Dear Mr. President: I am writing you today because I am outraged at the notion of involving government in healthcare decisions like they do in other countries. I believe healthcare decisions should be between myself and my doctor.
Well, that is not strictly true. I believe healthcare decisions should be between myself, my doctor, and my insurance company, which provides me a list of which doctors I can see, which specialists I can see, and has a strict policy outlining when I can and can't see those specialists, for what symptoms, and what tests my doctors can or cannot perform for a given set of symptoms. That seems fair, because the insurance company needs to make a profit; they're not in the business of just keeping people alive for free.
Oh, and also my employer. My employer decides what health insurance company and plans will be available to me in the first place. If I quit that job and find another, my heath insurance will be different, and I may or may not be able to see the same doctor as I had been seeing before, or receive the same treatments, or obtain the same medicines. So I believe my healthcare decisions should be between myself, the company I work for, my insurance company, and my doctor. Assuming I'm employed, which is a tough go in the current economy.
Read on as Hunter discovers yet more layers between patient and doctor that the government just shouldn't mess with.
Meanwhile, Crooks and Liars' Jon Perr has finally obtained the Cons' health reform plan:
With a system like ours, who needs reform, right? Aside from, y'know, the uninsured, the under-insured, and small businesses crushed by skyrocketing benefit costs. Oh, and those families that will get hit with a $25,000 annual insurance bill if things don't change:
In a nutshell, the GOP is proposing to extend the status quo for a nation gripped by a collapsing health care system.
Here, then, is the Republican 10-Point Plan for Health Care:
- 50 Million Uninsured in America
- Another 25 Million Underinsured
- Employer-Based Coverage Plummets Below 60%
- Employer Health Costs to Jump by 9% in 2010
- One in Five Americans Forced to Postpone Care
- 62% of U.S. Bankruptcies Involve Medical Bills
- Current Health Care Costs Already Fueling Job Losses
- 94% of Health Insurance Markets in U.S Now "Highly Concentrated"
- Dramatic Decline in Emergency Room Capacity
- Perpetuating Red State Health Care Failure
For the details and data behind each, continue reading.
Another new study, conducted by the progressive Center for American Progress looks at the potential costs for American families if the system isn't reformed.
Health care costs are expected to grow 71 percent over the next decade, which will in turn drive premium increases for health insurance. Unless we take serious steps now to reform our health care system—in particular to reduce the rate of growth in health care costs—health insurance coverage will slip out of reach for even more individuals than the 52 million Americans who today are uninsured.
This analysis shows that without health reform, average family premiums will grow to more than $22,000 by 2019, up from $13,100 today. In some states with higher-than-average premiums, family premiums will exceed $25,000 in 10 years. Of course, a family’s total health care costs will be even higher once co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses are calculated into the total.
But, y'know, aside from all that, we have a perfect system. All of the people rich enough to afford good health care assure us it's the best in the world.