The Problems with Government-Run Health Care


 
As the White House backs away from the so-called public option in health-care reform, Catholic experts are hopeful that the proposed government control of the nation’s medical care will be put aside. They argue that rejecting the public option will better serve a culture of life, maintain the present high quality of health care, serve economic sustainability, and respect the Catholic teaching on subsidiarity.
 
Though the bishops have spoken out collectively against abortion coverage, only a handful have issued specific warnings against government-run medical services. Two of those are Bishop Robert W. Finn and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, who wrote recently, “The right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it.” Bishop R. Walter Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, stated, “The Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care.”
 



The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is on record arguing that, while health-care reform is needed, it should be “achieved by legislation that empowers people to own their health insurance policies (as contrasted with government, or employer controlled healthcare insurance) and using targeted measures to help people who cannot afford the entire cost of their insurance premium.”
 
Dr. Steven White, a former president of the CMA, currently has a private practice in pulmonary medicine and is medical director of respiratory care and pulmonary rehabilitation services at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. He applauds the bishops for their outspoken defense of human dignity in health care, but said, “Informed members of the laity need to help devise a system based upon Catholic moral principles and apply them in the marketplace.”
 
“The last thing we want in health care,” White told me, “is for the government to impose a single ethic on us because they hold the purse strings — we have to separate Catholic moral guidelines for health care from the question of financing it.”
 
Dr. Donald P. Condit is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has written extensively on health-care reform for the Acton Institute. Condit agrees that health-care reform is needed to achieve a better allocation of service, but added, “Reform needs to occur at the level of the doctor-patient relationship rather than introducing a third party, especially the federal government.”
 
“Medical care is a scarce commodity that has to be allocated,” Condit went on, “but why would you take that allocation away from the doctor-patient and hand it over to government committees, when the government does not respect human life?”
 
When I asked him how the cost of the present system could be reduced, Condit explained that the cost of private insurance coverage would come down if there were more competition. “There is very little competition between insurance companies,” Condit explained, “which would be changed if companies could sell coverage across state lines.”
 
 
Both Dr. White and Dr. Condit were certain that the quality of U.S. health care would suffer under government control. White said, “Socialist systems do not put their resources into treating serious illness — for example, our cancer survival rates are significantly higher.” Condit explained that the World Health Organization ratings are biased against the United States because of our lack of universal care. “If you look at the disease-specific statistics, the U.S. is at or near the top, which is why wealthy people come here from all over the world when they face serious illness.” (Their concerns are corroborated by today’s news that, under the UK’s National Health Service, terminally ill patients are being allowed to die prematurely.)
 
Jim Cabretta, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served for three years as the Bush administration’s top budget official for health care. Cabretta claims that the present health legislation is not economically sustainable. “The plan as it stands,” Cabretta concludes, “is not really a trillion-dollar bill; it really adds up to 1.5 trillion.”
 
He explained the reason why the health-care bills are under-budgeted. “The legislation requires anyone who has job-based insurance ‘has to stay there and not take the government subsidized program.’ In addition, anyone who has not bought into their workplace insurance will be required to purchase it, ‘even if they cannot afford it.”‘
 
Anyone not presently covered will be able to get into the subsidized program, creating what Cabretta calls “horizontal inequity.” In other words, everyone covered by employers will be paying significantly more for health care than those on the government plan.
 
“What will happen next is inevitable,” says Cabretta. “People will complain about the inequality, and Congress will eventually allow everyone to purchase the lower-cost, government-subsidized programs. The overall cost of the nationalized plan will rise by 50 percent.”
 
The United States is just too big for a centralized health-care system, according to Cabretta. Other industrialized countries are not as big: “We are 300 million; that’s too many people to manage by central planning, a fact which underlies the public angst.” He prefers a subsidiarity approach, a market system mixing health savings accounts with a primary wellness system, costing about $60 to $70 per month, all with government oversight.
 
