October 2, 2004

Free, guaranteed healthcare in the United States

In fact, such a program already exists... in U.S. prisons. One of the rants has been certain prisoners using such services for sex changes - quite an expensive procedure. However, all is not so rosy. William Anderson has an interesting piece on prison health care in Maryland.

"Bill," he said, "If you are in prison, you had better stay healthy." Prison medical care, he said, is deplorable at best, and he cited an example of one inmate who had broken his leg, but prison officials there refused to take him to a local emergency room for two weeks. By that time, the bones had set, so doctors had to break the bones again in order to permit a proper resetting.
Of course, this has to do with the prison officials, why they delayed this may be a whole different issue. And, it may vary from locality to locality. In a single payer system, how would doctor's visits be regulated? I suppose there could be a co-pay to keep things in check.

Posted by torque at 8:27 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 1, 2004

Single-payer health insurance

Kudos to Enoch for bringing this to my attention. Ok, Graham's animation is cute, but is this direction really going to work? Check it out... then come back here.

Uhh, isn't that also known as socialized health care? Who came up with the term "single payer". Smart. Single-payer health insurance sounds a lot better than socialized insurance. This will work? What prevents abuse? What happens if the prom committee doesn't sell enough tickets? What happens if the prom committee sells a bunch of tickets but doesn't have enough to pay for all the bills. After all, how can you cut back on the dance hall, or the streamers? (Of course, in real life, the prom committee, a.k.a. the US government, doesn't have to "sell" tickets. It can just take your money from your wallet until it has enough to pay for the punch and cookies.) Think Social Security. Think Canadian health care system.

Graham addresses my thoughts in his FAQ, in particular on the government control.

And government's not all bad. Government has provided us with public libraries, the GI Bill, Social Security, police and fire protection, the Do-Not-Call list, emergency services, national parks...
I'm surprised he mentioned Social Security in there.

As for the great deals that this single-payer leviathan will be able to squeeze from doctors, hospitals, etc. - think U.S. military. Where will be the insentive to cut costs? When things cost more, they can just reach into your back pocket and pull a little bit out. At least you can leave your insurance company for another - or choose another plan, with a single-payer insurance policy, there will be NO competion - monopoly! Your thoughts?

Update. As I suspected from my gut feeling, it is a partisan issue, with the Dems pitching single-payer hard. I can understand why doctors might be in favor of this though - cutting out health insurance may leave more for the docs. But maybe not.

Posted by torque at 11:02 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack