Thursday, July 30, 2009

Healthcare fix in one sentence: The Erin Plan:

Give basic coverage to everyone and the peeps who want to buy supplemental insurance can get as fancy as they want.

There. That's how you do it. Obama's plan to start slow with a public insurance option ain't quite right, but it's a step in the right direction. He knows damn well you can't install the Erin Plan all at once.

Basic coverage means pregnancy, immunizations, your cholesterol meds, emergency medicine, etc. Someone else can figure out copays and whether or not you include coronary bypass surgery for someone age 55 but not age 89. Gastric bypass? Seems dodgy to me, but I'm guessing there'll be plenty of insurance peddlers out there ready to shell out any plan you want to cover what the Gov doesn't.

CODE ORANGE NEWS ALERT to all you schmucks worrying about the gummint getting in your face about your health choices. Don't be a dumb-ass. Private insurers practically do an autopsy on you before they'll cover you. We took out a new life insurance policy when our kid was born. That private insurer sent someone to our house to draw our blood for testing.

Read that last sentence again. Go on, read it.

And when my kid fell off her bike and broke her wrist? Our health insurer mailed a form full up with questions about who they could sue to recoup the costs when it was all over.

Ever get a letter from one of your docs saying he won't accept your insurer anymore? Even after you and your employer are paying out the ass for the coverage every month? I have.

People, insurance companies make their profits by NOT paying your medical bills. Yes, Gov. programs such as Medicare are flawed, but you talk to any doc and they'll tell you Medicare is 100 times better than any private insurer. And please DO NOT bring up the toenail thing.

There is one more diseased tumor on America's healthcare behemoth that no one's talking about. Malpractice suits are waaaaaay out of hand. The expensive cover-your-ass mentality that permeates our medical care is a direct product of too many lawyers and too much greed and it's got to stop.

Now then, anyone have any ideas on how to fix that?


deangc said...

I know I can trust a certain (pretty large) segment of the American population to explain that decent, affordable health care for common people is a COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY.

I mean, jeez, you people are so far behind the rest of the civilized world on this it isn't funny.

Actually, it is funny, in a sad and demented way.

The central problem is that your political landscape is controlled by loons with views so narrow that they'd have to widen to be proper tunnel vision.

Erin O'Brien said...

God am I glad to have you chime in on this one, Dean.


deangc said...

That said, I think that Obama has massive problems that may preclude any effective action on health care. There is an enormously powerful industry that has a vested interest in keeping the system the way it is (because a lot of people are getting wealthy) and they will fight any reform to the last breath.

With Obama's other problems - all inherited - he may not be able to fight them.

Anonymous said...

I agree the problem is systemic and it may be more than one person can take on. However I have decided the incremental approach will not be effective either. Hard to The Left and full speed ahead. Single Payor. Expand Medicare to cover everyone. It would be much cheaper than the "public option", the infrastructure is already in place. Fuck the private insurers they produce no commodity necessary for sustaining human life. People want to place odds on avoiding risk let 'em go to Las Vegas. Also regarding EOB's example, also see "Post-Claim Underwriting" which was illustrated in public testimony I saw on C-Span. Woman was scheduled for hysterectomy secondary to ovarian cancer. The friday before the monday of her surgery her insurance was cancelled because the insurer discovered, upon review, that she had failed to report a medication she took for acne a number of years earlier on her original application for insurance. This information was considered "material" and adequate to invalidate her coverage. THIS IS ESTABLISHED CASE LAW! She went through a long process of securing financing before her CA could be treated. She's lucky to be alive. Fuck the private sector.


Teresa said...

This Canadian, now living in the US, is signing up for the Erin Plan!

VideoDude said...

Where do I sign for the Erin plan.

In fact, Erin O'Bren for Health and Humman Services Secretary!

(S)wine said...

T up above (a Canadian citizen as she mentions, and my loverly wife) out and out LAUGHS at our "health insurance" coverage. And I work for the State gobmint.

(S)wine said...

P.S. to all the people freaked out about "a bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor" please don't forget that right now a CEO is firmly and perpetually affixed there.

Dudesworthy said...

Hey you guys! I totally have an awesome idea for fixing that!

I call it: 'Legislation'

We need a law that limits how much courts can award in malpractice suits to economically reasonable sums.

And also we could nationalize the hospitals, I mean we've nationalized the banks and GM, so why not right?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dudesworthy,

If some coked-up surgeon removes the wrong limb why should there be limits to his liability?

But that conservatives would accept legislation. Dems have a supermajority in Congress. If Obama whips those guys (and gals) into shape and gets them to vote along party lines you'll hear the right screaming "coup". Yet we had, ahem, AN ELECTION!

In summary, rebut fail.


Kirk Jusko said...

You said there are too many lawyers, but only a minority are personal injury lawyers. If you sue for malpractice, it's not like the other side hasn't got big guns as well. What about the lawyers that work for the big insurance companies, for the big medical institutions? As for the big awards juries hand out, they're really just suggestions. Judges have the right to limit such awards and often do, but it doesn't make the news as it's not juicy enough copy.

