RE: Nationalized Health Care - not all it's cracked up to be
Another email conversation:
What you don't realize is that the healthcare you're describing is a slippery slope to what you don't want.
Employers offer subsidized health insurance because it gives them tax breaks. It's also why they like to hire temps or part time rather than full time in big companies: because they are pretty much mandated to provide such health insurance when the company is over a certain size.
For every person that gets between your treatment and you, there is an increase in inefficient allocation of resources: your money being wasted. If mandatory subsidized health insurance weren't competing with single-payer point-of-service payment, it would be much cheaper to go to the doctor than it is now. Your doctor would be far more involved in discussing treatment options with you (yes, they are options.) Studies consistently find one of the single best predictors of successful medical treatment is patient involvement. The more we push off that responsibility for negotiating price to the insurance entity (I won't say "company" because we're increasingly going down the road of government making those payment decisions), the less people are involved in the decision making process of what treatment is best in their own, individual case. In fact, the moer the insurance entity is involved, the less say an individual has, even when they do try to take personal responsibility for themselves. Not to mention institutional practices so widespread as to be beyond the sway of any individual's ability to influence.
On the other hand, paying out of pocket for routine expenses and pooling risk (through insurance) for those statistically but not personally predictable occasions when the financial burden is overwhelming; that needs no government interference or incentivization.
Our current model is better than what is being proposed, but it's not nearly as good as the model we used 3 or 4 decades ago.
On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 1:35 PM, my Bro-in-law wrote:
And this is why I am so fucking happy with my healthcare....dammit I pay 80 bucks a month plus 300 dollars a year deductible for a 15 dollar copay on all visits with damn near no other costs....and I can get a bed at my nearby hospital within hours of going to the emergency room or urgent care. This administration is a fucking joke and its stuff like this that lends credibility to our capitalist society. Fuck socialism, we're the USA not the USSA.
On Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 10:48 AM, I pointed out to my Bro-in-law:
"It's hard to say that the Canadian government guarantees health care, at least in the usual sense of the word "guarantee." In fact, what the government really guarantees is that if you get health care, you won't be allowed to pay for it, and it is this guarantee that makes you have to wait to get it. The government also guarantees something else: If health care providers try to set up their own clinics and charge willing patients for medical care, the government will shut them down. "