Maybe the U.S. does need Medicare for all. But an affordable public option that is income based would also work, wouldn’t it?

Maybe the U.S. does need Medicare for all. This is insane. But an affordable public option that is income based would also work, wouldn’t it? I’m hoping Warren and Biden can work things out and even become a team!

“Gail Dudley, 31, who was sitting with her mother in the third row. She had gone to the emergency room at Poplar Bluff Regional in 2017 after passing out because of complications from Type 1 diabetes. The hospital had given her medication to stabilize her blood sugar, kept her overnight for observation, and then sent her home with a bill for $8,342, of which she was still responsible for about $3,000 after insurance. She’d tried to appease the hospital’s billing department by sending in an occasional check for $50, but with accumulating interest and penalty fees, the balance on her account had remained essentially the same for two years.”

Let’s talk health care coverage in the U.S.

I have conservative friends who are opposed to what they call “socialized” medicine. And they claim breaking up the for-profit health insurance system would hurt hundreds of thousands of people employed by that industry.

And I have liberal friends who want to scrap the entire private insurance system altogether.

I think letting people keep what they have if they like it (i.e. private coverage through their work) is important. It’s a more winning, practical position to take politically than saying we’re going to take your insurance away from you. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being practical and making actual progress, rather than taking an adamant, unyielding stance.

While I like the Japanese model of national health insurance and single payer, I recognize that it’s not the only possible model. Some European countries with full coverage also have a mix of private and public insurance plans. It might be hard getting the U.S. to completely dump private health care.

But… but… but… The current U.S. health care model does not work. And sorry my conservative friends, but the private marketplace is not the complete solution. There are huge gaps of desperation. If you don’t recognize that you are plain wrong. High risk pools in the private market place have never been the solution to that problem. That’s why the ACA was passed to begin with.

I was talking to one friend the other day. She has a private business and under the ACA it would cost her and her husband $2,800 a month for coverage with an annual deductible of $6,500 each! That’s like no coverage at all! It’s unaffordable. So they opt to pay a few thousand dollars a year instead as a tax penalty for no health care coverage. She was in an accident recently and couldn’t afford to go to the hospital!

Clearly that system doesn’t work.

So I think adding the so-called “public option” is the way to go. People should be able to buy into Medicare (or something like it) at a guaranteed affordable rate. Preferably something based on income.

I think that’s a reasonable, achievable way to go for now.
It’s also one of the things Biden describes in his platform. It seems like a good way to make progress.

Obamacare – taking the long view

This is a good, balanced article from the Christian Science Monitor, which I find to be a more independent and balanced news publication than most. It’s about some experiences with Obamacare.

It’s good to cut through some of the hysteria, and put aside the technical issues and look at the long view sometimes. After all, this is the first time people who get denied insurance finally have a chance to get some they can afford.

I think the Obamacare rollout has been disastrous. I think it shows the Obama administration as basically incompetent.

But I also think the Republicans have provided zero alternative. Their solution is just to let people go without insurance.