What If We Did Nothing
As I write this, the House just passed the health care reform bill. It’s not the bill I would have liked to have seen passed [there were way too many compromises and it’s structured differently than it should have been], but it’s a step in the right direction.
Critics say it’s not good to let government control our health care. Proponents say it provides needed competition to the private healthcare industry. Both sides will never come to an agreement, mostly due to political lines. But at some point, those without access to affordable health care should be taken care of. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say they need to be taken care of. Need? Why would they need to be cared for? Why should we pay for other’s health care? Everyone should fend for themselves. No government assistance. Just go to the doctor and get treated when you are sick.
So what would happen if we did nothing.
- Those that have no coverage would end up paying the entire bill each time they went to the doctor or hospital
- Those that can’t pay their bill may end up leaving a balance due
- The doctors and hospitals can’t write off every single debt
- They cover these losses by increasing their costs to those that are insured
- Each year, private insurance companies raise their rates, using the phrase “due to increased costs” as the main reason
- A human is no different than an automobile. It needs regular maintenance.
- Unlike an automobile, a human can’t simply be abandoned for another model that works
- For each child born into an uninsured family, the costs are increased
- The first years of a child’s health care needs are critical to ensure a healthy start to life
- Those that require certain prescriptions will go without if they had to pay full price
- Not every person that works is covered by a employer subsidized health care plan
I could go on with this list. The point I’m making here is this: One way or another, health care costs are going to go up. The private industry has no competition. They charge pretty much what they want, without much regulation to stop them. With a competitor, and with proper regulation, they will be forced to keep costs down. They can’t rape and pillage those that are covered. Those without coverage will have coverage. Instead of going without, they can be treated.
It does come at a cost. This isn’t going to be cheap. Those that fight for smaller government are completely against this. But yet, doing nothing will continue the monopoly and political slighting that goes on in the private health care industry today.
As I said above, this plan is not perfect. But if we waited for the perfect plan, we would never have one. You have to start somewhere and sometime. And that time is now.
You know what I would have preferred to see? Universal EDUCATION. We already have it for K-12, but why not for college?
A very wise man once told me, “The only thing that the government can never take away from you once you have it, is your education”. Truer words were never spoken.
A friend said to me earlier that this “happened way too fast and too soon” and my only thought was yes, but if not now…then when?
We need to start somewhere and this bill is just as good as any. Certainly, the logistics will still have to be worked out. Definitely, there will need to be a good watchdog committee in place to make sure that private industries comply with the bottom line being the care of the consumer.
It’s not perfect, but it’s a damn fine place to start.
I agree 100% with this post. There are parts of the bill that I really like (and that other Presidents, Democratic and Republican alike, have tried to institute for the past 40 years. Damn, I wish people would remember history…..) and there are parts where I really wonder how the Government is going to execute the “features” offered. And while I understand the premise behind it, I definitely do NOT agree with fining people with no insurance.
But it’s SOMETHING. It’s a START.
People want all of these great things for this country, but no one wants to pay for it, or they want things to be “selectively offered.” I truly believe (like Education – totally agree with Nobody) Health Care is a basic human right that EVERYONE should have access to. Hopefully, this bill is the start of something good.
We all know I’m a left wing hippie, mostly because I believe in putting the human agenda over the fiscal agenda. Our country is already in debt due to war spending so why not use money on things like health care? We’re talking about people and their health, you know?
Anyway, I agree that this isn’t a perfect situation but it’s a step in the right direction. Change starts out small and isn’t always done the right way but my God, at least it’s change.
nobody – You make a good point about universal education. There are many things broken with our government, and education is a top priority. But I wouldn’t say it’s more important than health care, job creation and energy dependence. They are all equally important in the matter of making changes for improvement. I’m hoping that once this is done, then the other high priority needs of this country can be addressed. That is, if the House can come to agreement and stop dividing themselves along party lines.
cp – Great comment and I agree. Starting with this, and then watching to make sure compliance is in order will help this bill mature into a good set of changes.
robin – Yes, you stated that well. People want stuff, but don’t want to pay for it. They say it’s not their deal to pay for others needs. Self sustainment is a great logic, but it can’t equally apply to all 305 million people in this country.
sybil law – Thank you.
hilly – Us left wing hippies tend to agree most of the time, this time being one of those. Now to hope for more changes like I mentioned above to nobody (and his mention of universal education).
You know, Marty, I agree with a lot of what you’re saying. I, too, was disappointed the bill doesn’t go further. But, I also agree that we need to start somewhere … and this is definitely a start.
My problem in this is when are doctors held accountable in this big mess. If you look at an itemized bill for your doctor’s visit, the amounts they charge are incredible. Through the roof high. Some might argue they have to charge such rates to cover their own liability / malpractice insurance, which has also gone through the roof. But, I’m not sure that’s the only answer.
Personally, I’d like to see a much more transparent industry. Competition comes when all costs (doctors, suppliers, insurers, drug companies, etc.) are analyzed and reduced in order to compete with the guy next door who is doing the same.
Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks, I agree with your post 150%. A more transparent industry with more competition would create better choices and better treatment all around as the onus would be on the vendor to keep the customer happy. Unfortunately, from what I read the new health care plan doesn’t have enough of that…..but it’s a start, so I will take it.
Marty, I am so bad… I didn’t even realize the bill was passed and I need to research it more. I am so happy you write about topics like this, so I have SOME clue as to what is going on in the world!
