Sunday, April 20, 2008

When next you cast your vote for President...

or in one of the remaining Democratic Party primaries, think on this:

If John Edwards were to magically re-enter the race and get elected President, I might actually be able to get health insurance, and by extension, health care.

If Hillary Clinton is elected President, there's a reasonable possibility that I'll be able to get health insurance.

If Barack Obama is elected President, I might eventually get health insurance, but it likely won't be anytime soon.

If John McCain is elected President, I might as well curl up and die. Or move to China [h/t andante, in comments].

And while I fully expect you to not make your voting decision based on how much you may or may not love me, you might keep in mind the fact that one day your situation could more closely resemble mine, especially if companies keep laying off employees. You could be next.

PS. Really we just need to bypass the for-profit insurance companies altogether. Write to the candidate of your choice and suggest they switch to promoting single-payer national health insurance instead.


Steve Bates said...

Put slightly differently, for-profit health insurance contains an intrinsic conflict of interest between the insurer and the insured, and in the U.S., there's no one looking out for the interests of the insured.

The concept is fundamentally flawed: there is no right way to do private, for-profit health insurance. Any proposal that retains the involvement of private insurance companies is guaranteed to fail in providing needed coverage, and almost certain to cost a great deal more than reasonably designed universal coverage. When it comes to healthcare coverage, we Americans live in the worst of all possible worlds.

Dawn Coyote said...

I have a plan of my own. All we need to do is overturn the polygamy laws in Canada, and y'all can get all the healthcare you need.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you think Hillary Clinton is more capable on this issue than Barack Obama. Massachusetts has a health insurance mandate and that doesn't fix things. We don't need health insurance. We need health care.

Anonymous said...

Open enrollment Medicare for all should be the goal, regardless of the nominee, both their present plans are far too inadequate.

hipparchia said...

agree with you michael, on all counts. but massachusetts is having problems with their plan mostly because they drastically under-estimated how many people (a) were going to enroll, and (b) would need financial help.

clinton's plan is slightly better because the all-inclusive mandate means we get insurance for everybody.

both plans are going to need some serious funding, and both candidates seem to have a more accurate idea of the magnitude of the problem [in numbers of un- and under-insured and possibly in $$ it will take to insure them] than did the state of massachusetts.

i can't tell if either candidate realizes/has planed for just how much we'll need to regulate the denial-of-care part of the problem, or the excess of layers and layers of bureaucracy that the industry has made into profit centers. i suspec they're waaaay short on this.

hipparchia said...

i dunno, dc... i approve of subversion, and civil disobediece, and experimenting with alternative lifestyles, and would be more than willing to help out, but i'm not sure i'm willing to actually live with anybody.

on a related note, i've more than once considered offering to trade identities with you.

hipparchia said...

steve, i'm 99% in agreement with ya, but germany's system, as i understand it, is fully for-profit insurance, closely regulated by the government.

i haven't got any objections at all to paying say a 2% profit margin to a company that's both willing and able to manage a risk pool that would keep sufficient reserve funds and would pay out on request. not that we're likely to get that kind of regulatory environment here anytime soon....

hipparchia said...

ps. dc, akshully i'm hoing for y'all to bring healthcare to us.

Anonymous said...

Medicare contracts out its paper pushing to private companies, including Blue Cross, so they don't have to disappear, just start working for a living by actually paying for health care, rather than denying it.

As long as denying health care is a profit center, the system fails.

hipparchia said...

even so, bryan, we're still going to put maybe 80% of something like 200,000 employees [maybe as many as 400,000] out of their jobs.

they're not going to go quietly. not that i blame them.

As long as denying health care is a profit center, the system fails.

right on target. i'm not sure either clinton or obama sees this.