Saturday, August 22, 2009

CI #10 -- Healthcare ClusterF#&!

Editor's note: The following opinions, views and statements expressed by Greg Volk do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views and statements expressed by Greg Volk. Oh, and also, I plan to "tackle" issues like this here very rarely.

One thing I think we all can agree on about the "Health Care Reform Debate" is that no one really knows what the hell is going on.

But here are some takes on what has become most expensive and most depressing Circus since Roy got mauled (and had to go the hospital! Full. Circle. People.)

- Medicare -- Isn't it already socialized medicine, except we've chosen to cover only the elderly? (Yes.) Extending those kind of benefits (whether a good idea or not -- arguable, of course.) to other citizens is, at the very least, a logical progression, right? (Yes.)

Do people who enjoy Medicare benefits already get to complain about "socialized medicine"? No, regardless of the number of guns they own, unless they acknowledge that what they're getting is already a version of socialized medicine or sign a contractual waiver saying they don't want it anymore.

-"Death Panels" -- Why would we want to let the government determine how we end our lives? Aren't health insurance companies, which fight tooth and nail to avoid coverage at all costs already doing this? (Yes.) Plus, as I "understand" it (and I use that word lightly), the goal of what has been misnamed a "death panel" is to streamline and improve care before it gets to the "vegetable" stage (sorry), and to promote living wills. It's hard to control your emotions enough to make a sensible decision about the end of your life when even controlling your tongue is difficult (I imagine).

- The Daunting Umbrella Of Socialized Medicine. ... (Shh... we already have it, even aside from Medicare.) And it's the worst system of any industrialized nation. How is this the case, you might ask? The outrageous premiums and co-pays maintained by the insured currently subsidize the "ER" -style care of the uninsured.

You are already paying for someone else's (albeit terrible) medical care -- through your rising premiums, through the rising premium your employer pays for you (making the company less likely to offer you a raise or cover you at all), and, of course, through plain old Tax Dollars that go to the existing government health plans.

Hospitals are businesses, and they probably should be. But just because someone showing up at the E.R. to be treated for a deep-fried turkey explosion doesn't have insurance doesn't mean the hospital can decide to pay less in rent. They've got to make it up somewhere.

- That snake-like thingy with wings that you keep seeing. What is that snake-like thingy I keep seeing? A caduceus.

It's a Greek snake-like thingy that's used to symbolize medical care.

- Politicians. Why aren't politicians on all sides -- hell, any side -- clearly expressing these points (assuming I've raised any valid ones)? Beats the pre-existing condition out of me.

If I've missed the mark on simply identifying any of this, please compose a heartfelt comment, then save it as a draft and keep it to yourself. (I kid.)

Second Editor's Note: If there were more straightforward opinions in this post or more references to Adlai Stevenson, I would have just "gone on a rant here." And I'd be sorry.


  1. Pretty spot-on analysis here, Greg. With a few more blazers and the right haircut, you could end up the next Rachel Maddow!

    I also enjoyed this napkin-based look at the effects the different legislation out there would actually have on the insurance companies, the healthcare industry and patients.

  2. Thanks, Ryan. That's by far the best napkin-based analysis of any major issue I've ever seen.