Cabretta also agreed with White and Condit that the quality of care would suffer. “In countries with nationalized systems, they tend to invest in things that 90 percent of the people use, but if you have cancer or need brain surgery they are underinvested in hospitals and complex treatment programs.”
 
The Obama White House is saying that the public option does not have to be part of health-care reform; powerful leaders in Congress disagree, along with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. While the prospect of government-run health care is still a live option, these Catholic experts are hopeful that Congress will consider their suggestions in keeping medical care private — in the hands of doctors, patients, and private insurance companies.
 
Deal W. Hudson

By

Deal W. Hudson is president of Catholic Advocate, an organization which engages and encourages faithful Catholics to actively participate in the political process to support elected officials and policies that remain consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Formerly publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine for ten years, his articles and comments have been published widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and U.S. News and World Report. He has also appeared on TV and radio news shows such as the O'Reilly Factor, Hannity & Colmes, NBC News, and All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Hudson worked with Karl Rove in coordinating then-Gov. George W. Bush's outreach to Catholic voters in 2000 and 2004. In October 2003, President Bush appointed him a member of the official delegation from the United States to attend the 25th anniversary celebration of John Paul II's papacy. Hudson, a former professor of philosophy for 15 years, is the editor and author of eight books. He tells the story of his conversion from Southern Baptist to Catholic in An American Conversion (Crossroad, 2003), and his latest, Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States, was published in March 2008. He is married to Theresa Carver Hudson, also a Baptist convert, and they have two children, Hannah, 21, and Cyprian, 13, who was adopted from Romania in 2001.

  • Deacon Ed

    I am afraid that we are not dealing with an honest broker. No public option today but behind the scenes maneuvering to bankrupt the private insurers. Count on it. The Feds always have their regulatory card to play. I am sorry but I have lost any trust in this Adminsitration dealing openly and honestly with the people. My only concern is whether the electorate has woken up sufficiently not to be proagandized any further.

  • Austin

    Why can’t the Federal Government just come up with an insurance program to take care of the uninsured within the framework of the existing network of hospitals, clinics, doctors, etc? It could be administerd by the States, who often seem to be more efficient [except pehaps California]. The big question is how to pay for it? To some degree, we, who are insured, are already paying for the uninsured via paying higher fees, higher premiums, etc, not to mention our taxes, to pay for the uninsured. Perhaps we need to somehow formalize this process, which is now, rather informal?

    I think we need to do something to take care of the uninsured, although, we are actually doing so to a degree anyway. Perhaps, it needs to be more organized and formal? I don’t want the Federal Government telling me what doctor that I can see, but on the other hand, I don’t want the uninsured thrown to the wolves. I am waiting on an alternative from the GOP. I wish they would come up with something that makes sense.

  • Stephen B. Wise

    Last week I attended a conference in New York for drug companies and primary care physicians. It was a real eye opener. The pharmaceutical landscape in this country has become a “killing field” with the FDA and doctors as much to blame as greedy drug company execs.

    The victims are all of us — being enticed, pressured or forced to take meds. which in many cases have not been properly tested and usually do more harm than good — given the catastrophic (even lethal) side effects.

    If the American Bishops want to fight the good fight, one major area of injustice is the huge number of children and veterans who are being given (forced to take) psychiatric drugs, that wind up in most cases destroying the people they are supposed to help. Catholic psychiatrists should also be speaking out about this.

  • Hess Family

    [O]ne major area of injustice is the huge number of children and veterans who are being given (forced to take) psychiatric drugs, that wind up in most cases destroying the people they are supposed to help. Catholic psychiatrists should also be speaking out about this.

    I don’t understand this paragraph. Who is being forced to take psychiatric drugs? Are the drugs not properly tested before being released? [smiley=shock]

  • Ann

    Please.

    Let’s not go all Tom Cruise on psychiatric drugs.

    Yes, there is misuse as with any medication, but they help a lot of people too.

