California Nurses Shum has a great diary about how SickO is changing the American landscape. Nurses all over the country are organizing to get one million nurses to the opening on Friday.
The Health Care crisis provides Americans the best opportunity in decades for getting our country back on track if we are able to fix the health-care system in a way that truly fixes the problem. Because the system we have is so bad, everyone agrees that something must be done. Yet, the question continues to be: how? Will we get more "free-market" solutions that are designed to suck up more and more of our dollars so that the ultra-wealthy can get richer on our pain while doing little to solve the real problem?
So what's wrong with the solutions being touted these days? Here's my argument about why the "conservative solution" just won't work (from a comment I left on her post).
I've been thinking a lot about what are some of the problems with the so-called free market solution (as Schwarzeneggar and ole Mitt Romney advocate) which is supposed to "fix" the problem. Indeed, my governor has flatly said he will *never* support a government solution because the government is totally incapable of doing anything right.
But the problem with their "solution" is it actually creates a huge government regulatory system because it creates all kinds of mandates on employers and on individuals.
In order to keep the employee-based insurance (locking people into jobs they hate), employers are going to have to pay for insurance or into an insurance fund - and so you have to have auditors to track down whether they are doing that. Every individual will have to be checked to see that they have gotten insurance either through their job or because they bought it themselves. If they don't buy insurance they will have to be punished. In Massachusetts the state is planning to withhold the tax returns for scofflaws - and if that doesn't work, perhaps they will start to garnish peoples wages and if people still refuse to buy insurance, perhaps the government will have to throw them in jail.
And then there is the regulatory system that has to be put in place to make sure insurance companies cover sick people. Because otherwise if they don't have a mandate to cover sick people, the state will have to pick up the bag and pretty soon, the insurance companies will be covering only well people while racking in a profit and the state will be covering only the sick people. Guess what happens to our healthcare costs then?
As far as I can see it, the "free-market" solution only works if they add a huge bureaucracy and lots of mandates while wasting tons and tons of money.
Too bad the small government party is so committed to massive waste and intrusive government regulations.
Insurance works because lots of people are paying their small share into a common pool. The bigger the pool, the less everyone has to pay to cover those who need to draw from the pool. This is why fire insurance works - because only a few people have a fire claim each year, the amount everyone pays to get fire insurance is minimal.
The smaller the pool or the more people that have to draw from that pool, the more everyone has to pay to keep it whole. Our best solution to the health care crisis is to have every American part of the pool, because then we will have the lowest possible cost to provide universal health care which even conservatives are finally admitting is the only way to keep the health care costs from bankrupting American companies, our states and American families.
Guerrilla Marketing 101
Michael Moore did it again: he had a special opening of SickO on Skid Row in LA. And his audience were all people who would get more from a health care industry that focused more on providing health care rather than denying care or facing going bankrupt. As would we all.
Last, but not least: Sign the Petition.Posted by Mary at June 29, 2007 01:33 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |