Insurance sucks. I know the "joys" of calling the insurance, the doctor's billing office, the insurance, the doctor's office trying to get things worked out. I wonder if the government system would be any better.
There's two ways to look at this debate 1) from me as someone who has insurance already and 2) from someone who has no insurance now. I suspect from the view of #2, anything is better than nothing, except that their taxes go up, but I don't know that for sure. For me, I have a few issues:
- How would a national health care program work? (Note to self: look into Canada's health care system.) Would doctors essentially become government employees? Would the government act as a giant insurance company? (Now from the people who brought you taxes and IRS, health care and um... HURT (healthcare for the uninsured, residents, and taxpayers, Ok, it's a stretch). Would you get credits to buy your own insurance?
- From my greedy point of view, am I going to keep paying the same for my insurance while my taxes go up to provide health care for those without. Why don't I get any benefit? Or maybe I do in the form of warm fuzzies and a reduction in total pain and suffering. One of my husband's co-workers said that we were already paying for the uninsured because hospitals have to pay their costs, so they charge others more to make up for the fact that some can't pay. So this would mean if everyone could pay, insurance premiums would go down (yeah right, sorry I'm cynical of insurance companies).
- Would this produce a two tier system where basic care was free, but any meaningful care cost extra. Sort of like the shipping at Amazon, you can get free shipping, but you'll have to wait two weeks, want it tomorrow and you'll have to pay more. If you want an appointment you can get it for free, but if you want an appointment sooner than next month that will cost you $20.
- How far would the national program go? Would there be a cap on per person spending like there is in regular insurance or would we as a nation be bound to provide extreme levels of care?
- Would the insurance lobby stand for any kind of real beneficial change to how health care works in America?
I've looked through Obama's plan. Basically he wants to offer a basic government health plan. Insurance companies can offer other plans, but they must be the same as or better than the government plan. Also, insurance companies can't discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. Not sure what I think of it. Sounds nice, but it seems to me everyone will have to switch to government plan since I can't see any reason for insurance companies to offer better plans if they can't discriminate.