I’m thrilled they did SOMETHING. And I’m glad that my son will not have to go without health insurance when he’s an adult because he has a preexisting condition, one that requires constant medical attention.
Best written response I’ve seen.
I’m just amazed they passed it so quickly. It’s been so long since Gov’t has done anything I think we’re all still reeling from the shock of it all.
A president- who does what he say’s he’s gonna to do. How novel.
I was really annoyed that there wasn’t a rider attached for making people into cyborgs.
Agreed 100% Marty. And as someone who was raised in a country with universal health care, I can attest to the fact that this is not the end of civilization as we know it. No matter how much those on the other side of the fence would have us believe. Now, it’s not a perfect bill by any means, but it really is a step in the right direction.
nilsa – I think, if I’ve studied the details correctly, that as the years go on and parts of the reform are put into place, the transparency will find it’s way into the system.
robin – There is not enough of that from the start of the bill, but as I mentioned to Nilsa above, I believe that there will be some as parts of the bills get implemented over the years. Wishing it were quicker, but I understand there is a lot of setup to roll the changes out.
kilax – You are welcome. I try to keep up on all of these things that affect our lives, both good and bad. This bill is mostly good, IMO, but as I outlined above, there’s some things about it that don’t do enough or should have been changed.
finn – Glad to hear your son will be covered. This start to change will help many people.
zoe right – Thank you. And yes, glad it passed, even in it’s imperfect state. Now I want to see more change that was promised when I voted for Obama. I’m really hoping I won’t be disappointed like I was his first year.
avitable – I bet the Skynet portion of the health care reform bill got taken out. Damn politicians who are already cyborgs!
kevin – See, you’ve lived in a country that had universal care. While this bill isn’t quite universal, compared to the UK or Canada, it’s a good start. As for the world ending due to this bill being passed, we survived the passage of the Patriot Act and the world didn’t end. So there’s hope for everyone, even those that are against this change.
While there are certainly aspects of the legislation that are a welcome change, mostly having to do with providing better access to coverage, it isn’t at all clear to me that the fiscal portions are any better than what we already have and may be worse. Unfortunately, I see that as the cost of getting *something* passed and I am hopeful that it will work out for the best.
One specific problem I have both with the legislation and with what you wrote is the concept that there isn’t competition or that the government can provide competition. That just doesn’t makes sense to me. In my experience, any time there is insufficient competition it is a direct result of one of two things. Either there is a monopoly at work, which I’m almost certain isn’t the case here, or there is government regulation that limits competition.
One example that comes to mind, and this is just off the top of my head, so don’t hold me to the specifics, is that I believe New York passed a law preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions and the immediate result was that health insurance is significantly more expensive there. It also results in some insurance companies leaving the market, resulting in less competition. The same thing has happened in Florida with home owener’s insurance — the state legislature put a cap on premium increases and the result was that many insurance companies determined that they couldn’t afford to offer coverage in Florida any longer.
I want health care for everyone. I think that is a laudable goal for a society as developed as ours. But given the state of health (not health care) in this country (obesity, diabetes, etc.), it seems inescapable that it’s going to be very, very expensive. Of course, it seems like a better way to spend our money than most of the other ways we spend it.
I wish employers were out of the loop entirely.
I wish all preventative and emergent care were covered by tax dollars and insurance was only for more extensive care.
I wish insurance weren’t used for small expenses. (I know lots of people that pay for “Vision Insurance” which simply covers an annual eye exam and glasses. That is *not* insurance. Heck, you can buy glasses at the dollar store.)
I wish I could pay attention to my booting VMware image long enough to press enter to boot from the DVD before it proceeded to boot from the hard drive.
Don’t get me started on Social Security and how much we need to raise the retirement age!
ren – Your point about competition, at least in my experience, has been a monopoly at the work place. Most of the companies I’ve worked for in the last 20 years have only had one main option for a choice of HMO. There are other options, but they are so cost prohibitive, or have been offered to employes who work outside the state, that they really are not valid or reasonable choice for health insurance. Removing employers from the loop of coverage may have more adverse affects, such as being a benefit to working for a company. Now with these new requirements, sure the company is going to have spend more money, but I would think it would improve attendance for those employees that are missing work due to illness. That also could be my hopeful thinking with this, but it’s certainly something I’m sure that went into the what the health care reform would accomplish.
I do understand there are some states, as you mentioned, that do have certain restrictions and/or caps on health coverage. If it’s a disadvantage to the residents of the state, then I would hope that would get removed. As for states on their own passing laws against denying coverage from pre-existing conditions, I would be all for that, but waiting for each state to do so, continues to allow the insurance industry to embrace those policies. And while health care companies are more than happy to continue making profits, I will go out on a limb here and say their management of how they gain those profits needs to change. Denying coverage while still collecting (and raising) premiums seems to be lopsided.
Part of the health care reform is to reduce the number of people that are obese or are diabetic (non-genetically acquired) by making more details about food to everyone. It’s not forced, but that’s good since it places the burden back to the individual, even if in the meantime, costs of health care for those afflicted are still fairly high. I would venture to say they will go down as the years go on and as people have greater access to health care and working towards becoming healthier.
As for your VMware image booting, you can increase the time out, at least I’ve been able to, in the virtual machine properties.
The VMware booting is not actually a VMware issue, it’s booting the DVD fine, but the DVD times out eventually and defaults to booting from the HD. It gives me plenty of time when I’m not commenting on a blog. 🙂
ren – Ahh gotcha. I was going to suggest the force BIOS setup option under virtual machine settings. I’ve had to do that before.