Mandated Morphine

From WSJ:

Senate Considers Health Insurance Mandate

The Senate Finance Committee — a key power center in the health-reform debate — yesterday published this overview of health-insurance options.

Congress is pushing for a health-reform bill in the next few months, and the overview gives a pretty good sense of what’s on the table. As the WSJ notes, there are a number of options for public insurance plans that would compete with private plans, as well as an option without any new public plans.

The overview also raises the option of requiring Americans to buy health insurance; under one option, those who don’t buy in, and who don’t meet certain criteria for exemption, would pay a tax equal to the premium for the lowest cost insurance option. This is typically known as a mandate, an option Obama opposed during the campaign. The Senate outline uses the long-winded euphemism “personal responsibility coverage requirement” to describe the mandate.

OK.  So they are making everyone get insurance.  What will that do to control cost?  What will that do to improve the quality of care, or the availability of PCP\’s?  What will that do but increase the overall burden on a system already going to the bottom of the sea?

This is the equivalent of giving Morphine to someone having a heart attack.  It\’s right to do this, but you sure as heck had better deal with what is causing that chest pain.  The pain medication may mask the pain and hide the urgency of the problem.  It\’s the heart that could make the patient die, not the pain.

Uninsured?  We can get rid of them!  Just give them insurance!!  Simple!  But what does this do to deal with what caused there to be so many uninsured – the costs of insurance that are out of reach of most people?  It doesn\’t deal with the root, it deals with the symptom.

Perhaps I just don\’t know much on this, but it seems like the senators are just trying to get their name on a healthcare reform bill without having to do the hard work of fixing healthcare.

\"titanic-bw\"

Rearranging chairs on the Titanic?  Fix the hole in the boat, Senators!

10 thoughts on “Mandated Morphine”

  1. It makes it possible for people with previous cancer diagnoses or other pre-existing conditions to buy insurance. Of course this only partially solves one tiny issue at the margins of a huge problem; it does nothing to control costs or improve quality or availability.

  2. It makes it possible for people with previous cancer diagnoses or other pre-existing conditions to buy insurance. Of course this only partially solves one tiny issue at the margins of a huge problem; it does nothing to control costs or improve quality or availability.

  3. This typifies the attempts to mask the true desire of the government to take over health care permanently. This isn’t about caring about people. If it were, then the government (and its citizens) would realize that nobody could possibly do a worse job at delivering anything, not to mention health care, to the public.
    This is about power. They want it. And we seem to be jumping up and down to give it to them. You like the IRS? The VA? Medicare and Medicaid? Then by all means, give them more power. As for me and those like me, we will be waiting for the government to take over so that we can look elsewhere for jobs. I will not willingly submit to servitude, or help to support a system that is destined to fail, but fail only after it has irreparably harmed the public and destroyed American Medicine.

  4. This typifies the attempts to mask the true desire of the government to take over health care permanently. This isn’t about caring about people. If it were, then the government (and its citizens) would realize that nobody could possibly do a worse job at delivering anything, not to mention health care, to the public.
    This is about power. They want it. And we seem to be jumping up and down to give it to them. You like the IRS? The VA? Medicare and Medicaid? Then by all means, give them more power. As for me and those like me, we will be waiting for the government to take over so that we can look elsewhere for jobs. I will not willingly submit to servitude, or help to support a system that is destined to fail, but fail only after it has irreparably harmed the public and destroyed American Medicine.

  5. This sounds very much like, if we change the names of the Government bodies to suit, and American to British in para 2 line 7, like a British PHP talking about the Labour (mild socialist) party’s plans to create our NHS!

  6. This sounds very much like, if we change the names of the Government bodies to suit, and American to British in para 2 line 7, like a British PHP talking about the Labour (mild socialist) party’s plans to create our NHS!

  7. I agree with Finn. I know too many young people dying from cancer because they could not afford drugs or transplants. I welcome a temporary, quick fix to this problem – I’ve been to too many memorial services this year.
    BUT- yes, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this is anything other than putting duct tape on a hole in the Titanic. Insurance for all is no solution to the actual problem of fixing the broken system, out of control spending, shortage of docs, and myriad other problems that are causing this ship to sink.

    Kairol
    http://everythingchangesbook.com/

  8. I agree with Finn. I know too many young people dying from cancer because they could not afford drugs or transplants. I welcome a temporary, quick fix to this problem – I’ve been to too many memorial services this year.
    BUT- yes, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this is anything other than putting duct tape on a hole in the Titanic. Insurance for all is no solution to the actual problem of fixing the broken system, out of control spending, shortage of docs, and myriad other problems that are causing this ship to sink.

    Kairol
    http://everythingchangesbook.com/

  9. “OK. So they are making everyone get insurance. What will that do to control cost? What will that do to improve the quality of care, or the availability of PCP’s? What will that do but increase the overall burden on a system already going to the bottom of the sea?”
    Uninsured individuals are more costly to the system than they would be if they were insured. Medical conditions are less expensive to treat when they are in their incipient stages. Do the uninsured get treated at this point? No, they wait until they are forced to use the ER (which has to treat them regardless of their inability to pay).

    Granted, insuring every American will only be on of many steps in the reform effort. But insuring everyone is necessary in order to curb the runaway costs of health care. Any system leaves out 15% of the population is unacceptable.

  10. “OK. So they are making everyone get insurance. What will that do to control cost? What will that do to improve the quality of care, or the availability of PCP’s? What will that do but increase the overall burden on a system already going to the bottom of the sea?”
    Uninsured individuals are more costly to the system than they would be if they were insured. Medical conditions are less expensive to treat when they are in their incipient stages. Do the uninsured get treated at this point? No, they wait until they are forced to use the ER (which has to treat them regardless of their inability to pay).

    Granted, insuring every American will only be on of many steps in the reform effort. But insuring everyone is necessary in order to curb the runaway costs of health care. Any system leaves out 15% of the population is unacceptable.

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