"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Government health reform

Until their wishful thinking dreams about national health care are dashed (so those incumbent legislators can get re-elected), those who truly believe in the cause should be doing the following:

1. Paying the health insurance premium for an uninsured family in their community.
2. Donating money to not-for-profit free clinics so that they can provide more services to more people.
3. Donating money to not-for-profit hospitals so that they can use the funds to pay the bills of uninsured patients.
4. Donating healthful food (not the crap most people give) to food banks to provide better nutrition for those needing help.

I have no statistics, but my educated guess is that most of the proponents of a government funded option do not or are unwilling to do any of the above. But they have no qualms in forcing everyone else to foot the bill of a national program.

The problem with a government funded "option" is that private insurance companies will reduce their presence in health care and eventually only provide catastrophic coverage. Why should insurance companies take on the expensive first dollar health risks of individuals if the government is willing to do so?

This is the very thing that has happened since Medicare came on the scene. Just try getting a private insurance policy for someone over the age of 65. It is nearly impossible. Unless that person is still covered under a policy through employment, there is virtually no option for health insurance other than Medicare. The only private policies available are Medicare supplement policies. Those policies provide coverage over and above the initial benefits that Medicare pays. The risk the insurance companies have is greatly minimized by the government funded program, so why would they include that coverage if the government is providing it?

Therefore if you're over 65, you are locked into the government program unless you are wealthy enough to pay doctor and hospital bills with your own money. The very same will happen if a government option is forced upon those under 65. The result will be NO options. Just government plans with, perhaps, private catastrophic insurance.

2 comments:

Rudy said...

I completely agree with your assessment here! Why would gov. funded health care be any different than medicare? We have already seen how one model of allowing the government to control a sector of health care has worked. That should be testament that we need a different kind of change... And I also agree with more people donating to clinics and not for profits and healthy foods. I think WIC is finally doing some good things in the food category for lower income families... if only they would get rid of juice all together and offer fresh produce solely in its place (not that this is at all on topic but a freebie for you anyway).

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Joan Stepsen
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