Because you may not like where you will land. It’s an old adage but still as true as it ever was. Case in point.
It makes me sick, living in the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth, to find myself scrambling to regain access to an essential social benefit that is obtained cheap or free in almost every other country in the world. I should be considered a good candidate for health insurance because of my healthy lifestyle, current state of health and minimal medical history. I have to confess that I am anxious about how I will pay for a sudden health calamity if one were to arise. Isn’t that what health insurance is supposed to be for? I am uninsured and scared.
The for going was written by Gary Vance in a blog post at The Smirking Chimp; a super liberal blog site. Note that Gary refers to health insurance as an essential social benefit. What does he mean by social benefit? I don’t know. Note, also, that he believes that health insurance in other parts of the world are either free or cheap. I have some bad news for Gary. In no country is health insurance free or cheap. Gary needs to look at the income tax rates in these counties. Definitely not cheap.
So what is Gary’s story. Simply put, Gary did not look before he leaped. Gary is a man of sixty years who was covered by health insurance through his wife’s job. He freely admits his own culpability:
I opted out of the coverage I had through my wife’s job because they were suddenly and dramatically going up on everyone’s premiums and deductible. I would have had to spend $9200 annually before I would see any real coverage. Being a typical American consumer, I was confident I could find a better deal by shopping around. Wrong!
Gary doesn’t pursue the “why” the premiums and deductibles were increasing. Do you think ObamaCare had anything to do with it? At any rate, Gary went looking for cheaper health insurance and found out that it was going to cost him even more or in the one instance where he did find an option that was more economical he was turned down for coverage. A sad story but Gary should have looked before he leaped.
It is not my intent today to try to understand why health insurance is so expensive in America. That will have to wait for another day. Today all I want to do is to share a thread of comments this article received. Apparently I am not the only conservative that visits the Chimps.
First a supporting comment from Jane who had just recently taken her granddaughter to the emergency room:
We obediently waited in our little cubicle for two hours, the doctor looked at her for three minutes and then the bill arrived — 800 dollars. That’s my income for a month. Enough said.
To which a Miss Marple made this reasonable response:
All of the equipment in the ER was available for your granddaughter. There was a surgeon and a surgical nurse on duty, along with an anesthesiologist. There was a CT scanner and an X-ray machine, and someone who knew how to run each one. There was more than one tech on duty to run any samples through those wonderful machines, that tell us if we are sick from some bacteria or virus, so the doctors know what medicine to give us. When the doctors thought I might have had a stroke, they did a CT scan, a blood test, and a spinal tap. They were able to tell be 100% I didn’t have one. When did that happen?
The bill for your granddaughter was $800, and it seems like an awful lot for just a few minutes, but if it had been something, something terrible, everything would have been there to save her life, and isn’t that a good thing to know?
Now our friend Gary jumps in with this:
I recently flew to Mexico and back again. There were skilled mechanics servicing the plane, veteran pilots that flew us safely, flight attendants that made us comfortable, baggage handlers that made sure our bags arrived with us, reservations personnel that efficiently performed all the logistics, management people to ensure their various underlings did their jobs, aeronautical research engineers, computer programmers, security people, janitors, cooks, parking lot attendants, and a host of other people that all support the airline industry and the services they provide for travelers. They did all this and everyone got paid while I forked out a grand total of $400. Please Miss Marple, don’t try to justify the outrageous escalating costs of health care by citing a plethora of services that hospitals offer. Every business sector in the country has a lot going on behind the scenes and are still able to maintain consumer costs at a fairly steady and reasonable rate.
And Miss Marple was ready for him with this suggestion:
If you think you are having a heart attack, go to the airport or to Mexico. On the other hand, when Dad was having problems breathing, he went to the hospital. When Mom became incoherent, Dad called 911, and they took her to the hospital. Their lives were saved by all the modern equipment and well trained medical people who were there, ready to take care of them. Whether people came in with emergency health problems or not, it was all there waiting for them. The equipment had to be paid for, the building and its upkeep had to be paid for, the people had to be paid, and the people who keep it all running and kept up had to be paid. Or you can go to the airport or Mexico.
Poor Gary just never learns, does he? I must say I rather like this Miss Marple person. How about you?