heart disease, BP, other stuff), we are radioactive as far as insurance companies go.

I believe in individual responsibility and a “can-do” attitude, and I do not have the attitude that my problems are your problems. I get that. I don’t want everyone else to pay for my health coverage. But I would at least like to be allowed to have some. Right now, unless it’s through an employer group plan, I can’t. even. get. it.

This is the defenition of a broken system, in my book. The people who need it aren’t allowed to have it.

Now, we’re luckier than most because of the fact that since my children were adopted through State Adoptions, and were foster children first, they have MediCal cards that cover them if we lose our primary insurance. Thank God for that.

My wife and I … sorry, you’re screwed, is the answer we get. But at least it’s not the kids.

So … do I want the government taking over this industry? No. I’ve seen the DMV. But leaving this all up to capitalism is sure as FUCK not working. And in conversations I’ve had with people about this online and in person have basically amounted to people either missing the point, or responding with “wow, sucks to be you.”

I get that it’s not your problem, but It would be nice if we take more responsibility for each other than that.

I know a lot of the problem with cost is the number of people scamming the system. We are told through official sources speaking unofficially, that a large part of our cost increase this year is the massive amount of people having gastric bypass surgeries. You can get a doctor to sign off on the medical necessity of elective surgeries. Sometimes this is legit, sometimes this is not. But it does increase costs for everyone. But this is a tangent.

Perfect is the enemy of good. We need to fix this, but no solution is perfect. We can’t let that stop us. Yes, systems in other countries sound awful. We can’t craft a better system? Where is your American pride?

And a note about the politics here. Obama is neither the savior nor the anti-christ (stop sending me your links!!!) But I do think tackling this is fairly politically brave, and also a but suicidal. Best estimates indicate that any reform is only likely to see signifigant cost benefits ten years or so out. This is long after he is out of office even if he serves two terms. He’s basically saying “I’ll take the hit for this, but something must be done.” I have disagreed with a lot of what has happened recently, and I’m not sure I like his solution very much, but I appreciate the stance.

Yeah, something must be done. And we can all complain about it whatever it is, but if we can spend 4.5 trillion dollars to “rebuild” middle eastern countries, we can take care of each other as well.

At least I hope we can.

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Posted by on July 28, 2009 in culture, life


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