Health Coverage vs. Health Care vs. Neither

A couple of things to read:

Flory on Ezra on Daschle.

Baucus making sure his friends are taken care of.

And finally, this is just me: Having health insurance for everybody might mean everybody can afford to go to the doctor. But it doesn’t mean everybody can get health care. If the doctor finds something wrong with you, and it’s not covered by your insurance, or it’s only covered to 90 percent but that remaining ten percent is still $1,200 and right now you don’t have $1,200, or it’s covered entirely but you’re off work during your recovery time and you’re paid by the hour … You’re still screwed. It’s possible to be entirely covered by what are by all decent standards pretty good forms of insurance and still end up entirely hosed by something as random as sickness. And don’t jaw at me about not smoking or eating right. You can do that and still get whalloped by a tumor.

My point is that we should try for better than we’ve got but let’s not get fooled into thinking better is best, or better is done.


9 thoughts on “Health Coverage vs. Health Care vs. Neither

  1. Yeah, i think your right, health incurence is good, but not allways, since health issues
    take a LOT of money, (For example, where i live, it up to 500$ a night to spend at the hostipal
    when you are sick, and 500$ here is a big amount of money.)

  2. As long as Senators and Congressmen can get reelected with ease even though they serve corporations at the expense of people, nothing is going to change. The ultimate villain in all of this is us, with a big assist by the news media, who rarely, if ever, report on the cozy relationship between our congressional representatives and the corporations.

  3. Why does “everybody” have to be involved, Max? Why is single payer off the table? Why do we have to preserve an insurance industry that has proven time and again that the healthcare of customers is not its first priority?

  4. Yes, it is really important to emphasize to the naysayers that just having some insurance is not adequate enough.

  5. I’ve been saying this for years. I think for too many Americans, healthinsurance is synonymous with healthcare. Healthinsurance is just the stuff that takes care of the billing. Just ensuring that everyone hashealth insurance isn’t going to fix the problems with the US medical system; I know people with good insurance who still have wound up having to spend lots of time and effort to convince their insurance companies to pay for something that’s supposedly covered (theylove to deny claims), or are out-of-pocket because insurance doesn’t cover everything (a lot of insurance plans don’t cover, say, childbirth expenses or birth control pills — but will cover Viagra, which is a whole other kettle of sexist fish), or have had problems with doctors not providing adequate treatment because of HMO regulations, or with waiting times to see doctors, or or or…
    That last item is the one that really gets me: One of thelies the anti-single-payer faction in the US will tell you is that Canadians have to wait a long time for medical care. We do generally wait a little bit longer fornon-emergency surgery than people withtop-tier insurance in the US do, for sure, but if I call my clinic, I’m almost guaranteed to be able to see a doctor the same day, the next day at the latest. I’ve known people who were on the Kaiser system who had to waittwo weeks to see a GP. Also, if I’m in a bad way and I can’t get to my clinic, there are lots of walk-in clinics around…
    Lie away, though, anti-single-payer folks. Your paycheques depend on your continuing to not understand…

  6. Nothing will be solved until the pharmaceutical companies are brought kicking and screaming to the table, and forced to answer the question of why they hike their prices to pay for “research costs” mostly funded by government grants. And Interrobang, I would like to know: I hear that countries with medical care like Canada’s have a thriving supplemental insurance industry, which allows better care to those who can afford the extra premiums. I’ve read about something like that in Britain, and have a friend from Hungary who told some awful stories about the poor dental care available for people who did not have supplemental insurance (when she married and came to the US, she received thousands of dollars in dental care thanks to her new husband’s insurance, in spite of the fact that she had gone to her local dentist in Hungary all along). I’ve wondered about that, and what would happen in the US if that became the standard. I have a feeling we would put our own twist on it.

  7. I’d also like to see Obama/Daschle show some spine and address this new last minute rule expanding Right of Conscious refusals.
    Because this is some bullshit:

    In calling for limits on “conscientious refusals,” ACOG cited four recent examples. In Texas, a pharmacist rejected a rape victim’s prescription for emergency contraception. In Virginia, a 42-year-old mother of two became pregnant after being refused emergency contraception. In California, a physician refused to perform artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. (In August, the California Supreme Court ruled that this refusal amounted to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation.) And in Nebraska, a 19-year-old with a life-threatening embolism was refused an early abortion at a religiously affiliated hospital.

  8. Sue, I would say that supplementary health insurance in Britain does not necessarily allow “better care” – chiefly, it shortens waiting times. For example, I recently had (the remains of) a tooth out on the National Health Service for nothing, and the dentist did a great job; I waited 8 weeks, worth it because I was not in fact in pain. I could have had it out within a few days of breaking it for £1200 ($2,500). As far as hospital stays are concerned, you pay for better surroundings, more nurses and edible food.
    I know of people who have had superlative free care, and people who had dire care on Harley Street (top-of-the-range private practice). To a large extent it depends how good your local hospital is on your particular problem(but again, my son was given a choice re. his eye surgery and was able to choose specialist London eye hospital Moorfields [NHS] – though we are not in London). The NHS has its faults, certainly, but it’s not a simple divide.
    I think it is a shame that apparently supporting/advocating socialised medicine makes you a communist, according to too many US commenters [I don’t mean you]. My deep blue Tory late parents-in-law would beg to differ…

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