We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The VA hospital system is, except for the small Indian Health Service, our homegrown example of federal government-owned and -run medical care. How is the VA doing? Coyote. I don't understand why they don't shut down the VA system, and just insure vets for regular hospitals.
Of course the Brit NHS is in chronic crisis, with hospital lightbulbs being removed to save money. But look at what they will pay for: Moonbattery. When medical care gets politicized, it becomes as stupid as everything else govt does.
The uninsured. Tell me how single-payer insurance would have saved this kid. Singleton.
Reed is dogged in revealing the empty rhetoric driving most other newspapers, as they lament the “uninsured.” The poor already receive health care, through Medicaid and similar programs for working poor, and even illegals are guaranteed emergency care. Most of the uninsured are, actually, the young and foolish, and most others can afford at least catastrophic insurance if they didn’t prioritize lattes and other luxuries over self-responsibility. Here and here, Reed names the newspapers glibly citing that there are 47-million uninsured, when up to 12-million are actually illegal aliens.
The mantra that we must upend the health care arrangements and economics of the 85% of us with insurance, polls usually showing 80% satisfaction, in order to subsidize the inflated, undeserving and irresponsible bulk of the uninsured 15% is public policy insanity, driven by the Left’s obsession with enlarging government and bureaucrats’ power over us via a government-run, nationalized health care system
Agree on the VA--good suggestion. Our veterans deserve better care than they get in a segregated health care system. They deserve the best care in the nation.
The NHS is a disaster, as you note, paying for rubbish like foot massage but (to name one small other example) denying psychiatric patients with chronic conditions particular meds that are too expensive or that do not make it to their cookbook models of treatment. Someone I know there suicidal and in and out of hospital because they will not pay for the one med that historically kept them on an even keel.
I think the simplest way to help kids like that poor boy who died, is to provide basic healthcare, including dental checkups and cleaning through the pubic schools. This would rescue all the kids whose parents are too clueless to figure out that they are sick. It would address the publich health problems of bringing in all those illegals' kids who have been exposed to TB, etc. Nurse practitioners could handle the bulk of the medical stuff, and dental assistants could peer in mouths and clean teeth. The dentists in this country are appallingly greedy. Most of the physicians I know provide free or reduced care services to needy patients, but I do not know any dentists who do so. Maybe the dentists in my neck of the woods are just atypically greedy?
On the uninsured in this country, agree on the burden of the illegals, and doubly agree on the burden of the feckless young who prefer to go bare then whine to the state when a calamity strikes. I know a tragically afflicted young person who has so far cost their fellow residents $400,000 but who is still holding on to all the property, fancy cars, etc that they preferred to spend money on over health insurance before they got sick. People make choices, sometimes appalling ones, and want their neighbors to bear the burden when they are wrong....
BUT there are many hardworking legal residents who work for small businesses or themselves who cannot afford to buy themselves health insurance because of pre-existinig conditions. Many of these people exemplify the values of thrift, self-reliance, work ethic, etc. that Maggie's trumpets. They refuse to go on disability or mooch from the state for their care. They want to earn their own living, but they cannot afford the extortionate rates private health insurers charge them. What do you have to say to them?
The TImes had a story about one such person http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/05/us/05uninsured.html?em&ex=1173243600&en=4bb75a508df74396&ei=5087%0A
If I did not now work for an organisation with what you might deride as a near socialist health plan, and I worked for a small business, I could not afford to pay the premiums for my family's health insurance on the private market. With 4 members diagnosed with chronic conditions, none of the family would receive coverage for anything. My husband was gently eased out of a position where he was doing a stellar job because, as his employer told him "our insurance rates will double if we keep you on, because of your sick child".
Despite better health insurance than most, we spend 50% of my modest salary minimum on medical care, and as a result the family is able to work, go to school, and presumably contribute to the community. Our kids get no "enrichment activities" and we have never been able to afford to involve them in sports or send them on trips. We cannot afford to save for retirement because of the ongoing medical expenses. We haven't had a vacation or flown anywhere exotic in 20 years, we dress in stuff from the thrift shop, and can't afford the illegals providing cleaning, child care, or landscaping services. We don't buy lattes, or ever eat out. We don't want any handouts, and expect no pity, because we know that we are among the lucky ones in this country. A church supper is our idea of a hopping social life, and plenty for us! We know that life's not fair, and we won't just curl up and die because God gave us less than perfect constitutions. But we are outraged by the callousness of the rich and the healthy about the plight of the millions in this country who cannot afford decent health insurance.
Incidentally, the conditions afflicting us are genetic, and we have made all lifestyle modifications possible that might improve our condition. So it's not a case of 300 pounders whining about their diabetes or smokers about their lung cancer or drinkers about their livers....
It always struck me why an atypical beast like the VA health system was chosen as the poster child. I still believe it's law that only service related illnesses are treated by VA (although this is nearly infinitely elastic under some circumstances). The system grew up after WWII when the injured and ill from a 10-12 million man military were present. It acquired some expertise in treating and rehabilitating wound injuries. This was also a time when health insurance was not so widespread as today.
There is no reason today that VA services could not be provided as insurance (via the current military retiree plans) with a contracted out specialized care for military wounds at civilian hospitals. The political reality is that the pork VA hospitals provide is large and widespread.
I hate to say it but, IMHO, 'universal' healthcare is coming in some form, no matter which party wins the elections and that is because of the reason retriever stated about her husband losing his job. It is not the plight of the poor children that will push Congress to act. It is the plight of the nations employers, who have had healthcare insurance downloaded onto them in such a way as to interfere with jobs. The viability of jobs are now being somewhat determined by employees health insurance costs, not their job performance. I think there is every possibility that with big corporates asking for relief and politicos being able to claim they are working for the poor and needy sick children then Congress will not be able to resist some form of 'universal' health care.