Thursday, November 29, 2012

Would you die for freedom?

No, I'm not talking about a war or battle. I'm talking about healthcare.

There was a time when there wasn't much that doctors could do for you other than set a broken bone. Times have changed. For many people, modern medicine is life-saving.

There was also a time when, if you were willing to work hard, you could probably get a job with health insurance. That is increasingly not the case. And, unless you are healthy and wealthy, buying a policy privately is not possible.

So do we want the government to step in?

Republicans love to say that you can always go the nearest emergency room and get care. Well, that is only true because of federal law, which demands that all patients receive emergency care without regard to the ability to pay. If you really want the government out of health care, that safety net will be gone.

I used to think I had a libertarian streak in me- but I know that there is no way private insurance would ever offer affordable health care to the elderly and the disabled without some kind of government intervention and support. Insurance companies want to cover the well, and that is their right in a capitalistic system.

I don't know what I think of "Obamacare." In many ways, it is a terrible bill. But is it better than doing nothing? I'm not sure.

Healthcare was changing, anyway.

Health insurance companies are getting more intrusive, too.  They give you rewards and penalties.

I just got a letter in the mail today from my insurance company. I guess I have been an expensive enough patient this year that they are offering me a health coach. I am supposed to call to either accept or to turn them down. I can't imagine they have anything useful to offer.

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