Wednesday, February 17, 2010

UPDATE on the 1001 Ways: Revisiting Way Number 19:

Way 19 was, remember,

"19. Start treating health care like what it is: a universal, inherent right of all people."

So, how's that free market working out for you?

Back in August, 2009, I wrote:

All that has to be done, and it is this simple, is first, require that any insurer who provides insurance cover all pre-existing conditions. Then, have the Federal Department of Health And Human Services offer an insurance policy -- call it "Federal Care." Make it available to anyone who wants to buy it, and charge as premiums a percentage of the insured's income.

Then, in October, I said:

We don't have a free market for health insurance. A free market assumes that the seller and buyer have a choice, to get something or not get something, or to shop around. But health care doesn't work that way. If I am having a heart attack, I will be taken to the nearest health care facility, period... And, health care is not an option in the first place; I can't replace "health care" with something else, the way I can replace "buying a house" with "renting an apartment" or "living at home." I have to have health care, or I'll die young (like Nikki White, who tried to buy health insurance on the "free market," but couldn't, and so she died.)

I don't have a choice of what insurance company to go through, anymore: once I get sick, I have to stay with my health insurer, or I'll be denied coverage for any "pre-existing conditions."

Now, just this month, Anthem Blue Cross raised their premiums 39%. And that's a drop in the bucket -- last year, Anthem Blue Cross raised some premiums 68%.

Sixty-eight percent.

Those rate increases affect real people who really don't have that money. Take Jeff Sher. Jeff's premiums were raised 38% this year, and 41% last year. Two years ago, he paid $273 per month. Now he pays $530 per month.

But God Forbid we declare that access to health care is a universal right, and require that it be provided to everyone. We have the government involved in providing phone service, electrical service, paving roads, delivering mail, regulating cable rate increases, monitoring the calorie count in fast foods, and probably, there's a government department of making sure my ears don't have wax in them.

But God Forbid we regulate the insurance industry, or provide health care to people.

All you people who snorted when I said there's no free market, and all you people who cheered on Idiot Palin when she railed against government-run health care, all you people who figured the free market would take care of things... how do you feel today? The increase covers 800,000 people, 800,000 people who were just screwed out of a basic right by the Free Market.

So Way 19 is important enough to bring up again:

"19. Start treating health care like what it is: a universal, inherent right of all people."

If we can't do that as a society, we could start by treating health care as being as important as, say, cable TV.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

1 comment:

stanleygoodspeed said...

Agreed, the National Health Service is actually one of the biggest thing we Brits take for granted. God save the Queen.