Thursday, August 09, 2007

Universal Health Care

This was originally posted as a response to Kirk's Difference of Values post.

I think you over simplified the health care issue a lot.  I mean, I am sure every candidate would love health care for everyone on the planet (well, except terrorist), but they would probably love for the whole world to have ice cream cones as well (again, except the terrorist. . . okay the democrats would give the terrorist ice cream too, but that is beside the point).  The question comes down to who is going to pay for it.  I don't want to pay more taxes, and I don't think you do either.  I am sure that the rich would get the brunt of the tax to pay for health care, but that is just the government playing Robin Hood. 

Where do you stop for health care.  My wife wants a nose job.  The rich are still rich and we are still poor so it should be paid for (yes, an extreme example).  But what and who is covered for how much.  Why don't we all  pay all of our income as tax and rely on the government to do everything for us. 

Let's look at past projects the government has set up.  Social Security, did someone say going bankrupt.  Welfare, I heard a person once actually got off of this program.  The Iraqi war!  The common theme here is that none of these has really worked out the way they were planned.  Do we really want to give those idiots in D.C. more money for another project that will ultimately be a failure.   Heck we have had free education for years and we see how much that helps the poorest and most disadvantaged. 

How many Canadians (that great bastion of free health care) come to the US to get treatment because of backlogs and holds.  I once met a Canadian doctor that came to the U.S. because he was not limited to doing only two surgeries every week here.

Anyway, you just kinda simplified the problem and demonized the republicans as wanting to kill disadvantaged sick kids.  I am sure that they want everyone to have access to health care, but they don't want the big bill that comes with that. 

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Dancing Bear said...

I work in the Healthcare field at a rather large local Hospital. Let's call it Vanderbilt. I was charged $10,000. dollars as my contribution to insurance while working at a Hospital. The reason the rest of the patients pay so much more is because Vanderbilt gets everyone that has been rejected by all the other regional hospitals. We lost about 11 million dollars last year because people went to hospitals and they were turned away. 1700 people die every day because of no healthcare in the US. I know more facts and figures than most people because I have access to everything. But even at my place of employment we have to draw the line. We just can't absorb the cost for everyone. There are so many people who rob the system. There are so many healthcare facilities that rob the system by submitting false claims. Big places like Vanderbilt get to absorb huge costs that nobody else supposedly can afford to. When General Hospital was going belly up we sent over teams of Doctors and administrators to help bring it around. The issue is there are still people who are being mistreated more by their insurance companies than by the provider. Insurance companies are the ones getting all the money that never gets spent on healthcare. It is supposed to but it does not. So if we take the money from the insurance companies then we have a bankrupt insurance industry. There isn't an easy answer. In general I am on the side of sick people getting treated. We are all already paying for it through our taxes. NIH funding goes to the hospitals for research but you can bet that some of those funds get juggled to cover losses rather than be used for research. I know many Docotrs from Canada and they all tell me the reason they are here is so they can make more money. Not because our system is better. They want more cash. I don't know what the answer is but there has to be some middle ground. Do we subsidize "Bridges to nowhere"? Spend 400 billion on an unending war? I get pissed that I have to pay so many taxes for student loans that never get paid back and yet they walk away with far greater opportunities than I currently have. So, we try something we haven't and hope for the best. The proposed plan doesn't do away with private healthcare or insurance. It is really just a rehash of Medicare/Medicade, Tenncare, WICC, and all the other programs. If they government would pay me a percentage of the fraud I uncovered I would be a millionaire. It is mostly done on paper and not overcharging for actual services rendered. I have health insurance so I am not in a big hurry to pay more taxes but I see many people every day and watch as they are asked to leave because we just can't afford to help them anymore. We do follow up too so I get to hear about what happens after they leave. It's pretty sad.

Budd said...

It must suck to have to refuse service. Do you guys refer them anywhere? Was the system better under TennCare?

Kirk said...

So, overall, are you for or against universal health care, DB?Budd asked: "Was the system better under TennCare?"This is also a query that interests me.I simply refuse to believe we aren't smart enough to make socialized health care work!

Dancing Bear said...

I am very pro universal healthcare but.... I think I should probably think it out, write it out and put it on my own vox and invite responses when I'm more in the loop. I read your's and Budd's after the main points had been made and nothing I could say fit with what everybody was talking about. I guess to start I should say that my only job is to raise money for charitable programs that have been cut from funding. Tenncare was better for us as a facility.Now more programs get cut and it gets tougher and tougher to hunt down stray cash to cover all the losses.Other smaller hospitals turn people away and they get sent right to us. We never turn people away unless we are packed to the gills and have no beds. Otherwise everyone who shows up gets treated. We will even put people on gurneys rather than turn them away. We have the best bed management team in the country as far as I am concerned. It's after they have been there and we can't help any longer and more people would be served by the person finding other means.This is for non-life-threatening situations. If we can help 10 people and one person can't be helped any more then we have to make judgement calls. They are always in the best interest of medical treatment and not money. That is why I work there. I am very impressed with my employer and am impressed with how medically ethical they are. My boss is at the National Ronald McDonald House board meeting all week. He was the National Director last year and is in charge of all our humanitarian duties including sending our old beds and wheelchairs, and other equipment to hospitals in small countries that have none. That kind of thing. I don't have the money to be a philanthropist but if I can earn a living doing it then I am better able to sleep at night. My health insurance is based on a percentage of my salary as are all our employees so in a way we have made a scale to cover the affordability of it. If I make more, I pay more. Our minimun wage was raised to $9.50 an hour to give better quality of life to our employees thus making them more happy at work and better at what they do on behalf of patients. My beef....Insurance Companies and not the providers. Visit me later and I'll explain better in detail.

Budd said...

It should be explained the DB works at one of the best hospitals in the nation, if not the best. <sarcasm>I just can't believe that Metro General doesn't handle more.</sarcasm>