  • Kamilla

    From the linked Telegraph article:

    “It was recommended as a model by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the Government

  • Ted Seeber

    “They argue that rejecting the public option will better serve a culture of life, maintain the present high quality of health care, serve economic sustainability, and respect the Catholic teaching on subsidiarity.”

    The present “high quality of health care” is non-existant in my case- trapped between being poor and being rich, with pre-existing conditions pushing up the cost of health care for my family 10x what anybody else pays, we’re not human by the standards of these pro-lifers. Thanks lots for killing the public option- it killed my chance at having a health care plan that would accept me at anything less than 25% of my income.

  • Ted Seeber

    Why can’t the Federal Government just come up with an insurance program to take care of the uninsured within the framework of the existing network of hospitals, clinics, doctors, etc? It could be administerd by the States, who often seem to be more efficient [except pehaps California]. The big question is how to pay for it?

    Tried with pilot programs in Massachusettes and Oregon, failed.

  • Ted Seeber

    The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is on record arguing that, while health-care reform is needed, it should be “achieved by legislation that empowers people to own their health insurance policies (as contrasted with government, or employer controlled healthcare insurance) and using targeted measures to help people who cannot afford the entire cost of their insurance premium.”

    Tried between 1800 and 1882- and the failure was the reason the Knights of Columbus was formed, to keep Catholic families together in event of bankruptcy or loss of the breadwinner due to illness or accident.

    In other words, the CMA is ignorant of history and giving a solution that has FAILED MISERABLY, causing the breakup of families. I can only conclude that the CMA also supports the right of the State to take poor children away from parents who can’t care for them to put into workhouses and also supports divorce, since these are the results of that policy.

  • Kamilla

    Ted,

    There are all kinds of other options. Some (all?) states have programs specifically designed for folks like you – not insured through their employer and not poor enough for Medicaid – that will cover you, pre-existing conditions and all. Some doctors will negotiate charges with you if you are uninsured. Many drug companies have programs allowing you to get any drugs you need free or at low cost. There are also private healthcare coops out there that will help cover all of your expenses, though they frequently have life-style clauses which preclude any consumption of alcohol or tobacco products. Lastly, I know many churches have something like an ombudsman/advocate or even a parish nurse who will help you navigate the system and negotiate a reduction in things like hospital bills.

    These sorts of things are done all the time. And they are subsidized by folks like me who are blessed to have good insurance through their employers. Believe me, I know, as my recent $50,000+ hospital bill attests! The public option is no option, merely a leveling instrument which will eventually mutate into a single payor system. At which time we’ll be in the same shape as Canada, Britain and everyone else with government healthcare. And then who will the world look to for innovation, new treaments, life saving procedures?

    On the other end of things, there are all kinds of options for lowering expenses. Dumpster diving is still considered a fine art in some circles. Food banks, charity shops, gardening coops — you name it. I know of a number of young couples who are raising families well on one meager income (less than I had difficulty in making ends meet with as a single new college grad) because of their inventive frugality in these measures.

    And there are also folks like me working in the system. The Catholic Hospital I work for is one of the best cardiac hospitals in the country — and we also serve the poor of the community. Insured and uninsured alike.

    Kamilla

  • Hess Family
    I can only conclude that the CMA also supports the right of the State to take poor children away from parents who can’t care for them to put into workhouses.

    If you close your eyes, you can actually see those devious old CMA bastards sitting around a table, templing their fingers, and muttering to themselves, “Today, workhouses. Tomorrow, world domination. Mwa ha ha ha ha.”

  • Ted Seeber

    “There are all kinds of other options. Some (all?) states have programs specifically designed for folks like you – not insured through their employer and not poor enough for Medicaid – that will cover you, pre-existing conditions and all.”

    Applied and rejected.

    “Some doctors will negotiate charges with you if you are uninsured.”

    Been doing this as my only option, but that only covers my specific doctor, not hospitals.

    “Many drug companies have programs allowing you to get any drugs you need free or at low cost.”

    Only means tested- and I’m too rich for that.

