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The Right Wing's Latest Argument Against Public Health Care -- We'd Like It Too Much

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 04:08 PM
Original message
The Right Wing's Latest Argument Against Public Health Care -- We'd Like It Too Much
Edited on Wed Dec-24-08 04:08 PM by babylonsister
The Right Wing's Latest Argument Against Public Health Care -- We'd Like It Too Much

By Lindsay Beyerstein, The Media Consortium. Posted December 24, 2008.

That's right: Conservatives are terrified that a new system would be so good we would never want to get rid of it.


A common thread is emerging in the right-wing response to health care reform. Its opponents aren't claiming that public health care will be bad. Rather, they are terrified that the new system will be so good that no citizen would buy expensive private insurance -- or vote for politicians who wanted to take public insurance away.

Barack Obama's team is sending clear signals that health care reform is a core economic issue, and the health insurance industry is becoming increasingly anxious by the future administration's determination to bring health care costs under control. Some Americans are seeing their health care premiums rising at four times the rate of inflation, if they have insurance at all. Health care reform is a pocketbook issue for all of us, according to the Obama team.

In tough economic times, it might be tempting to postpone health care reforms, but Obama is adamant that delay would be a false economy. In the American Prospect, Joanne Kenen and Sarah Axeen support claims about the high cost of doing nothing:

A recent report by the New America Foundation's health-policy program estimates that the cost of doing nothing about health care, including poor health and shorter lifespan of the uninsured, is well above $200 billion a year and rising. That's enough to cover the uninsured and still have some left over for other public-health needs.


If health care costs continue to rise at their current rates, it will cost $24,000 a year to insure a family of four by 2016, an 84 percent increase from today. At these rates, half of American households would have to spend at least 45 percent of their income to be insured.

In the Nation, Willa Thompson describes how a bicycle crash made her appreciate the connection between health care and politics. Thompson was 21 years old when she suffered major injuries after a collision with a truck. Luckily, she was covered by her parents' medical insurance until she turned 22. She later realized that if she had been just a few months older when the accident happened, she wouldn't have been able to pay for her medical care.

more...

http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/114800/the_right...
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. They're right
Even Margaret Thatcher knew that to touch Britain's National Health Service would have been electoral suicide, for example, much as she would have loved to privatize it among American lines.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. One complaint in national health care systems
is that some people do abuse it, from lonely elderly folks who call an ambulance for a hangnail to garden variety hypochondriacs who plague every system.

Any system has to be well enough funded to account for those folks. Lonely people need referrals to more appropriate social contact; hypochondriacs need to be consistently referred to psychiatric care either until they get the point or they legitimately get sick enough to require medical care.

Everybody in the US is one major illness away from destitution, whether or not they have insurance. This is wrong.

I would rather see the services abused by a few people than see so many do without and risk death or get care and be financially devastated.

Our way doesn't work. The right wing ought to realize that no matter what their ideology says should be true.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. For the elderly who live in HUD type housing there are now programs
inside the buildings with LPNs and meals etc. That will go a long way toward the loneliness.


Merry Christmas to all of DU. But even more let us have a Happy New Year.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The percentage of abusers vs. the numbers helped make it worth the extra expense
I suspect that even with the troublemakers, we'll still come in FAR below the costs we're paying now.

You are correct in pointing it out though- no system is perfect. I'd rather the excess be on the side of help available vs. help not, myself.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. The elderly people usually are already doing those things here
So I don't see as that is a reason to be concerned.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Medicare won't pay for an ambulance
even if it's medically necessary.

I know, I had to pay for half a dozen ambulance rides for my dad during his final illness.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I seriously doubt that that would happen for a long, long time here
most of us are scared to death to seek out help for anything. If I find a lump in my breast I just cross my fingers and hope that it's nothing. Most of my friends do the same, even with chest pains, fainting, or severe back pains. Even if you're suicidal you're not going to seek out medical help these days because there's a $5,000 deductible and NOTHING is covered! We've all been conditioned to ignore even the worst problems, so I think the opposite would be true; I think any new system would be utilized far less than, say the EU or British systems for generations. We've all had so many horrible experiences with uncaring doctors and greedy insurance companies that we avoid hospitals and medical treatment at all costs-even if it costs us our lives.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. For every person that calls
an ambulance for a hangnail there is someone that dies believing their heart attack symptoms are signs of indigestion. It works both ways.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Most abuse of the "health care" system is from the medical profession and insurance companies.
Tests and procedures that are unnecessary, but good money makers, hospital-caused "complications" that kill tens of thousands needlessly every year or require longer hospital stays to repair the damage, insurance companies that weasel out of paying for care that was covered when you bought the policy.

That kind of fraud, by the medical profession and the insurance companies, costs billions more dollars than any "fraud" perpetrated by the elderly. Moreover, the patients who allegedly commit fraud could NOT get away with it without the collusion of doctors and hospitals. If you don't understand this fact, then walk into the nearest hospital and demand that they give you a CAT scan.

Doctors in private practice have to fight to receive their requested fees, and can wait months to be reimbursed.

Hospital corporations and medical insurance companies will push patients to use higher-priced drugs in which they own stock shares.

I heard a talk a few months ago given by a Canadian union leader about the Canadian health care system. Every Canadian citizen is covered. The Canadian citizen doesn't have to deal with huge deductibles and co-pays. Doctors can practice medicine rather than spending their time trying to justify their activities to insurance company clerks. Fees and reimbursement policies are negotiated ahead of time between the doctors, hospitals, and provincial governments which administer the health insurance system. The benefit to doctors is that they know what reimbursements they will receive, and they are paid in a timely manner.

Besides covering every Canadian citizen without deductibles and co-pays, the cost in taxes to cover the premiums is HALF of what the average American pays for substandard coverage.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. this is one of my main issues.
My appendix burst last June so I have to deal with those costs... flying low to the water financially.

I have always said that if we should have health care in this country yes their will be lines. right behind the republicans...

so now they are afraid we will appreciate Health care...Duh ya think??? Fuck those shitstains...

come to think of it how about Health care only for registered Democrats, Undecideds and Independents...
As republicans do not/never want it so why should we give it to them?
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-24-08 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. They are seeing the writing on the wall
The Repugs will not get to reap the benefits of Insurance Companies denying coverage so they can make money. Screw the Repugs, how many Americans have died because of this nonsense.
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justgamma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
9. Businesses should be
clamoring for public health care. If they would get on board they could save tons of money and the pukes would be standing all alone. Their big donors should abandon them and leave them in the wilderness.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
11. It's their own fault, they do a crappy job and charge a lot for it. nt
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. Thank you, Sister! Great article!
Much of the right wing's propaganda about health care is losing its effectiveness, just like our American health care. Fewer and fewer people believe their lies.
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