Sunday

An Object Lesson in Universal Health Care

[T]hose who favor national health care schemes should take a good, hard look at our veterans' hospitals. There is your national health care. These institutions are a national disgrace. If this is the care the government dispenses to those it honors as its most heroic and admirable citizens, why should anyone else expect to be treated any better?
Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto (p.90)

That point is so good, I need to quote it again.


[T]hose who favor national health care schemes should take a good, hard look at our veterans' hospitals. There is your national health care. These institutions are a national disgrace. If this is the care the government dispenses to those it honors as its most heroic and admirable citizens, why should anyone else expect to be treated any better?
Ron Paul, The Revolution: A Manifesto (p.90)

4 comments:

hymes said...

Medicare on the other hand, which is national healthcare, rocks.

TBG said...

Hi friend, nice to meet you. I'll have to take your word on the quality of Medicare, but nevertheless the sheer size of its financial liability is enough to scare the stoutest of hearts.

Let me ask you this-- in your understanding, is the ultimate progressive dream State funded or State *run* healthcare? I've always understood it to be the latter, which in my mind would inevitably mean rationing (ala Canada), and the efficiency of the Postal Service with the compassion of the IRS, as the bumper sticker says.

hymes said...

I obviously can not speak for progressives in general, but to me state funded healthcare is the dream, not state run healthcare. Medicare, which I have before 65 because of kidney failure, has a much lower overhead for administrative expenses than any of the large health insurance companies. Much lower, like 4 to 5% instead of 30% and up.

One of the expenses of Medicare today is that Medicare HMO's and "Advantage" plans have been added which cost the government a whole lot more than traditional Medicare and cherry pick who they accept--no kidney patients for one. These are for profit plans.

Medicare is not perfect of course. It could use a lot more focus on prevention although that has improved in recent years. Also more chronic disease management, right now that is just available in pilot programs in some regions but if it is offered more widely will save a lot of money.

Another cost of Medicare is the lack of awareness and lack of referral to Hospice by doctors of terminally ill patients. Hospice is completely covered by Medicare and much cheaper as well as much more comfortable for dying patients, but often doctors never tell patients nor families of this option and more money is spent at the very end of people's lives than any other time by far.

I pay quite a bit each month to cover the 20% co-pay with a Medigap plan through a Blue Cross, but most folks would be paying less paying that than they do for employer provided health insurance now and with less out of pocket expenses through the year.

I don't think governmnet RUN healthcare is a very good idea personally.

TBG said...

Found this helpful bit in an amazon review of Paul's book:

"Paul's analysis of health care is the usual Republican bromide: leave everything to the magic of the marketplace. He uses the specious example of the veterans' hospitals to make his case why national health insurance is a bad idea. What he fails to understand is that the problem of the VA hospitals arises because the government owns and runs the hospitals- which is not what health care reform advocates are proposing. What we are advocating is socialized insurance, where the government pays the bills but the doctors and hospitals are private. That's what France does, to take one example, and their health care system is vastly better than ours. I recommend Paul Krugman's book Conscience of a Liberal for an excellent argument for single-payer health care reform- also see Melvin Konner's Medicine at the Crossroads."