I'm for a national health care plan and a public option....here's why...

This is about the Health Care issue.

There are a lot of loud voices out there screaming about it. The lies are flying. A lot of it is very emotional.
Personally I’m for it. Even for a Public Option.
But let me explain myself.
At one time in my life I was for getting rid of Social Security and Medicare. I thought it was leftist, un-American, and a nipple for those too lazy to work.
Over time, my attitude has changed.
One reason is that I’m no longer in my 20’s. I’ve seen a bit of the world. I’ve seen people close to me made to suffer from a bad doctor and an insurance company who really just didn’t want to spend any money on someone who had cancer.
Actually, a 130 pound tumor.
I also sold insurance for a while. I’m glad I did. It was a great learning experience. I learned to sell. I learned to make cold calls and talk to people. I also had the chance to work with people in the industry who sold insurance and actually did care about their clients.
And yes, it did hurt when a family called up having to file a claim on a life insurance policy. You actually do go into these people homes and learn about them, and their family.
Now were their bums out there just trying to make a quick buck? Yes. But I was very fortunate because I fell under the wing of three military vets. I had served and that meant something to them. Not many people feel that way, but there are that do.
They steered me away from those offices, agents and companies who had bad reputations. Stuff that only people on the inside will know.
One thing I learned is that an “agent” is not an employee but what is called an “Common Law” employee. Sure, there was an office. Sure you got various kinds of material. Sure you got to use the phones. But you were still an “agent” not a traditional employee.
I also learned one big lesson.
An insurance company will make no bones about hanging an agent out to dry in order to protect themselves.
Ethics classes are mandatory here in Texas. For agents. But not for the insurance company executives or officers.
But I learned things about insurance and policies. Where and what to read. What to ask. Where to check.
One thing I learned is that the insurance industry like the legal profession push a false impression. They like to give those who purchase their services the impression that it is all very very complex for you the common man or women to understand.
It’s not at all.
It’s all smoke and mirrors.
That way they keep the general population at bay. And they get away with murder because of it.
I’ve dealt fist hand with an insurance company who dropped someone when by law they couldn’t. It was a close friend of mine with health issues. They couldn’t get any life insurance what so ever. All they had was what the company they were with that dropped them.
She told me what had happened. I told her by law that they couldn’t do that. I directed her to file a complaint with the state insurance commission.
It took about 9 month. She got her life policy back.
About 12 to 18 months later I found out that that company had been having financial problems at the time they tried to drop her. I realized they were dropping people who were sick and might die.
In order to save themselves from paying any death claims, they dropped people. I often wonder how many people, who had health issues, died without any life insurance for their families or those who depended upon them.

By the way, the insurance company kept all the premiums that had been paid to them.
Then there is the matter of the DEATH PANELS.
You already have them in HMO’s. People die all the time. Do a Google search on that topic.
Then there’s the insurance companies spending 1.5 million dollars a day to fight this health reform. Shouldn’t that 1.5 million a day be going to pay for claims, and medical treatments for their clients?
Then there’s talk about it being NATIONALIZED OR SOCIALIZED.
People, the insurance you have through your employer is a 100% BUSINESS EXPENSE TAX DEDUCTION.

That means the money is taken from your employers income tax, thereby reducing their income tax. If that’s not BACK DOOR SOCIALISM I don’t know what is.
Medicare is a single payer program.
And a wonderful program too.
Let’s look at Social Security and Medicare.
Social Security was created in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. People’s entire savings were wiped out. They lost everything. Their homes, their retirement, you name it they lost it.
Social Security was created as to let people have a SAFETY NET should they loose their savings when they got older. Or, in the case of today’s world, when their employer goes under and takes their 401K or 403B with them.
Go ask an ENRON employee about that. Remember, the lights were always on….
Then there is Medicare.
Medicare was created in the 1960’s for people when they got older and were retired. The main reason for it’s creation was that elderly people where having their savings wiped out due to medical expenses. Trust me, you may have never had to go into the hospital when you are young, but when you start seeing 60, just wait.
So Social Security was a safety net and not a pension. Medicare was to protect people form becoming poor in their later years due to medical expenses.
If you think that’s kind silly, remember this: the majority of bankruptcy in this country are due to MEDICAL EXPENSES.
If you want to see fear and uncertainty in someone’s eyes, look at someone who has a life threatening illness. One of their fears is that their health insurance will be canceled. And they will have no way to pay for any treatments and or medications.

