Proving once again the truism that no candidate is right about everything, John McCain is talking about a health care "plan" that sounds an awful lot like the standard GOP laissez-faire approach, which is, "Let’s help them that has put away money to pay for their own health care, and forget (to use the euphemism) everybody else."
Here’s a story about him talking about it in the Upstate.
This is further evidence supporting Mike Huckabee‘s observation that most Republicans don’t have a clue how regular folks who don’t have a bunch of money live.
As he said in an op-ed piece:
I offer a genuinely conservative vision for health-care reform, which
preserves the most essential value of American lives — freedom.
That’s libertarianese for "The last thing in the world we would want government to do is help anybody. (After all, if it did that, you might stop hating it.) Remember, we stand up for your freedom to suffer and die from lack of affordable health care."
As opposed to the government-can-cure-all-ills sect of the socialist party…
If Medicare is an example of government healthcare, then the reason we don’t want to expand it is already known. We private insurance payers are already subsidizing the cost of Medicare patients. They already receive about a 70% reduction in cost compared to the rest of us “libertarians” with the added benefit of having a mindless set of rules and unaccountable bureacracy thrown in.
Here’s an example from this week. My father-in-law suffered a bad cut on his leg that required a dozen stitches. Due to other medical conditions, his doctor wanted the cut to be looked at each day by a nurse for a week. Orders were written, the nursing provider contacted – sorry, Medicare will not cover the cost of looking at the wound because the patient owns a car and should be able to drive himself across town despite his bad leg to a wound care center.
I also know a top ortho surgeon in Columbia who told me he will retire (at age 45) if the government forces him to work for pennies on the dollar via the harebrained single payer pipedream. He doesn’t even get reimbursed enough from Medicare patients now to cover the cost of the operating room.
More government healthcare is not the solution.
The easiest solution is always to take from those who have to give to those who do not.
And that’s what it is – TAKING. Not asking, not convincing, not trading one thing for another. It’s Brad Warthen deciding that Doug Ross should pay for Joe Smith’s healthcare. No details. No accountability. No justification beyond “Just because”.
I’ll support government healthcare when you can provide an example of where government healthcare is better than the private sector (at the same cost).
All of the Republicans’ health care suggestions (they are not plans) rely on the private health care “market” to design what the consumer may choose from. Huckabee’s is the only outline that shows any recognition that the middle class and near poor face a real problem. None address excessive costs in a realistic fashion or offer a method of paying for the changes. Interestingly, private payer delivery averages around 30% in administrative costs (comissions, profit, corporate salaries, other overhead). This is the amount of the medical dollar (our premiums) not paid to actual providers. Medicare runs around 3%, medicaid, around 5%. Private medicaid plans (Gov. Sanford’s baby) eat up an average 20%, but ill serve the patient according to a recent study. Nobody could have designed a worse program than the Bush/insurance/drug industry-designed Medicare part D. A good “private-sector” plan would lay out a few coverage designs and allow bids on those designs rather than an industry designed and sold hodgepodge in the name of “consumer-control.” Anyone who claims that the consumer is in control in the health market has never really dealt with it. You (or your employer or the government) may pay more than your house payment monthly if you’re healthy)or risk financial ruin with a relatively routine health problem.
Doug, between “the government-can-cure-all-ills” and “if the government is involved, I’m against it,” there’s a whole universe of possible positions. I would object to a philosophy that held that government is always the answer (if I ever ran into such a philosophy) just as I object to the oft-expressed philosophy that government is always a bad thing.
There are things that can’t be solved without some government involvement. Building a useful, safe highway system is one. Health care pricing is another — and perhaps even more so. Supply and demand just don’t work in this sector the way they do in others.
Can you describe a healthcare system run by the government that will not ration access to services? Does your fantasy government run system mandate that doctors accept all patients at the government controlled rates or can doctors opt out? How much money should a person be personally responsible for when it comes to their own healthcare? Will I pay more for the same services than people who make less money? Why should I?
Will the government place lifestyle restrictions on those who receive “free” healthcare? For example, should we provide free healthcare to people who smoke or abuse drugs and alcohol? How about people who can afford cable television and cell phones but don’t have insurance?
Doug, here’s a more accurate way to frame this issue. What we currently have is a jumbled up, convuleted mess of a system that no one understands. It is extremely expensive. Health care is already rationed, based on ability to pay. People are being ruined by the costs and lack of health care they receive. Our health care system is rated 37th best in the world, behind all the major industrialized nations. Indeed what we have is a form of socialized medicine since hospitals are required to render aid to anyone with a need for care. Medical malpractice claims upwards of 100,000 lives each year. Health care decisions are already made by someone other than doctors and patients (insurance companies mostly).
So why all these hypothetical ifs and whats if we adopt some kind of sane sytem that might help with both the costs and delivery of the care we get from the system? As it is, I have a good health plan and I still suffer from poor treatment, high cost and big-time headaches trying to understand what to do. Frankly, this whole muddled mess needs to be jettisoned so we can just start over. And big pharma along with the insurance companies should have no say in the matter. They are the ones earning exhorbitant profits at the expense of the American people. It’s time we had a system that works for the people, not the special interests.
The bottom line is that I will pay more for worse service. My insurance plan is fine. Between my employer and myself, the cost is somewhere between $8 and $10K per year for my family. The deductibles are reasonable, the copays are reasonable, the drug benefits are reasonable. I can go to any doctor I choose pretty much. I have a tax free health reimbursement account that is linked directly to the insurer so I get money I spend out of pocket put right back into my checking account within two weeks. I haven’t filled out a claim form in years.
I have the choice every year of a half dozen plans with varying costs and varying coverages.
Go ahead, convince me that I’m going to be better off in this new government run system.
Or am I supposed to “take one for the team” again (like I do on Social Security, property taxes, income taxes, etc., etc.) When do I get my share of the pie?