Friday, November 6, 2009

Cancel the cable and all your health care problems are solved..

An actual letter to the editor from our local rag on Thursday:

Don't give government control over our health care
The issue is not whether the government does or does not have "death panels"; it's that if the government controls and runs all health care, there is no option. Currently if an insurance company doesn't want to insure you because you have a pre-existing condition (which is within the company's right), you can go out and pay for your own treatment. The government wants to make it illegal for people to do that.
If someone can afford the very best health care in America, they have every right to it and shouldn't be denied that because some people thinks that's unfair. I would have trouble paying for my own health care, but that's OK - I can choose to stop paying for Internet, cable, cell phones, etcs., if I really need to pay for health care. That's my choice, not the government's.
The United States was founded on basic rights and limited power for the government, not entitlements for all. It's time to get back to our roots.
M. Marostica

Sorry, Mr. Marostica, but you forgot to stop paying for food, and your rent or mortgage payment too. Since having the extra 100 or so dollars a month by getting rid of what you mentioned will hardly pay for what can amount to huge health care costs for some sick people. Any idiot knows that, but apparently with you I're obviously healthy and are of course in God's good graces since you weren't born with a pre-existing condition that requires thousands of dollars of care a year because no insurance company will touch you with a ten foot pole.

Maybe you just did something right in heaven and are more blessed than the rest of us poor, unhealthy souls who have brought this financial mess on ourselves because we want to feed and clothe our families, not provide them with cell phones.

This letter does nothing more than reaffirm in my eyes what ass hats people like you are. You give a damn about yourselves only. Sick people are nothing but the crud stuck to the bottom of your shoes. This isn't really about government run health care, this is about people like you and what you're afraid you'll have to give up to actually help someone else in need. That's it plain and simple. What a concept! Caring about other people! Is that "PROMOTING THE GENERAL WELFARE!!!!"

This kind of stuff makes me seethe with such fury, I want to spit fire. I'm just so tired of people being blamed for being sick, for losing their homes and going bankrupt because of it. Like it's their fault somehow, for getting cancer and losing everything. All because they wouldn't cancel the cable?


Ben and Christina said...

I agree- I can at least understand legitimate concerns about health care reform. I cannot understand or tolerate plain selfishness- the attitude of "I'm not sick, why should care if you are?" Unfortunately, more and more crazies like that are popping out of the woodwork, and I need to remind myself that most people do understand there is a real problem, we just disagree on how to try and solve it.

Carlos said...

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

So says the preamble to the Constitution. At the time it was enacted, black people were considered less than human beings, they were property, slaves without freedom; and only white male property owners could vote. Since then, the U.S. has abolished slavery, extended voting to all adult citizens, established a public school system paid for by taxes, whether or not taxpayers have kids in school, given our seniors Medicare and Social Security, given our active duty military personnel and veterans VA benefits that include single payer health care for life (same as Medicare) and college tuition benefits, that ALL citizens contribute to -- all of which are constitutional and accepted by Americans because they are consistent with the principles laid out in the Preamble (the one John Boehner didn't want to reveal to the Tea Baggers), to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice ... and promote the general welfare.

Providing universal healthcare for all our citizens is no different; it is entirely consistent with the highest principles and ideals of our founding documents.

I can't believe the editors would publish such an absurdly misinformed letter. It's offensive to anyone who has ever gone bankrupt and lost their home because they lacked health insurance to cover a catastrophic illness, or has to choose between the rent or life-sustaining prescription drugs, not to speak of the 18,000 people (the number is actually much higher) President Obama said lose their lives every year for lack of health insurance.

It's a compelling moral issue, just as Civil Rights was, and it shouldn't be trivialized. I don't see how DYING for lack of healthcare enhances anyone's 'liberty', any more than the uninsured getting heathcare in emergency rooms that we all end up paying for enhances eveybody else's 'liberty'.

Well said, Lula ... I pity anyone who's the target of your 'seething'! :) I nominate this post for our 'go sit in the corner, dumbass' feature ...

nsfima said...

Surely someone born with a condition is not at fault, but how does forcing someone to buy insurance actually promote the general welfare?

Insurance is simply the spreading of costs to enable those in need at this time to have access to the money of others who are not in need at this time. Someone with diabetes is not just in need at this time, they are always in need - this has nothing to do with insurance, but certainly does have something to do with welfare.

Instead of changing health insurance, why don't we create a medical welfare system to work similarly to food/housing/utility assistance? Nobody is forced to choose anything (consistent with our past) but we collectively (through taxes) provide for the general welfare of those less fortunate (medically speaking).

I'm sorry about your fury, but M. Marostica (while a bit shortsighted and overly optimistic) does have a good point - the current proposal is attempting to cover 30 million (or more) people, but only a small percent of those are 'uninsurable' - many choose not to buy insurance but still have money to make monthly payments to cable, cell phone, and internet providers.

Carlos said...

We do have a medical care system to take care of the poor. It's called Medicaid. Due to current restrictions, e.g., single childless individuals do not qualify, regardless of poverty level, a significant portion of the uninsured are not covered. The health reform bills would extend Medicaid coverage to these individuals with subsidies to help them purchase medical insurance.

I do not agree that a tax requirement of 2.5% of AGI on persons choosing not to buy insurance is "forcing" anyone to purchase it. If I had my druthers, I'd prefer single payer, Medicare for all. But for varied political and historical reasons, single payer isn't feasible.

Good heavens, this isn't only about the millions of people dropped for pre-existing conditions. The list of insurance company abuses for which there will finally be justice, remedies, leading to the general welfare, is large.

Please don't mistake my occasional annoyance for "fury." I do not agree that M. Marostica has a "good point" or any point at all. With 36 million Americans lacking health insurance, any time one of them has a heart attack, a stroke, or any number of catastrophic medical illnesses requiring emergency care and/or hospitalization, he/she will come out with a bill anywhere from $30,000-$100,000 AND UP in medical expenses.

For most, it wasn't a question of choice; they just couldn't afford insurance or were denied, or dropped, etc. But it doesn't matter. How many lifetimes of cable, cell phone, and internet payments will it take to exhaust such costs? And even if the individual loses his/her home, declares bankruptcy, and becomes a slave of the creditors for life, what kind of Wild West or Great Depression (pick your analogy) system is that?

curtis.noble said...

a 2.5% "tax" on AGI for choosing not to buy healthcare is a fine/penalty. Call it what it is. And the threat of jail time does indicate that Americans will be FORCED to pay for insurance.

Also, it's important to realize that the democrats are missing the boat entirely on healthcare reform. Virtually everyone knows that the health CARE industry needs to be reformed to bring down costs. What dems are doing is reforming health INSURANCE, not healtcare. Health care costs will continue to rise and as a result, so will health insurance. CBO projections indicate that the lowest insurance plan for a family of 4 by the year 2016 will cost $15,000 per year under the current proposed plan. I'll also note the CBO projected that the plan will not add to our deficit over 10 years, which is good. But I currently pay $3,600 per year for great health insurance...don't know how I'll stomach $15k.

Any health CARE reform needs to target a reduction of costs to healthcare providers. If we can't reduce costs there, there is no sense in reforming insurance, it will be a bandaid applied to a gaping wound.

Carlos said...

I didn't know you were a family of 4. $15K divided by 4 is $3.75K. And if you get insurance through your employer, they pay the bulk of it, at least 2/3rds or more. So, the cost of a plan for an average employee is roughly $12K of which they will pay about $3K-4K in paycheck deductions.

The average cost, according to U.S. News, for a family of 4 is already $16,771 in 2009. So what you're saying is that CBO estimates a net reduction in average plan costs from 2009. That's in line with the savings the plan provides.

Curtis, your numbers are wrong. The House bill provides for a family of 4 earning $33,000 to be eligible for the federal-state Medicaid program. A family of 4 earning $88,000 would pay no more than 12% of their income for health insurance. That's $10,560. The government will subsidize premiums that exceed that level. (source: Wall Street Journal)

The cost of doing nothing is a hike of 10.5% in employer-provided healthcare costs over the next 12 months. (source: Huff Post)

CBO estimates a lot of substantial cost savings (source: CBO Director's blog):

$104 billion net REDUCTION in deficit from 2010-2019.

Coverage expansion would be offset by a savings of $426 billion over the same period.

This is a good bill. A really, really good bill, once you read all the savings, and coverage erxpansions. It's the closest thing to the great healthcare that 8.5 million federal employees, including members of Congress, get, with a great menu of choices and options AND affordability, because a pool of 8.5 million has a lot of purchasing power. The exchange pools that will be created are the same concept.

It would be even better if the shills for the insurance companies, DEMOCRATS ALL -- Lieberman, Landrieu, Nelson, Lincoln -- weren't bent on killing a robust public option that CBO estimates would save an extra $100+ billion.