    “There are also private healthcare coops out there that will help cover all of your expenses, though they frequently have life-style clauses which preclude any consumption of alcohol or tobacco products. Lastly, I know many churches have something like an ombudsman/advocate or even a parish nurse who will help you navigate the system and negotiate a reduction in things like hospital bills.”

    My parish doesn’t- so I’ve been lobbying the Knights of Columbus to reinstate this in Oregon.

    “These sorts of things are done all the time. And they are subsidized by folks like me who are blessed to have good insurance through their employers. Believe me, I know, as my recent $50,000+ hospital bill attests! The public option is no option, merely a leveling instrument which will eventually mutate into a single payor system. At which time we’ll be in the same shape as Canada, Britain and everyone else with government healthcare. And then who will the world look to for innovation, new treaments, life saving procedures?”

    In Canada and Britain, private health insurance off of NHS is still available for anybody rich enough to pay. I would suspect that due to their worship of mammon and fear of death, there will always be those rich enough to pay for research.

    “And there are also folks like me working in the system. The Catholic Hospital I work for is one of the best cardiac hospitals in the country — and we also serve the poor of the community. Insured and uninsured alike.”

    I think you misunderstand. I’m in between. I’m upper middle class, but rich by no stretch of the imagination. My wife’s business lost $10,000 last year. Our house payments are already 50% of my income. And due to pre-existing conditions, private health insurance would be another 25% to 50%.

    It isn’t always the poor that get dropped….it’s also those of us who can be profitably dropped.

  • Ted Seeber
    I can only conclude that the CMA also supports the right of the State to take poor children away from parents who can’t care for them to put into workhouses.

    If you close your eyes, you can actually see those devious old CMA bastards sitting around a table, templing their fingers, and muttering to themselves, “Today, workhouses. Tomorrow, world domination. Mwa ha ha ha ha.”

    My point was more that they either don’t know the history (because this is *exactly* what happened with HSAs between 1800 and 1882), or they’re willfully disregarding it.

    Neither seems very “Catholic” to me.

    Nor does discrimination.

  • Hess Family

    My point was more that they either don’t know the history (because this is *exactly* what happened with HSAs between 1800 and 1882), or they’re willfully disregarding it.

    And my point is that you’re detracting from your own arguments for socialized medicine (with which I vehemently disagree, BTW) by jumping from “CMA thinks this plan should be re-evaluated” to “CMA doesn’t know an obscure piece of history and thereby will end up championing workhouses for poor children.”

    This is the same feeling I get when I hear a Protestant declare that Obama is the anti-Christ. Is he knowingly complicit in evil, almost certainly. Is he the anti-Christ. . . . I doubt it. The logical leap is too big.

    Sir, I don’t doubt your sincerity. No one who has read your many posts could be left wondering about your passion for this issue. But . . . . really, workhouses? Championing divorce? All this because they don’t subscribe to socialist medicine?

  • Hess Family
  • Hess Family
  • Hess Family
  • Ted Seeber

    My point was more that they either don’t know the history (because this is *exactly* what happened with HSAs between 1800 and 1882), or they’re willfully disregarding it.

    And my point is that you’re detracting from your own arguments for socialized medicine (with which I vehemently disagree, BTW) by jumping from “CMA thinks this plan should be re-evaluated” to “CMA doesn’t know an obscure piece of history and thereby will end up championing workhouses for poor children.”

    This is the same feeling I get when I hear a Protestant declare that Obama is the anti-Christ. Is he knowingly complicit in evil, almost certainly. Is he the anti-Christ. . . . I doubt it. The logical leap is too big.

    Sir, I don’t doubt your sincerity. No one who has read your many posts could be left wondering about your passion for this issue. But . . . . really, workhouses? Championing divorce? All this because they don’t subscribe to socialist medicine?

