Monday, October 12, 2009

Die quickly. US Rep. Alan Grayson's comments were a good soundbyte.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who said late last month that Republicans' health care plans amount to wanting sick people to die quickly, hit the nail on the head.

Of course Republican's would deny this, but fact of the matter is, large segments of the population can't afford serious illness without some kind of subsidy. It's an ugly truth that Republicans kind of sweep under the carpet.

No matter how we paint the pig be it insurance reform, single payer or whatever, serious illness is just too expensive for lower income people. Either the premiums for insurance to cover it are too high or the money just isn't there. Without some sort of "tax the rich" income transfer there's no coverage.

Maybe we should divide the problem of paying for healthcare into two parts. Serious illness and "low end" medical expense.

Private enterprise can cover low end medical things.

Here's where Republican style ideas of health insurance savings accounts might even work. I'm not a Republican, but for low end expense, savings isn't a bad idea. Savings means incentive for staying healthy and also using medical care wisely. It can pay for preventative care, checkups, less expensive prescriptions, minor things like broken arms; even dental care.

Major illness is too expensive. If someone has a catastrophic illness or a long term chronic illness the government usually ends up paying the tab anyway. Serious illnesses are often disabling anyway.

Serious illness basically all but kills the idea of being able to work for a living, let alone paying premiums.

Maybe the government should pay for serious illness and then allow a system of more private solutions to evolve for low end care. Savings accounts and less expensive insurance can cover minor things as well as preventative care.

Medical savings plans do have insurance for catastrophic illness, but even that can be costly. Really, the government should be the catastrophic plan.

Republicans have an aversion to any "tax the rich income transfer," but with major illness it's either that, or go ahead and push the so called "right to life" folks overboard. Advocate "dieing quickly" for folks with major illnesses that couldn't have afforded insurance.

I'm not a right to lifer, but the idea of pulling the plug is repugnant to me also.

Instead of repugnant, call it Republican.

The conflict between right to life and "no tax let the market decide" is glaring.

Hope this contradiction sinks the Republican Party.

Still, some "so called" Republican thinking has a bit of merit. Most healthy and reasonably employed people could still participate in things like affordable insurance and savings plans that would provide access to minor care, but also have incentive to use it sparingly.

If major illness hits, "plan B" has to be subsidy for lower income people.

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