Thursday, August 28, 2008

Health insurance

I don't talk about politics here a lot, because, well, it's simpler that way; I leave it to others. But this one, I couldn't resist.

In reference to a report that Texas leads the nation in percentage of residents without health insurance:

But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

I am appalled at the level of ignorance and privilege this man displays. Clearly he's never depended in an emergency room for care when he hasn't got that magic insurance card -- because then he'd know that, law aside, as often as not they will turn you away if you're not insured. And how are you to get the money to hire a lawyer to call them to account?

Clearly he's never lacked for routine checkups and preventative care, none of which are available from his much-vaunted emergency room, none of which are affordable without health insurance; all of which are far more effective at maintaining your health than waiting until the last moment when you have to go to the emergency room.

Clearly he's never had to choose between paying for vital medication -- required to be able to breathe, to take an example from my own life -- and paying the rent, or buying food. An emergency room isn't going to help that dilemma at all.

I can only pray that McCain doesn't get elected -- lives hang in the balance, and that's no exaggeration.

Original article here. Might post a more reasoned response later, but right now I am so angry I'm about managing coherent.

What's do be done about it? I don't know. Vote, I suppose, in the hopes that this time they'll actually count. Move to Canada, possibly, which I've been considering anyway. I don't know.

But something's got to be done.


Plain Foolish said...


Getting urgent care is already hard enough without crap like this. And his scenario assumes that all insurance covers all urgent care visits. After spending way too much time making way too many calls (and I'm still not sure I got the correct answer) I went to the urgent care center I knew how to get to when disaster befell me recently. I still don't know whether that's going to run $30 or over $250 (depending on whether it really is on my plan or not)

I'm tired of business majors deciding my healthcare. This has got to stop.

Kate said...

Yeah, it really does. And I don't even know how to get this point across to people like him.