    I agree partially, the logical leap is quite large. But when we examine what the proposed replacement for Obama’s plan is (HSAs, people paying for their own health care instead of as a right due to all human beings), we realize that is *EXACTLY* the form health care took in the United States before there were private insurance companies at all. And the results were not pretty; from the history of the Knights of Columbus:

    “When the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, he did so as a pastor, concerned about the welfare of the most marginalized.

    Widows and orphans in 19th century America didn

  • Kamilla

    Ted,

    Now that I know you live in Oregon, you have my sympathy. I knew a medical ethicist who runs a small ethics center out of the Baptist seminary in Portland who won’t live in the state because of some of your laws. Other states do have programs which, by statute, cannot reject you if you do not qualify for private insurance or other government programs.

    As for the rich subsidizing medical innovation, it hasn’t worked terribly well for the NHS patients in Britain. Their breast cancer survival rate is significantly lower than ours, to name just one case in point. The NHS has also been overwhelmed to the point of shipping patients out of country for treatment, as I pointed out. When our country travels that path, where will they ship us when we need surgery but have been waiting longer than the law allows?

    If Cindy Sheehan and the “progressives” get their way about a single payor system, then we can say good-bye to private hospital rooms and “hello” to 6- and 8-bed wards where you’re lucky to have a curtain for visual privacy. Good bye to all those nice government regulations like HIPAA because every other patient on your ward will know your business. Those nice systems that seem to work in other countries just won’t work here – we’re just too big and diverse, as Deal’s article points out.

    The problem with a more socialized system, as Margaret Thatcher so aptly pointed out, is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. And if you think healthcare delivery is rationed now . . .

    Kamilla

  • Morning’s Minion

    Let’s start with the basics. The US spends about twice as much per capita on healthcare than other advanced nations, and has precious little to show for it. If you look at the indicators of health outcomes, it ranks very poorly — life expectancy, infant mortality etc. Now, for all the money it spends, there are certainly some things it does well. But to point only to these elements (treatment of some cancers, but by no means all) entails a highly selective reading of the evidence.

    Here is a link to the most comprehensive study I know of: http://www.rwjf.org/qualityequ…?id=47508. the result: a “mixed bag” and “it does not provide support for the oft-repeated claim that the

  • Hess Family

    I see TWO ways out of this, and perhaps the other will be more reasonable to those against government intervention:

    . . . .

    I have a feeling #1 would be faster…..but the idea that we should just *remove all the safety nets and let people fall* that Health Savings Accounts represents is reprehensible given the history.

    So because you can see only TWO ways out of this, there must be only TWO ways — HSAs or socialism? [smiley=think]

    Socialism is morally reprehensible even when championed by well-meaning persons who want to impose it for putatively “good” reasons. If history has taught us nothing else, we should at least have learned that lesson.

    I am sorry to hear about your circumstances; please know that I have included you in my prayers.

  • Morning’s Minion

    As much as I think single-payer is the best system, in terms of cost and solidarity, the current reforms are a million miles away from this notion (although we forget that medicare is a government-run single payers system that happens to be incredibly popular).

    Here is what it looks like, in a very simply flow chart:http://vox-nova.com/2009/08/19/9222/

    Bottom line: very modest changes. We should also remember that the whole point of a public option is to keep down costs. Why should we throw money to the shareholders of insurance companies?

  • Ted Seeber

    Ted,

    Now that I know you live in Oregon, you have my sympathy. I knew a medical ethicist who runs a small ethics center out of the Baptist seminary in Portland who won’t live in the state because of some of your laws. Other states do have programs which, by statute, cannot reject you if you do not qualify for private insurance or other government programs.

    We supposedly do, it’s called the Oregon Medical Insurance Pool. What they don’t tell you is that they’re running out of money to the point that they are now *means testing*- and I make too much money.

    As for the rich subsidizing medical innovation, it hasn’t worked terribly well for the NHS patients in Britain. Their breast cancer survival rate is significantly lower than ours, to name just one case in point.

    Yeah, but our bankruptcy rate is greater! I’d point out that is NHS patients- who by definition, aren’t rich enough to get the best care anyway. There, they simply don’t get the best care- here we cure them then throw the whole family out of their house onto the street. I don’t find EITHER to be particularily Christian, do you?

    The NHS has also been overwhelmed to the point of shipping patients out of country for treatment, as I pointed out. When our country travels that path, where will they ship us when we need surgery but have been waiting longer than the law allows?

    Probably where the private insurance companies are already shipping the poorer patients: India, where you can get a two week vacation and a heart valve replacement for less than $2000.

    If Cindy Sheehan and the “progressives” get their way about a single payer system, then we can say good-bye to private hospital rooms and “hello” to 6- and 8-bed wards where you’re lucky to have a curtain for visual privacy.

    I think I’d rather share a ward than lose my house for some privacy, wouldn’t you?

    Good bye to all those nice government regulations like HIPAA because every other patient on your ward will know your business. Those nice systems that seem to work in other countries just won’t work here – we’re just too big and diverse, as Deal’s article points out.

    The rich will still have all of that. And the poor, might just get to keep their house after getting care.

    The problem with a more socialized system, as Margaret Thatcher so aptly pointed out, is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money. And if you think healthcare delivery is rationed now . . .

    And it is, 18,000 people a year in America die of lack of insurance. 46 million people are in my boat *despite* the programs elsewhere.

  • Ted Seeber
    I see TWO ways out of this, and perhaps the other will be more reasonable to those against government intervention:

    . . . .

    I have a feeling #1 would be faster…..but the idea that we should just *remove all the safety nets and let people fall* that Health Savings Accounts represents is reprehensible given the history.

    So because you can see only TWO ways out of this, there must be only TWO ways — HSAs or socialism? [smiley=think]

    Provide another way. But in what way are private mutual aid societies socialism?

    Socialism is morally reprehensible even when championed by well-meaning persons who want to impose it for putatively “good” reasons. If history has taught us nothing else, we should at least have learned that lesson.

    Well, if we’re going on history, then September 2008 proved that capitalism is run by a small bunch of con-artists making money out of thin air, and doing an equal amount of damage to the citizens of the United States as Stalin with his 5 year plans did to the Ukranian Farmer- with similar results this winter, I fear.

    I am sorry to hear about your circumstances; please know that I have included you in my prayers.

    Hopefully, with your prayers, we won’t get blocked out of our latest attempt that started just today- my wife has joined a union of daycare workers getting DHS payments for taking care of poor children, and supposedly by October we’ll have an opportunity to buy into group health insurance through them. Prayers gratefully accepted, and fingers crossed – toes too.

    Especially since, I may be hard on Republicans, but the way the Democrats have acted is even worse. I don’t think the Democrats really want health care reform – any more than the Republicans want to stop abortion. Without those two issues, there’d be no reason to vote for either party.

  • Ted Seeber
  • Kamilla

    Ted,

    I’ve got two articles to write, one should be finished today, so this is just a quick response. First, you are citing the 46 million falsely. It is a fluid number, with people moving in and out of that category on a regular basis. The majority of those folks fall into one of three catergories: First, the genuinely poor who, for whatever reason, are not participating in government assistance programs. Second, those who are uninsured for a short period of time between jobs and elect not to carry COBRA coverage. Third, the young and healthy who choose not to spend money on something they are unlikely to need.

    And if Oregon can’t financially handle such a program, I am not sure why you think an entity such as the national government (most often known for their unweildy and inefficient resposes) would do a better job![smiley=think]

    Kamilla

    P.S. I’ll check back tomorrow to read responses. It would help me with one of the articles I’m writing if you could post sources for the statistic about 18,000 people dying each year due to lack of insurance and people being shipped off to India bu their insurance companies for cheap surgery.

  • Ted Seeber

    Ted,

    I’ve got two articles to write, one should be finished today, so this is just a quick response. First, you are citing the 46 million falsely. It is a fluid number, with people moving in and out of that category on a regular basis. The majority of those folks fall into one of three catergories: First, the genuinely poor who, for whatever reason, are not participating in government assistance programs. Second, those who are uninsured for a short period of time between jobs and elect not to carry COBRA coverage. Third, the young and healthy who choose not to spend money on something they are unlikely to need.

    Fourth the group who the private insurance companies refuse to cover, for whatever reason.

    And if Oregon can’t financially handle such a program, I am not sure why you think an entity such as the national government (most often known for their unweildy and inefficient resposes) would do a better job![smiley=think]

    I don’t. But I don’t want to see the ban on discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions go down merely because some people are scared of socialism either.

    Kamilla

    P.S. I’ll check back tomorrow to read responses. It would help me with one of the articles I’m writing if you could post sources for the statistic about 18,000 people dying each year due to lack of insurance and people being shipped off to India bu their insurance companies for cheap surgery.

    Dying for Coverage report (the 18,000 number is from 2002, actually):
    http://tinyurl.com/le74nm

    For the people being shipped of to India- well, the Government of India actually encourages and advertises for this practice (it’s also happening in single payer systems from the UK and Europe- the costs are just so much better there):
    http://www.medical-tourism-india.com/

  • Ted Seeber
    I am sorry to hear about your circumstances; please know that I have included you in my prayers.

    Hopefully, with your prayers, we won’t get blocked out of our latest attempt that started just today- my wife has joined a union of daycare workers getting DHS payments for taking care of poor children, and supposedly by October we’ll have an opportunity to buy into group health insurance through them. Prayers gratefully accepted, and fingers crossed – toes too.

    My wife informed me last night- she got into the union. Group coverage for the union starts October 1! I beat Obama to finding my family health care!

    I still find the whole idea of pre-existing condition racial discrimination to be incredibly disordered and downright fraudulent on the part of the insurance industry- but at least as of last night, I can’t consider myself a victim of it anymore. $335.05 is the combination of our family premium and the union dues for daycare workers in Oregon- now all we need to do is keep at least one state-paid daycare kid in our daycare, and make sure that kid is there at least 5 hours a month, to stay in the union.

  • Carolyn

    Americans do not need or want government control of health care.
    Nor can the government pay for this now – without taxing Americans more and more.

    NO! NO!! NO!

  • Kamilla

    Ted,

    I’m very happy to hear you will soon have coverage! That is indeed the answer to prayers.

    Thank you for the links. First, regarding shipping patients off to India — I find nothing on that site which indicates the impetus is coming from American insurance companies in order to save costs. It is a tourism advertising campaign generated from the Indian side of the equation. They have been doing this for some time and India is doing a booming trade in “womb rental” and egg donation (Jennifer Lahl has done some excellent work exposing the dangers of egg donation, in particular). That they would be touting for trade in less morally troubling medical treatments and procedures is no surprise – but it doesn’t show that the demand is coming from insurance companies on this side of things.

    About the numbers of Americans dying *because* they have no insurance, let’s just say I put as much stock in that figure as I do the CDC’s figures for how many Americans die each year due to obesity. Their methodology is problematic at best and even the material introducing the study admits these are only “estimates”. But let’s say their figures are fairly accurate — I’d like nothing better than compare those figures to the ones for people with nationalized health insurance who die waiting for life-saving treatments, surgical and diagnostic procedures.

    I completely agree with you that something needs to be done about making coverage for pre-existing conditions more affordable. We would also bejefit from making insurance more portable. But the one action Congress can take, one single action, which would be of more benefit than any other single action, is tort reform.

    All that aside, considering bankruptcy, lack of preventive care, etc. I would be very happy to see these proposals in Congress die on the vine if it means abortion coverage will die with it. If you lose your house, maybe you live in a one-bedroom apartment or with relatives for a while. But once you lose your life . . .

    Thanks for the conversation!

    Kamilla

  • medical tourism

    The government has great role in health care government should promote health care activities.

  • IVF Clinic India

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

MENU