Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Healthcare Law Is An Ass

Before you contemplate America's historic new healthcare reform bill, here's an inspirational Bible verse from the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 22, verses 28 and 29:

"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father 50 shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."

Now rewrite this so it's the victim who has to pay her attacker and stay with him forever, and you'll know what happens in the US when big corrupt out-of-control industries screw some little guy, or the entire economy, and government gets involved. The healthcare reform bill rests on the same assumption as the bank bailouts: "Hey, America! Remember those rich, sleazy, politically connected assholes who caused the problem in the first place? We'll reward them with your money. That ought to teach 'em a lesson."

And how do lawmakers respond to our problems with the health insurance companies? By forcing us to marry the bastards, with the IRS ready to fine us if we don't perform our wifely duties.


The rest of my semi-coherent rant can be found in today's Guardian. My original plan was to simply publish a series of photos of me making witheringly obscene gestures to lawmakers in effigy, but the editors wouldn't go for that because they are British, and thus too genteel to appreciate the nyet kulturny beauty of American political commentary.

Anybody care to place bets on exactly how long we'll have to wait before we see the first "Poor people punished for non-compliance with laws touted for their own good" stories? Given the delayed-fuse provisions of the healthcare bill, we already know they won't be until well after the next round of congressional and presidential elections."


Blogger KevinBBG said...

If you, like me, were a 56 year old guy with several pre-existing conditions, no insurance and no possibility of ever getting insurance until old enough for Medicare, you'd probably see the whole thing very differently.

But the facts are nothing more could have been passed as things now stand, but with this passed small things, like adding a public option, can be done through reconciliation in the Senate.

I don't like the bill, but dying in agony due to colon cancer because I could no longer get my 5 year colonoscopy has even less appeal, oddly enough.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Kevin, I have no doubt some people like you will be better served by the new system than the previous status quo. (I can't think of ANY reform where at least SOME people wouldn't benefit.)

But for every one person like you -- a person undeniably better off -- how many people will find themselves much worse off? It's too early to say, but I suspect that number will be "a lot."

And there are so many details we do not yet know -- what will the premium payments be? How big of a deductible are we talking about here? As I mentioned in the essay, health INSURANCE is not the same thing as health CARE.

I am fortunate in that I get insurance as my boyfriend's "domestic partner." If not, I would have to get insurance through my job. I have talked to my colleagues about it, and they HATE it: the premiums are high and almost nothing is covered. One colleague on particular has to pay for ALL of his wife's various medications -- none of them are covered. He's actually been contemplating quitting the policy, because he figured paying for the medication will be easier if he doesn't have to shell out money for useless premiums. The only tangible benefit that policy offers, apparently, is the right to say "I have health insurance."

The law now makes the ability to say that mandatory. Whether that health insurance translates into actual health care remains to be seen.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

By the way, Kevin, what is the out-of-pocket cost of a 5-year colonoscopy? I have no idea, but I wonder if, ironically, you'll find yourself STILL unable to get one, because it costs less than your deductible.

3:27 PM  
Blogger KevinBBG said...

In this area it runs around $5,000, but it might be considered preventive medicine which is totally free, not subject to co-pays or deductibles.

Certainly we don't know all the details of this bill, but the worst thing that can happen to someone is that it doesn't help them, which will be exactly as if the bill didn't pass. It will not be making anything worse.

But if it does work then someone like me, who cannot get insurance for any price and who will likely die before I can get Medicare, will have it. People who now have insurance don't have to worry about being thrown off of it when they get sick, kids can stay on their parents plan until they turn 27. These are phenomenal things, life savers for many people. I CAN take "Yes" for an answer.

Sure, I would much prefer a public option in there or a buy in to Medicare, or best of all, a single payer system. But until those happen I'm going to accept saving my life as a good thing, and I won't be the only one.

8:20 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from