You need to see that for yourself, with you own eyes to have a real understanding.
Now some will say that America has the best health care in the world. Sorry, we don’t. We’re down the list. We’re not at the top. And, we’re not at the bottom.
I guess that as I’ve gone through life, I’ve seen how our government can spend trillion of dollars on wars that didn’t need to be fought or for us to get involved with. From seeing with my own eyes how our government can squander billion in the military and in foreign governments whose attitude is, “Well, the Americans will pay for it…”
The countries where the people lived under our weapons shield and had wonderful social programs that we wished we had.
Some people will say I’m a “Liberal” or a “Red” or a “Socialist” or a “Communist.” Well to be honest with you, I’m a Berry Goldwater Republican. Not this faux party that calls itself “Republican” when in fact, they are no where near it. I became a Democrat in 2004. Between 1992 and 2004 I was an Independent.
I’ve also been a soldier. I’ve been a business owner. I’ve been the guy who writes the checks.
So this is how I feel about the “Health Care” reform.
We need it. We need it now. Not later.
It’s time we start to spend money on “our” people. The American People. It’s time we stop squandering money in some “ash tray” country where we’re not wanted. It’s time for our people and not some “No Bid” contractor with connections to come first.
Why is it we can invade a country like Iraq (which at one time was THE place in the middle east to go for medical treatment) and set up a national health care plan for them?
Don’t our people deserve the same?
As for the insurance industry they can still make profit as they do in other countries with national health care plans.
Doctors will be better off too. Where I currently live there is a shortage of doctors. Why? Medical malpractice suits? Nope. Sorry. Had TORT REFORM here. That’s another story with Oh My God lies made to the people.
The reason is that there’s a shortage is that PEOPLE CAN’T PAY.
With a national plan, the doctors WILL GET PAID.
The Pharmaceutical companies will make out too.
“How and why,” you ask?
Because people who cannot afford medicine will now be able to get it. And that means the “meds” companies will have to increase production. More production, lower costs, more profit.
We are told there are 46 Million Americans without health care coverage. That means bankruptcy’s will decline. Health over all will improve because people will get medical attention. Children will get their much needed childhood shots. That means childhood diseases will decline.
Forty six million people will then be covered. That means 46 million tongue depressors will be needed. And that’s just the tip of the ice berg.
I just feel it’s time for the American people to come first. If we can spend trillions overseas, then I feel it’s time for that money to be spent on the American People.

What’s your take on this?

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Comment by Rick on October 18, 2009 at 6:13am
Yes,,,they did.
She's still working.
She's been on the show, "The L Word"
Desperate Housewives I believe, Sex in the City...and another one
There are a few fan websites and she has her own...
I knew someone who look like her, but had black hair, fair skin and very blue eyes....and was cool too...
Comment by Rick on October 16, 2009 at 10:38pm
Here's the dirty truth....
1. It's Dana Delaney, and I'm a fan of hers
2. It was when she was in the show China Beach and played a nurse
3. I didn't have any nurse or doctor pics save for "House"

...and now you know the rest of the story.......lol
Comment by Jason Spicer on October 16, 2009 at 5:23pm
Well, I figured either she was an army medic or she's part of a rapid deployment seamstress unit, but I'm still unclear how she fits into the blog post, other than as a sort of vaguely medical-looking person.
Comment by Jaume on October 16, 2009 at 4:09pm
Jason: Who's the woman in the photo at the top? How does she fit into the post?

A look at her attire and surgical tools suggests she's an army field doctor.
Comment by Jason Spicer on October 16, 2009 at 3:34pm
Great post, Rick. I heartily agree. Who's the woman in the photo at the top? How does she fit into the post? Just curious.

And Aaron, I agree that single payer is the most sensible way to go. It's the least bureaucracy and let's doctors and patients manage their health care with the least interference.

