Thursday, December 14, 2006

But will it be as customer friendly as the DMV?

Oregon senator prepares universal health coverage plan
A dozen years after Congress rejected a Clinton administration plan for universal health care, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is readying a proposal to provide health care coverage to all Americans through a pool of private insurance plans.

"Employer-based coverage is melting away like a Popsicle on the sidewalk in August," said Wyden, a Democrat and member of the Senate Finance Committee's subcommittee on health care.

The group, created in 2003 by legislation sponsored by Wyden and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, recommended that the government take steps to guarantee all Americans have basic health insurance coverage by 2012.

Now I'm not sure I can beat Wyden's "popsicle" comparison but I'd like to point out that we recently had an Oregonian whose drivers license was going to be suspended because someone with the same name got a ticket in New York.

He asked the DMV to correct this and they basically told him to go jump in a lake. When I think government I don't think customer service. God help us when when they are in charge of our health.


Ric said...

I'd like to see higher wages and no health benefits from employers. Then I would buy the coverage I want and need the same way I buy auto and renters insurance.

There is no way the Government should be involved.

Wyden is a socialist, don't forget that.

DanTheMan said...

Government mandated healthcare is a joke. Look at Canada: 6 month wait for an X-ray, zero service. Maybe you have made the unfortunate trip to the emergency room lately. If your arm isn't hanging by a vein, good luck getting care within an hour or so. If you want to go down the path of Government sponsored care, like Daniel said expect to wait in line, no service and all the signs and forms will be in spanish.

Tim Lyman said...

I have lived under socialized medicine in Canada and have had a family member die because of it. My remaining family members in Canada travel to the United States for health care. They are both blue collar workers without a lot of money to spare, so that should tell you about the situation up there.

In the United States we can go to the GP's office, get referred to a specialist and get a rash of tests inside of a week. This process takes, at a minimum, several months in Canada.

Socialized medicine is great if you're young and healthy and your only medical needs are likely to be a trip to the emergency room for some stitches or a broken limb, but if you're old, chronically ill, or get something nasty like cancer you're going to die waiting for treatment.

Anonymous said...

Chris Pieschel said...

That last post was pretty special...

terry said...

Um, did anyone actually pay attention? PRIVATE insurance plans provide decent customer service, not the crap you get at DMV or from the British NHS. If you're unhappy with Plan A you can switch to Plan B (or C, D, etc). Why would anyone have to wait in line when you can just switch insurers?

Kari Chisholm said...

Ric wrote, I'd like to see higher wages and no health benefits from employers. Then I would buy the coverage I want and need the same way I buy auto and renters insurance.

Um, Ric, I'd suggest you come on down to Stand Tall for America and take a look. Believe it or not: that's exactly what the Senator has proposed.

Sure, he's got some rules -- every plan has to be at least as good as what he gets as a member of congress. And everyone has to pick a plan -- that way taxpayers no longer pick up the tab for uninsured people who get hurt or sick.

This is a plan for universal, affordable, portable PRIVATE health insurance.

[Full disclosure - I'm helping Senator Wyden with the campaign-funded netroots organizing site, Stand Tall for America. I speak only for myself, and my errors are my own.]

Bobkat said...

Just a couple of things immediately jump out at me. First to quote Mr. Chisholm, "Sure, he's got some rules..." Well Mr. Wyden has proved by his voting record on illegal immigration that he is only for the rules he agrees with, not the ones already on the books. Two, this plan is endorsed by Andy Stern and the SEIU the union that has led the charge in supporting illegal aliens and is attempting to get them citizenship as soon as possible. One of the main causes of the ever increasing health care burden is illegal immigration which has manifested in the closing of many hospitals and ERs already. Any attempt to provide universal health care has to address this issue in order to be successful.

dchamil said...

daniel, I don't mean to be a whining bitch, but it would be good to control the length and number of comments.

Ric said...

Kari -

I know the Senator is a compassionate person and wants for everyone to be cared for.

