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Health Held Hostage

May 24, 2012

Day 57: Heath Care Held Hostage

This week NPR aired a wonderful series called Sick in America. The programs present a wealth of statistics and stories of how Americans still need health reform.  Here is just one example of a self-employed freelance writer who can’t pay for his hospitalization:

“I feel awful every single day,” he says. “You know, people saved my life. And more than that — people fed me and bathed me and changed my socks, you know? And they’re not going to get paid — at least they’re not going to get paid by me. And I’m going to be ashamed of that for the rest of my life.”

But wait–there’s good news. Despite the Supremes, and the specter of possible loss of the Affordable Health Care Act, many reforms have already occurred–and won’t be turned back. Surprise–many in the health care industry are embracing the government reforms as good for them. That’s right, cost-saving measures recommended for Medicare are now being adopted by private insurers.

In fact, hospitals and insurers are joining to cut costs. This should surprise no one. It happened under the Clintons, when the scare of Hillary care was enough to make insurers curb their profits. Back then, my employer’s health plan actually ran a surplus. Then Bush got in–and drug makers began saying in public they would price cancer drugs at the highest they could get. Our health costs began double-digit increases.

Whether or not we hostages get out alive, there’s only one conclusion how to vote in November. A vote for Dems is a vote for health care.

  1. May 25, 2012 4:48 pm

    I get so upset at these kind of ‘issues-that shouldn’t-be-issues’ that I often wonder what kind of Brain Virus is infecting the GOP. What is the reasoning of these people? And what can be the reasoning of those who vote for them?

  2. May 26, 2012 3:55 am

    Jonathan Haidt has some interesting work on the different kinds of moral reasoning used by people who trend liberal or conservative.

  3. heteromeles permalink
    May 26, 2012 4:52 pm

    To be fair, I should also note that upper level employees within the health care system aren’t guiltless either, even though most of them vote democratic. Since I know a number of pharmacists, I’d pick on them. They grumble so much about how they no longer get the raises they used to get, and how it’s harder to get as many job offers as they used to get. This can be compared to, oh, how many of my non-pharmacist friends have trouble finding jobs with any health care at all.

    Anyway, I happen to agree that we in the US could do much, much better with our health care. Still, we’ve had this problem since the 1920s, or was it the 1910s, when universal health care was first shot down by private insurance companies. Back then, I think universal health care was said to be a communist plot. Now the story is that our government is too inefficient to run health care, as shown by the huge bureaucracy dealing with, oh military-industrial expenditures.. I’m shocked, shocked at how the story changes, but the players and actions remain exactly the same?

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