Kirk Jusko said...

Oh, by the way, if there was only one Republican in the Senate, and one Republican in the House of Representatives, I think the Democrats would cut out a public option out of fears of hurting their tender feelings.

Erin O'Brien said...

So true, Kirk. WHY aren't the Dems lining up behind Obama the way the Reps lined up behind Bush?

Anonymous said...



Glass Houses said...

Several problems here.

The taxpayers (us) don't want to pay the higher taxes neccesary to make public insurance possible.


Because we have watched our government misappropriate funds for decades. We don't want to pay more money to see nothing happen.

(Before you all get your panties in a bunch, this is about ALL parties, and ALL people. Notice the lack of party affiliation mentioned above.)

Now we have a guy who has his heart in the right place, but he wants to start a public insurance option with literally no money. Who will we be in even more debt to if we put this in place without raising taxes?

And FINALLY - we come to the plight of the middle class.

Let's say you have a good job. Steady income. Car paid off. Rent or mortgage paid on time. Private health insurance...the good package, too. Pretty good, huh?

Then you get knocked up. You didn't really think too much about the timing when you decided to have a bambino. But now you realize that your private health insurance doesn't cover everything you need, and you make too much money to qualify for any sort of gov'nt assistance...even for your outrageous deductible.

The girl next door to you is also pregnant and unemployed. Her health costs are completely covered by the state.

This is just one instance. Those who have no money DO get free health care in some parts of the country. Those who only need a little bit of help get nothing. Go figure.

Kirk Jusko said...

I like RJs answer.

I also think it's the age-old problem of how campaigns are financed. In Gore Vidal's novel EMPIRE, William Randolph Hearst in 1906 tells a character, quite matter-of-factly, that politicians are corrupt out of neccesity, so they have enough money to run for re-election. Hearst also tells the character that, if he doesn't like our system of government, he can go back to France.

It's a work of fiction, not history, but it sure rings true to me.

Anonymous said...

It was your answer Kirk just a different word.

"This is just one instance. Those who have no money DO get free health care in some parts of the country. Those who only need a little bit of help get nothing. Go figure."

Dear Glass,

These are the type of inequities that need to be eliminated. Second, there is enough money in the federal budget to fund universal care without raising taxes but it would require the elimination of pet non-essential programs from reps on both sides of the aisle which takes us back to the reelection problem mentioned above. And that's why BHO needs to open a can of whoop ass and tell the blue dogs he won't support their reelection unless they get in line. His approval ratings may be falling among all voters but he's still extremely popular among party regulars. He needs to act like it.



Tony said...

Extend term limits in the House -- perhaps then our representatives will legislate rather than prostitute themselves. Health care reform will come but will look more like a "camel" than a thoroughbred.

philbilly said...

Apparently Michael Jackson had very good health care, doctor right at his side, donchya'know.

Costco has amazing deals on fresh fruit.

Don't smoke a lot if at all.

Same for meat, one Kobi a month trumps 30 sodium gut bombs, and the chicks dig it.

Tell people to fuck off rather than internalize stress.

High fructose corn syrup is diabetes.

Sugar is a subsidized assault on free trade that finances Clowngress.

White bread is garbage.

Avoid idiots, laugh hard.

Mind your own business as much as humanly possible, especially gossipy stuff.

Television is a sewer, avoid when possible, except things that make you laugh.

I seem to remember sex being good.

I'm past 50, and just did 13 hours in the desert sun in 115 degree heat loading equipment in a truck. The youngsters watched from the A/C. Pussies.

Anonymous said...

^5 for the over 50s.


Erin O'Brien said...

Incidentally, the Goat is 52 and I like to rub my boobies on him all the time.

Anonymous said...

Egregious taunting hostess.


(S)wine said...

Dudesworthy said...

Anon said:

"Dear Dudesworthy,

If some coked-up surgeon removes the wrong limb why should there be limits to his liability?"

Where to begin?

Obviously if a coked-up surgeon removes the wrong limb he should be forbidden from ever practicing medicine again. Surely the loss of his profession would be pain enough?

And also, where on earth do you live?! I have never come across a coked-up surgeon. Ever. If this is a common occurrence with you then you need to change hospitals, stat!

Denise said...

Your sad nation has been led by the pharmacy/drug dealers and high end doctors for so long and have received kick backs for pushing the dealers...if they are going to kick them to the curb, where are they going to get the monies to replace the kick backs?
I have had to keep changing my insurance when the monthly payments get too expensive and I cannot raise my deductiables any more..I am almost running out of options.
Plus, my mother who will be 72 with Dementia..who is in a care unit for the latter. We both are dependant on Medicare/Medicade to pay for her care/facility..sure, i cut a check from her soc.sec/pension/alimony for the facility...but if it wasn't there, being a single person and working full time..there would be no way that I could take care of her myself/or pay to take care of her myself.
As a nation, should automatically be taking care of our elderly, they have more than paid their dues.

Goat said...


Good points all.