But why is it be necessary for the Government to mandate private insurance?

Is the plan to make it illegal for companies to have their own plans and require them to offer one of several "approved of"[1] plans?

Would they be in a position to do what they want and then also be required offer a group of "approved of" plans?

Lets say for grins and giggles the regular readers of Daniel get together to form a company and we hire staff. [Say we offer a service of trolling liberal blogs.] We want to offer medical benefits to our employees. But being the arch conservatives[3], we won't offer abortion coverage, nor sex reassignment, nor coverage for unmarried partners (not even civil unions)
Would the government allow us to do this? Or, would we be forced to offer "progressive" [2] benefits?

If you really want to see change is what is offered by the private sector, then simply eliminate benefits from being a deductible expense by the employers.

Once companies can no longer expense their portion of the benefit premiums, nor the administration costs, they will stop offering benefits.
That will get all workers out there to look for private coverage.

The government won't have to create some new agency to "approve of" coverage plans and congress won't have to hire additional staff to handle complaints about coverage.

How is the supplemental coverage for Medicare - going? Last I read a huge percentage of people had not signed up yet.

Dental, eye, hearing coverage? Disability - short and long term? Suicide assistance? Prevention? Mental health?

Would the government mandate that those who do not do what is deemed correct be dropped from coverage, or like in the UK, be given a nanny to nag the person - smokers, the obese, drug abusers? Would those who choose to eat trans-fats be denied heart replacement operations?

The only way I can see this might work is if the government, especially the federal government, is completely out of the program.

Case example:
Katrina: the government thought it would be a good idea to give people cash to get what they needed. Some people chose to by prostitutes, porn, and other luxury items. Now certain members of the government are unhappy with the peoples choices. No kidding. Choice is something people have to have and use to learn how.
How well did the Federal government rate their own efforts in the releif. How about the States efforts? Big Charities ( like the Red Cross which is investigating itself for mis-appropriation of funds by some employees)

I think the current system (medicare / medicaid ) is rife with abuses. I am certain those would be multiplied if the government was involved further.

If the Senator really wants to do something good for Portland, for Oregon. Help get some new jobs here. A certain company wants to bring 300+ jobs to town. Yet his party keeps blocking their efforts. Show some leadership and tell the local Democrats to get over it, and get the jobs. That would be 600 more votes for the Senator on his next re-election bid, right there.

And this doesn't' begin to address what Bobkat brought up - his points are valid.

[1]"approved of" reviewed and deemed acceptable by the government.
[2] Not the company. "progressive" in context meaning what the uber-libs would require like: postnatal abortion on demand for pre-teens without parental notification.
[3] just grins and giggles - I am not speaking for anyone

Ric said...

And another thing
"The decision by the Oregon Court of Appeals came on a lawsuit filed by school advocates who say the lottery has provided overly generous profits to video retailers, at the expense of schools and other programs that receive lottery dollars."

Don't tell me that if the Government became involved in further health care insurance, that it would not ever think to set a 'reasonable' profit rate for the involved firms.

"...Wednesday's court ruling is a step toward eventually ending what he calls excessive profits going to the video outlets."

source Gazette-Times

terry said...

kari - yes i checked it out and i sure as heck noticed the unfunded mandate on (especially) the working poor. you gotta be nuts if you think we can afford this...and certifiable if you think street people can afford it. unless street bums get it free while the working poor are squeezed, which is a different problem entirely.

Kaelri said...

Minor point:

"Mr. Wyden has proved by his voting record on illegal immigration that he is only for the rules he agrees with, not the ones already on the books."

He's in the Senate. The law is his job. If he doesn't agree with a law, then he not only can vote to change it - he should.

Bobkatt said...

Kaelri-point taken. How he votes is up to him, however, he done nothing to guard this country against the illegal invasion and with his voting record has helped block almost all attempts to secure our borders. In my opinion, by obstructing legislation to enforce the laws we have is as bad as breaking them.

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