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I'm off the capitalist medicine bandwagon

If a conservative is a "liberal who has been mugged", as the hoary old saying goes, then a modern proponent of socialized medicine could be said to have been a fiscal conservative who has had more than five health care plans in the last four years (yours truly). I used to be 180 degrees opposed on this, but frankly, what we have is so much worse than even the bad socialized systems that it's nothing more than ideological idiocy not to join the rest of the civilized world. To say nothing of the fact that we could easily match the French system, for instance, if we think the British or Canadian ones suck too much; and we'd spend less money overall, by all rational estimates (we already spend more public money than the average completely-socialized system; but we spend it stupidly and inefficiently on things like emergency care for the uninsured).

The people opposing such a move continue to spout baloney about waiting times, as if even those of us with insurance don't wait as much or more in the US (and this matches my experience). For the benefit of equal or worse waiting times, I get to kick in thousands per year, and drown in paperwork (for all the payment plans we're on to try to make sure we pay out of our HSA rather than out of after-tax money, and of course, to make sure I don't overdraw the stupid thing). What's worse is that the modern know-nothings who still push this disaster we live under are lying about the options people really have. You don't realistically have the option to go to another doctor, even if you're willing to pay standard (non-discounted) rates. Nor should you accept that as an answer - you're already paying dearly for health care which these idiots claim is the "best in the world".

Enough is enough. I'm turning in my capitalist-medicine decoder-ring. Call me Fidel LaFrenchie if you must. Better an honest socialist, if only for pragmatic reasons, than a lying capitalist.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Economics

Comments

To turn around another saying:
You may be off the capitalist medicine bandwagon, but the capitalist medicine bandwagon isn't off YOU.

Medicare and Medicaid pay for about a third of health care expenditures, with State and local governments kicking in somewhat more than 10 percent -- so you're getting close to half of all health expenses in the US being paid by some government source. In other words, we could realistically be about halfway to single-payer already just by instituting some intergovenmental fund transfers.

But most of the talk is about universal coverage, not single payer. "Universal" just means everyone is covered. And there's more than one way to run a universal health care system. You could do it entirely through insurance companies if you wanted to. I think most of the Democrats are proposing a combination of private and public - ie, expand Medicare or Medicaid or SCHIP, but work on expanding private insurance too.

My personal preference would be to get rid of middle men (insurance companies) to the greatest extent possible. They add to the expense since private companies build in a profit factor to their pricing. The one place where I think it would be OK to keep contracting with private companies would be for things like coordinating care or implementing disease management programs - although you could choose to add to the government workforce for that, I just think it is unlikely to be widely acceptable.

"it's nothing more than ideological idiocy not to join the rest of the civilized world."

The cynic in me thinks it's not just ideological idiocy; it's the money driving that idioscy. The AMA and HMO corps have a huge vested interest in keeping the system as is, and donate a lot of money across the board (Hilary is one of their biggest recipients) to ensure (ha) that the system doesn't change.

Yesterday, my girlfriend had two impacted wisdom teeth out; her insurance company will pay for the procedure, but not anesthetic. In our health system, that's unnecessary. She'd practically be better off uninsured, destitute, and dropped off at the door of a public hospital ER; at least then the taxpayers would cover her local.

heyzeus,

I believe you're not seeing the silver lining. Your girlfriend is supposed to be discouraged from all that unnecessary wisdom tooth surgery she would otherwise be having by failing to cover the anaesthetic. Your insurance company solved that "moral hazard" - I think you owe them some kudos!

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