Atlantis Alumni

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Sick, It's Vile, It's Educated, It's Healthcare

We shouldn't give up on health care or the promise of having real public health care in our country. When I see the beligerent Americans shouting in town halls, babbling endlessly about going back to an America the Founding Fathers had intended; you know, all white, Christian and people that care more about their wallets then their neighbor, I have to wonder if we aren't already lost. And any analogy of Obama to Hitler is ludicrous. Barney Frank said it best to a woman who stood up in front of him and said healthcare is like the Nazi regime: "Arguing with you is like arguing with the dining room table, I just won't do it." It's a lazy and stupid analogy regardless.
I've worked for big companies for over two decades and I can recognize manipulation when I see it. Insurance companies are full of them: hordes of men and women with MBA's and mediocre college degrees getting together and denying their responsibility to their fellow man. Using a spreadsheet and clever media manipulation to deny the obvious to so many.
I have a few thoughts on health care. It's essentially the same as public education; we need to give it away and lavish on it. It's a good people investment for our country and it's exactly the kind of thing our founding fathers could not have foreseen but absolutely would have wanted. If you don't believe me, go back to high school civics and this time worry less about your tests and more about what the book and teacher is saying. Ok, something more constructive? We live in a living Democracy, the Constitution and Bill Of Rights are not static documents. Google HR476 (one of the proposed bills in the House Of Representatives for health care). It is very straightforward and is the least we can do.
We are being manipulated. Quite heavily at this point. Let me Are public roads, schools, fireman, parks and the like socialist? Hardly! Is the Vets Administration or the Pentagon a bunch of socialists? Nope. Yet they are all paid for by our collective pooled taxes. I'll give you a not so subtle situation I found myself in just recently. In speaking with a manager in my firm, I had a not so subtle reminder that if I didn't "make my number" I could get a tap on the shoulder and I'd be looking for a new job in no time. What would my family do without income, health care and all of the wonder the firm blesses upon my humble self? I better pull in much more money for the firm or who knows what could happen? Doesn't sound like that has much to do with a friendly doctor's visit or choosing my doctor or single payer now, does it?
I also had another experience this week that struck me as strange. I had almost $1000 bill dropped in my lap for my kids wellness visits. Both my wife and I went into shock when we saw the bill and we were launched into a half a day of insurance call centers and very belligerent billing staffers at medical facilities. The bills we received were literally out of the blue; my whole family has extensive insurance and the bills went back almost 3 years! We think we may have gotten it all sorted out yet I am still going to be out well over $140; my wife warns me daily that nothing is done until we have some kind of paper saying it is done so I am keeping my joy under wraps until then.
I relate these two experiences because they are not in theory. They are real things that happen to me and thousands of others every day. And they happen so often I do know that they are not mere coincidence. Perhaps the health care industry is a bit more concerned over a crack that happens with public health care; public oversight. Right now, there is very little legislation to stop an insurer and a doctor from forcing me to pay $1k in medical bills they say I owe. And the system is so confusing, at some point it becomes completely futile to fight it.
Granted, the government doesn't have a good record of uncomplicating things, check out the tax code for the last 40 years. However our society is largely defined by how we treat the weakest in it, the one's that can't care for themselves. I have to wonder if and when we'll all find ourselves in that position some day. I hope we all have great health and care by then.

No comments: