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Governments Fill Some Needs Better Than Free Markets: Fire Protection, Public Safety, National Defense

Builder1 started this conversation

Here we go again - about the Health Care Reform... and why we need it:


"...the part of America's health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part.
Fifty-six to 60 percent of people in government-run Medicare rate it a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. In contrast, only 40 percent of those enrolled in private insurance rank their plans that high.
...68 percent of those in Medicare feel that their own interests are the priority, compared with only 48 percent of those enrolled in private insurance.
...Until the mid-19th century, firefighting was left mostly to a mishmash of volunteer crews and private fire insurance companies. In New York City, according to accounts in The New York Times in the 1850s and 1860s, firefighting often descended into chaos, with drunkenness and looting.
So almost every country moved to what today's health insurance lobbyists might label 'socialized firefighting.' In effect, we have a single-payer system of public fire departments.
We have the same for policing. If the security guard business were as powerful as the health insurance industry, then it would be denouncing 'government takeovers' and 'socialized police work.'
...The truth is that government, for all its flaws, manages to do some things right, so that today few people doubt the wisdom of public police or firefighters. And the government has a particularly good record in medical care.
Take the hospital system run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest integrated health system in the United States. It is fully government run, much more 'socialized medicine' than is Canadian health care with its private doctors and hospitals. And the system for veterans is by all accounts one of the best-performing and most cost-effective elements in the American medical establishment.
A study by the Rand Corporation concluded that compared with a national sample, Americans treated in veterans hospitals 'received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.' The difference was particularly large in preventive medicine: veterans were nearly 50 percent more likely to receive recommended care than Americans as a whole.
'If other health care providers followed the V.A.'s lead, it would be a major step toward improving the quality of care across the U.S. health care system,' Rand reported.
...But the biggest weakness of private industry is not inefficiency but unfairness. The business model of private insurance has become, in part, to collect premiums from healthy people and reject those likely to get sick - or, if they start out healthy and then get sick, to find a way to cancel their coverage.
A reader wrote in this week to tell me about a colleague of hers who had health insurance through her company. The woman received a cancer diagnosis a few weeks ago, and she now faces chemotherapy co-payments that she cannot afford. Worse, because she is now unable to work and has to focus on treatment, she has been shifted to short-term disability for 90 days - and after that, she will lose her employer health insurance.
She can keep her insurance if she makes Cobra payments on her own, but she can't afford this. In her case, her company will voluntarily help her - but I just don't understand why we may be about to reject health reform and stick with a dysfunctional system that takes away the health coverage of hard-working Americans when they become too sick with cancer to work.
...A public role in health care shouldn't be any scarier or more repugnant than a public fire department." 

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 in response to Starshine...   Sheshe030 here;___I have worked all my life carrying picets and manning phones as well as writing letters but always to na avail. Finally a chance to get a comprehensive health plan for all. I'm afraid I have to play te devils advocare here for a moemnt. I personally am so in favor of a public option and I will tell you why. If the government or stae entitys penalize those who do not have insurance (and they will) what happens to the millions of people that can't afford it? So many familys can barely feed themselves never mind health insurance. And it is those people that through no fault of their own that will drive health care costs up by usuing the emerbency rooms as their PCP. A public health option not only gives these people insurance but a kind of dignity as well. A public option is not going to break us, at least not a fraction as much as the hospitals and drub companies are already. The option will insure low to no income folkes and when people have insurance they do tend not to run to the doctor  as much than if they didn't have it all. So, yes I am being very verbal in this option and I believe in it, otherwise only thise working will be able to afford any kind of insurance at all. sheshe030
Talk to mamashe/sheshe

WE do need a health care system that works for everyone. While I cannot agree with the author's view on VA- I have heard too many horror stories - I can agree with their view on cancer patients.

Too many times cancer patients lose their jobs when they are diagnosed. What are they supposed to do then? They can't work, so they can't afford health care, and in turn cannot afford the health insurance they need to get well! If/when they do get well, it can be almost impossible to get another health care policy because of a pre-exisitng condition! It is a never ending cycle.

My employer has our annual enrollment period coming up for benefits. I have to say that it scares the hell out of me. Rising costs and fewer benefits, have left me wondering what will happen next. Currently our copay for mental health services is at 50% - all other companies have a $10 copay. If they don't cover these services next time, what then? While I know that currently I do very well compared to most - but I have been in the position in the not so distant past where I had no health insurance and had $500+ out of pocket expenses per month - every month. I do NOT want to be put in that position ever again - especially when the employer has the resources to prevent that from happening. 

I recently spoke to my mother who was upset over her rising health care costs. Being retired, she and my father are on a limited income and a huge chunk of that income goes to health care insurance. She was wondering if she should change insurers or even considered going back to work. I had to advise her to keep her current coverage - whatever the cost - because it is a good policy.  If she drops it now, she will never get it back. And she may end up paying more out of pocket with a new, less expensive policy. 

I think its time the health care industry does change. Rather than line the pockets of the insurance industry, start by assisting the actual people of the US.Stop making it easier for insurance companies to deny people coverage or to deny their claims based on a technicality. Patients should be able to get the care they need from a caring physician who is more involved in their patient's needs, rather than their reimbursement rate.  

Talk to Anonymous
Elaine of TSA

Here is just one more reason we need health care reform.

Dad’s Life or Yours? You Choose

Published: October 3, 2009

So what would you do if your mom or dad, or perhaps your sister or brother, needed a kidney donation and you were the one best positioned to donate?

Talk to Elaine of TSA

This is why I believe so strongly in AmeriPlan - not that the company is perfect, but it is something - an alternative for people who fall into the cracks.  I actually hope we come up with something so great that it will put AmeriPlan out of business....but until that happens, I am here to try to help people get the care they need at prices they can afford.


Talk to Rosie327

Yes here we go again and thank you Emil for the post-

I put him on facebook and asked how do we go about changing it?

Write everyone?

Thank you Emil 

Enough people keep seeing this maybe wake enough up to do something about it!!!

Take Care


Talk to Starshine