As far as I can tell, for-profit health insurance is simply immoral. I've never seen a reasonable argument that justifies shareholders sucking 10-30% out of the system and insurance executives getting paid millions for "improving efficiency", a nasty euphemism for denying coverage to those who most need it. The public option is less desirable than the single-payer system for the reasons you state, Aaron, but at least the public option wouldn't need to show a profit. Even with higher costs due to having to cover the sickest people, premiums might not be any higher than they are from a for-profit insurance company. Profit in this scenario is inefficiency. And since the health insurance market isn't at all competitive, profit doesn't even drive innovation.

At minimum, health care reform must include the regulation that health insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone for any reason or drop coverage for any reason other than non-payment of premiums. Even then, there needs to be a fallback system that allows a long grace period and ultimately a government payment, if need be.

A public option would be an obvious improvement on the above, if only to provide the for-profit insurers a very much needed reality check. A single-payer system would be ideal. For-profit insurers should be eliminated from the basic health insurance business altogether. If they want to offer supplemental coverage to people who want to pay more, great, but I would have no qualms whatsoever with the government simply declaring for-profit health insurance illegal.
Comment by Aaron S. (USA) on October 16, 2009 at 2:04pm
I on board with you here. In fact, I advocate not just a public option, but a full-fledged single-payer system. The difference here is essentially that under a public option, the government will buy you insurance that lets you pay your hospital bills. A single-payer system means that the hospitals are run like our public roads, fire departments, and police stations - you use them when you need them, and they get all their bills paid directly by the government, not through an insurance program.

Why, you ask? Let me tell you! :P

The first problem with the public option is first that not everyone signs up. Specifically, the healthy who don't feel that they need it and those that feel they can't afford it. The problem with healthy people not paying for insurance is first that it skews the pool, and secondly that even if you're healthy, that could change at any moment. If you only pay for insurance once you're too sick to save money on not buying insurance, you're ripping off the system. That's why it's called "insurance": it's there just in case something catastrophic happens. The problem with people who can't afford insurance wind up going to the emergency room anyway - and the hospitals are bound by law to take them whether they can pay or not. If they can't, then the burden winds up falling on the taxpayers, anyway.

What's more is that the underinsured and uninsured are much, much less likely to receive preventive care, and that's the single best way to save money on healthcare. A dozen tests for a hundred dollars each are a bargain if it saves you ten thousand dollars (or more) in treatments. And, again, these are dollars that usually fall on all of society anyway, since people without good insurance wind up on the public dollar anyway if they visit the ER and can't pay or wait until they're very ill to get on a public plan.

The public option is a big help in this area, because it means that, at minimum, those people with pre-existing conditions can at least visit the hospital when they need it. The problem is that public insurance plans wind up insuring the sickest parts of society, since the private plans throw them out and the public plans, by definition, have to remain open to the public. Your tax dollars still wind up paying for the sickest, while the private companies take in millions insuring the healthy. This principle is why public insurance plans are almost always less efficient than private ones (and the same principle also applies to things like public schools and so on).

By the way, this principle also applies to illegal immigrants. For those worried about US taxpayers paying for illegals, well, you're already doing it - but the expensive, wait-until-there's-a-big-problem-to-do-something way.

That loophole is why there's a lot of talk about "individual mandates". An individual mandate is a requirement, by law, that everyone buy into an insurance program. This way, no one can rip off the security net by waiting until they're very ill to start paying. The problem is with those who can't afford it - which means, in practice, that an individual mandate also comes hand-in-hand with subsidies for the poor. In effect, people who can't afford insurance wind up getting either very cheap, or free - which in practice is the same a single-payer system would work.

So, why is single player still better than a public option with a subsidized, individual mandate? The first is that the private companies still wind up creating a biased system that leaves the public option with the sickest and most expensive - that is, the public pays for the most expensive part. The second is that we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars every year, just on administrative costs incurred by our insurance system. In other words, we're creating a bureaucracy to watch a bureaucracy that pays our bills - and that extra bureaucracy just happens to be one that routinely gives itself million-dollar yearly wages and multi-million dollar bonuses, not to mention necessitating a large amount of each hospital's resources needing to go to tracking down their money, all of which could be eliminated by paying directly through the government. No insurance companies, no administrative overhead for the hospitals, and no private plans skewing the pool against the public option. Countries that use a single-payer system get better results than ours does all while spending a quarter or less of what we do, and with so much of our economy going just to the costs of healrhcare, we can't afford not to do that same thing.

So, repeat after me: SINGLE-PAYER! :D



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