I don't get why people are so afraid of universal health care. Or even afraid of the government-run system. I have friends on both sides of the issue, but I cannot understand the position of those that think that something like Medicaid and Medicare are not good examples of how government can run health insurance. I understand that these things are not perfect, but who's to say they couldn't be improved upon? And I understand that people on those get the care that they need. I knew someone who was just waiting until she turned old enough to get started on Medicare.
I had a link in my Facebook today from here. In it, a Canadian doctor does a compare and contrast of the Canadian vs. US health care systems. Why do people say that the Canadian system is bad? Because there's a wait to see doctors? Hello, it can be a month or more for me to get to see my doctor for a regular appointment. When I call to set it up, I have to have a clear calendar two months in advance sometimes. If I need to be urgently seen, well yes, I can get in, with a different doctor. But the same can be said for Canada. I know this is published in the LA Times (ooo, big scary liberal paper), but on the other hand, it was written by a Canadian doctor. What does he care about what we get for a health care system? He's not going to use it. To me, this makes sense, so what is the fuss about government run health care?
Is it because it costs more via taxes in Canada? According to that article, 16% of the US economic engine is contributed to healthcare, as opposed to 10% in Canada. So, taxes go up? But what if your up-front costs are lower or non-existent? What if they no longer take that monthly payment out of your pay check for health care, but your whole family is covered? And what about the small companies who could never afford it? All their employees could get covered. Those without care, covered. Seriously, I always say that you'll pay for it one way or another. So what if it comes out of my taxes instead of my pay check? Either way I didn't have the money in the first place. And people moan about government bureaucracy. What about insurance bureaucracy?
And what is so bad about paying taxes so that those that cannot afford it can see doctors? And get treatment? To me it is so selfish to moan and groan about taxes going to people getting a check up and healthy. Are you kidding me? Really?
What my work contributes to my family's health insurance on a yearly basis (and that does not include my share) is astounding to me. To know that another half of my salary covers my insurance. Which means that's a huge chunk of the budget. I am grateful to have it, but I keep wondering why better insurance prices aren't negotitiated when obviously the place is taking a big hit in the budget for this. It's a big group of people; they really could have the insurance companies bowing down for price control if they wanted to play hard ball. UPDATE: This is an interesting podcast that seems to corroborate what I know about the cost of my own family's health care costs. This American Life
But, in the end I'm afraid we won't dig ourselves out of this mess. There's so much bad information, it's hard to find the good and its hard to keep everyone focused on the same goal. And in some cases, I think our democractic experiment is not working all that well anymore. We just seem to get more and more entrenched in two sides and it is harder and harder to find a common ground.