Monday, June 22, 2009

Health Insurance & Socialism

The opinion article in the NDN on Wed. certainly caught my eyes with Rep. Loughlin screaming, "Socialized Medicine- Don't go There." Socialized medicine. I haven't heard that bugaboo since I was a h.s. debater with the topic of whether or not we should adopt Medicare. It was in the early 1900's that the AMA decided to torpedo attempts to supply Amercian's health care coverage with the then ominous threat of "socialism." OOOh, very scary. It also sounds like Communism- aren't they the same? Nope. What socialist countries can you even name off the top of your head?

Do you know who the AMA got to promote this campaign of deep-sixing Medicare in the Sixties? Ah, that vernable Republican icon- Ronald Reagan. What else has the AMA opposed under this banner- HMO's, Medicare, Medicaid, chiropractors, and it's not all that crazy about psychiatrists either. With less than 15% of practicing physicians now belonging to this group, who cares?

Rep. Loughlin also touts the "Patients' Choice Act." Sounds good, right? Choice is good. Unfortunately, this act is now also commonly referred to as the Swiss Cheese Policy and not because it tastes good or melts well. Sure, you'll be able to get healthcare coverage. Ah, but pricing, pricing, there's the rub. Women will pay more along with seniors like me. Just when you need it, how can you afford it?

The good Rep. also supports "Medicare Accountability" organizations. Yup, let's concentrate all our efforts fixing a program that works. Tax credits (this only works if you actually are paying substantial taxes to begin with), taking away your rights to sue physicians, hospitals, etc. all are part of his solution to our healthcare dilema. Less government is better (boy, that certainly worked out in New Orleans, didn't it), Wash. bureaucrats made this mess (hey, didn't Republicans runn the show for 14 yrs.) & berating Rep. Kennedy along with the DMV (it's recently taken me less time there than at my doctor's)= Conservative Republican magical mystery tour. He forgot to mention that he also favors mom & apple pie, rah, rah.

I don't want "universal acess" to health care, I want affordable coverage for everyone! I also want a single-payer system. Choice- yup. I choose a public plan and, if I want, I add to it with private coverage. Do I trust insurance companies to now suddenly come up with a plan to economize? Oh, surely. They just never thought that we were interested in that before.

Don't go there, indeed. We should have travelled there years ago and it's people like State Rep. Loughlin that blocked us. He wants us to have the same quality healthcare that Rep. Kennedy enjoys. 75% of the his costs are paid for by- US as part of the federal plan (FEHBP). Yup, I could live with that.

How stupid are we? Let's see- 119 million Americans are ready to sign-up today for a public plan. And sixty-three percent favor an increase in the governmental regs over their health care plans while attempting to lower costs and cover more Americans. Six out of ten Americans believe that health care should be a right. Not so dumb after all.

Patients' Choice Act? We don't need no stinking patients choice act! We need universal health care insurance. Now.

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