13 March 2010

Remember The Uninsured?

Every once in a while, I have to forcibly remind myself that the long march to "Health Care Reform" started with the uninsured. It is wrong, we were told, to deny 15 20 30 40 million Americans healthcare. And who can argue?

So, the American people, coming off 8 exciting Bush years, when we had done pretty well but weren't really feeling that we had done much good (mistakenly, in my opinion, but that's neither here nor there), elected Barack Obama to do good -- including by getting health care to the uninsured.

But how to do that. One way, the traditional American way, is to provide health care insurance to the poor, the young and the old and simply let the uninsured show up when they need treatment. The other way is to get health insurance to everyone, which apparently requires spending trillions of dollars, mucking up everyone else's health care and losing sight of the uninsured along the way. The problem is that everyone who has insurance is pretty much happy with their health care, they just wanted to help their neighbors out.

Now, my neighbors are fine people and I'm more than willing to help them out, now and then. But there are limits and there's no point in my helping them out by giving up myself what they don't have. In other words, we might have reached the Robin Hood point, where the rich, having been robbed, are now the poor.


Harry Eagar said...

You have more than once claimed that the uninsured can show up to get fre treatment. I don't understand where you get that.

It's true for broken legs, not for other things.

erp said...

Go to the ER and get treated for what ails you or call the ACLU.

joe shropshire said...

Even broken legs aren't free, and David is certainly too honest ever to have said otherwise. The question is, who pays for whose broken leg. A more interesting question is, who pays for whose stents, and catherization. On the island of Moloka'i you might be more concerned with who pays for whose dialysis.

In the spirit of public service I make the following wager. There is, so far as I know, one dialysis clinic open on that pretty island, which bumps along as always on fishing, food stamps, and chrystal meth. If you have ever laid eyes on the natives there, you will know why they need a dialysis clinic. Should ObamaCare, loosely defined to mean any bill in the dock in either the House or the Senate at the moment, or any unnatural congress therefrom, pass both houses and be signed into law; and should the Akaka bill also pass both houses and be signed into law; I will pay two thousand dollars to the charity of Harry's choice if in the next five years that clinic is still open. Any takers can pay the same amount to Maui county, in the event that it isn't . You can pass the hat to your friends if you don't have that much cash handy. The county is likely going to need the money either way.

erp said...

Joe, the only sure thing in this world is that we tax payers pay for everything including health care of the indigent.

Harry Eagar said...

Joe, are you sure you know the history of dialysis in Maui County?

You understand that we have a dialysis clinic in Hana that was opened to serve one -- count 'em, 1 -- person?

What Molokai is about to lose, thanks to the efficiencies of the market-oriented system, is a pharmacy.

erp, try going to the emergency room with a presentation of, say, bursitis and see what you get.

erp said...

In the many hours spent in various ER's, I’ve chatted with a very diverse cross section of those seeking medical attention, including many who couldn’t pay for their care. I’ve also discussed the state of our health care with professionals in the family, with friends and acquaintances including some who have retail businesses selling medical supplies, glasses, pharmacists, etc.

People who ask for medical attention get it and not only in the ER, whether they can or will pay for it or not. It’s not a good situation, but the unconscionable and probably unconstitutional power grab congress is trying pull off now will make it much worse.

Only local clinics run and paid for locally can provide care at a reasonable cost and screen out those who are trying to scam the system.

joe shropshire said...

I have recent history in mind here: specifically this incident, which you might remember from last year. Water isn't free either, and I am essentially making what seems to me a pretty safe prediction about the future of Kaunakakai's plumbing. At some point that town settles down to a long future of waiting for a part for a pump. There will be a unit in the hospital, for emergencies, and the rest of of the folks will get moved to Oahu. But if I am wrong, then you should not be leaving money on the table. I can't say I'd mind being wrong.

Harry Eagar said...

Joe, that was the result of 2 pumps, run by different organizations, breaking down at the same time.

Not likely to be a problem except in small, remote places.

I bet you will not find many places anywhere else that have dedicated dialysis clinics for a population that small. Maybe in Nunavat.

What we have now is basically individual dialysis clinics, one for each patient. That's not sustainable.

erp, any of those patients presenting with bursitis?

erp said...

What's different about bursitis? Is that the one problem that ER's round the country refuse to treat?

Anonymous said...

The uninsured could be insured in a New York minute if the Feds would pass a public option that had an individual lifetime limit of $250,000.

Bursitis? Get treated. Cancer? Get treated for a year, then moved to hospice.

If'n you want premiere medical care, buy a private policy.

[Dusts hands, does craps-dealer clap] Done!