Archive for Friday, April 21, 2006

Health care crisis

April 21, 2006


To the editor:

Just a few facts to describe our crisis: 45 million people have no health insurance in the United States and many more are "underinsured" with plans that offer limited coverage and high deductibles. We spend more than twice as much on health care as do people in other developed nations, yet we lack universal coverage. Half of U.S. personal bankruptcies, affecting 2 million people annually, were attributable to illness or medical bills (Himmelstein et. al., 2003). Do we need more statistics to convince us to demand a single-payer system of our congresspeople?

Jean Drumm,



xenophonschild 12 years ago

The owner of our company told me last evening to "find an inexpensive, efficient health-care provider" for almost two hundred employes. He wants us to each contribute no more than fifty dollars a month to a common fund that users can draw on for medical expenses under $5,000; anything over that would have to be paid for by the individual.

Our present carrier, Humana, is ridiculously expensive (average - $280 per month) and flatly inefficient. Since most medical needs fall under the $5,000 range, it may be something that can help our people. Now, if only I can find a carrier willing to set up this type of program.

xenophonschild 12 years ago

uncon: I'm a liberal Democrat. "Spellchecker" might not be a bad option for you to pursue.

Godot 12 years ago

Xeno, $5,000 is just a drop in the bucket if you actually get sick. My guess is your employer is planning on having the taxpayers bail you out.

Godot 12 years ago

Xeno, here's an idea. For $120,000 a year, you could probably hire a company doctor. Put someone on retainer.

xenophonschild 12 years ago

I've already begun the process. Will interview about a dozen carriers, see who and what looks best.

Jamesaust 12 years ago

"Do we need more statistics to convince us to demand a single-payer system of our congresspeople?"


For every nightmare story presented from uninsured America, there are two from people living in 'single-payer' prisons. You'll get some form of health care delivered with a scowl, sooner or later (unless you die first).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

While you can certainly find problems with single-payer systems, James, on the whole they deliver just as good healthcare as our system, for considerably less money.

Godot 12 years ago

How do you know that? Other than communist China, is there another country the size of the US that has a single payer system?

Jamesaust 12 years ago

bozo - they deliver (well-documented) measurably less healthcare. Heck, I didn't even realize that point was in dispute.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

I guess we have been looking at different documentation.

Godot 12 years ago

In the US, fewer people are dying every year. People are living longer. Infant mortality is improving. All thanks to the quality of health care in the US.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

The same is true in all industrialized countries-- it just costs us a lot more to get there.

wonderhorse 12 years ago


Nice saracasm, but guess what? I gave her $5 and I am going to be out of a job next month, and I am republican. Go figure--your broadbrush paint job isn't accurate (what others would call profiling.) Try again.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

So fewer people are dying each year in the U.S.? People are living longer? Infant mortality is down?

Well, one reason infant mortality is down is because no doctor or hospital would even think about refusing services to an infant. Not unless they want to perform professional suicide, because the word would get out, you know.

Doctors and hospitals do deny services to adults, though. All the time. No money, no services. If you already owe your doctor, they will demand money before you can even get an appointment anymore, regardless of how sick you are.

How many people die each year because they can't afford medical treatment? How many people die from cancer each year because they can't afford it?

I admit I don't know what the answer is, but something has to be done.

I have health insurance, and it's barely better than nothing. Quite frankly, if I had enough money to pay that deductible out of pocket, I'd be rich enough to pay for medical services without health insurance.

I remember a time when people who had health insurance had no deductibles, and no co-pays. And it wasn't that long ago. What the hell happened?

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