Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why We Need a Public Health Care Option...

Since this is the BIG political topic at the moment, I feel it's only fitting for me to chime in with my 2 cents worth...

First of all, let me say...If you are NOT educating yourself on this topic, or at least paying attention somewhat to it in the news, then SHAME ON YOU!

This is a very important issue that affects all of your lives! I can't believe that there are so many of you out there who have absolutely no opinion on this...or even a clue that this is being debated right now in Washington.



Having said that, personally, I believe that we NEED to see healthcare reformed from its current state, and there absolutely needs to be a public option available.

Let me tell you how I formed my opinion...

My aunt, who is in her 60s, was diagnosed with cancer that has spread to her bone. She is currently on Medicare (which is governmentally run), with insurance in which all of the costs are covered through AARP. She is actually doing very well right now, as she has received great care.

Thank Goodness!

There was never a moment when she was threatened to be thrown out of the hospital early, and not once was it brought up that her treatment would have to be stopped. In fact, she was only released from the hospital when my uncle decided that it was time.

And the best part...She will not have any out-of-pocket costs to pay.


Through my work, I have health insurance with a private company, a PPO through a company that has a reputation of being very, very good.

However, a few months ago, a co-worker friend of mine had a little accident causing her to get a big cut that became infected.

She called the insurance company SO MANY times to get this straightened out. She had to fill out a ton of paperwork, and after all of that she still ended up paying around $650 for one simple visit to the emergency room.


Our insurance company told her they would NOT pay for this because she didn't call them before going in to the hospital.

What a crock of sh*t!

So, what's your point Paul? Well...I am saying that maybe it's not such a bad thing if our federal government runs a program to supply health care to those who currently don't have health insurance. (They seem to be doing an OK job with our Medicare system...)

I mean...there are many details that have to be ironed out, which congress is currently doing, but for the Insurance companies and their lobbyists to tell us that a public healthcare option would be bad is NONSENSE.

IN FACT...if the actual insurance companies are telling us that a public option is not good, then that just says to me that we SHOULD have one!

I'm tired of these insurance companies claiming to be there for us, but in actuality are only in it for the money.


But...this is just my humble opinion.


  1. I don't see why people have a problem with a government-run option. It's not like Obama is asking the insurance companies to shut down. This option is only for those who don't have insurance through an employer, right?

  2. The republicans are calling this socialism, because a public option would have to be paid for by charging higher taxes.

  3. Personally, I don't mind paying more in taxes for the security of knowing that if i get injured or very sick, that I have treatment that will be available to me with no hoops to jump through.

    But, that's my opinion. Right now, I pay for private health insurance which I rarely even use...AND if i did, i have a deductible to meet first. CRAZY!

  4. Nobody should go broke or lose the American Dream, because they get sick or lose their job. If people call that "Evil" or Socialism, then I want it. I want to be Evil then... Sorry, I care about people. I don't know when Empathy became a dirty thing? Well, all the emotions aside, I'm all up for a debate about real issues. I understand that some people don't like these sorts of policies and they don't like huge amounts of spending, etc. But, unfortunately, the Media has wasted a lot of time sensationalizing claims that aren't true. They give all these bozo's equal time, even though they're not worthy. That's what's wrong today -- misinformation is so easily digested and regurgitated. It isn't just bloggers -- it's the twitteriffic Senators doing the magic too. They adopt these silly little kernels of truth and fight against real reform and a real debate with "death panel" claims and "illegal alien health care" scares. Well, I'm glad people are talking positively about the issue. Thanks Paul. Check out for a lot of myth-busting (on every side).

  5. Let's not forget when I had to get my wisdom teeth removed...I called to verify that the surgeon was covered and I was told he was only to get a $2000.00 bill after I removed them. I wrote a letter saying I called and everything and still had to pay because the insurance wouldn't cover it because they were impacted...shouldn't someone have asked me that when I called?!What's the point of having insurance when I had to pay the entire expense out of pocket. Go government run insurance! I would rather pay extra or "buy into" the government insurance. If I had an option to pay for it through work or the governement I would do it through the government to make sure I was covered.

  6. Thanks Matt!
    I am on my way to now.

  7. Anna, I do remember that. I should've added that to my blog to make my point!

    I agree. I would choose a government-run option (if it was comparable to how medicare is run) over a private company ANYDAY!

  8. I completely agree. 77% of the American people actually would like to see the public option. It will help to create competition with the private sector, which is basically raping us all.

    Since losing my job, I maxed out my credit cards paying for individual insurance (which was cheaper than my Cobra option). Now I have maxed out credit cards and no insurance.

    Last year, I had an accident and woke up with head trauma in the E.R. Because I didn't have insurance, I left the hospital against all of the doctors wishes. I don't even remember getting home. I went for a follow-up visit three weeks later to find I still had a concussion. The following week I opened my $9,000 hospital bill, which didn't even include any of my doctor bills (which are billed separate). It's a disgrace that I had to leave early when I clearly wasn't well and even more a disgrace that I'm stuck paying thousands of dollars in bills because I can't afford to pay for insurance (doesn't make much sense, does it?). A lot of Americans don't want our system bogged down by adding more people to it. Shame on them. Everyone in this country deserves fair treatment.

  9. Paul, it is all well and good but Medicare does not pay their bills. Medicare is backed up on payment in Illinois at least 6 months and then they only pay pennies on the dollar.

    I am for health care, but we are not hearing the important stories. The media is never impartial and we only hear 1/2 truths....

  10. I am not saying that we all will have Medicare. My point by referencing Medicare, is that the government runs it and they actually have a a successful program.

    Therefore, maybe it's NOT so scary to have the government be in charge of our healthcare. They couldn't EFF it up more than the private insurance companies currently do...

  11. Medicare spends more money per patient in administrative costs than private insurance companies... I wouldn't necessarily call that successful.

    The horror stories about failure to pay won't be cured by the government. Have you ever heard of the MSPQ? It stands for the Medicare Secondary Payor Questionnaire. It's a form that is filled out every visit where Medicare tries to position itself behind any other insurance for which you qualify. Even if your Medicare coverage is better, it may not be used first, potentially decreasing your overall benefit. The rules for the MSPQ are far more complex than those for 'normal' coordination of benefits.

    Those who bash healthcare providers and insurance companies often fail to acknowledge that 'we the people' are part of the problem of rising costs. To name a few, abuse of prescription drugs, overuse/abuse of ER facilities and frivolous lawsuits cost the system a lot of money each year. That money has to come from somewhere, so that cost is passed on to the consumer. It's similar to the rise in retail prices in part due to shoplifting.

    A public option for healthcare is not the panacea people are making it out to be.

  12. We just need guaranteed health coverage for everyone.

    My brother-in-law is developmentally disabled. He lived with us for a year and a half, and when he moved in I emailed my insurance guy asking for a quote so we could get him some basic coverage. I assumed it would be expensive, but my insurance company told me flat out (I have it in writing!) that they wouldn't insure him. We called two other companies and got the same response. Nobody would insure him.


    So we had an uninsured adult child living with us for 21 months. I have no idea what we would have done if he'd gotten sick or injured. Thankfully he didn't, and the company where he works part-time in menial labor reluctantly agreed to give him some rudimentary coverage after he'd worked there for almost two years. He's still totally fucked (or, more accurately, we are) if he needs expensive medical care, though.

    And every time a douchebag Republican screams that we should leave government out of insurance because the free market will make sure everyone can get coverage, I am overcome with an urge to kill with my bare hands. The free market obviously doesn't give a shit about the medical needs disabled people, and we should violently beat anyone who says otherwise.

  13. Jake, you definitely bring up a good point and another aspect of this argument.

    And to Anonymous before Jake, it's not always about the money. I would pay a little extra to make sure that healthcare is available to ALL people.

    Sure, a government-run healthcare option probably won't be perfect, and will come with stipulations and inconveniences...but for many people without coverage, it is a better option than nothing at all.

  14. And you are CRAZY if you think Medicare is a success.

  15. Individual health insurance is available today. Yes, it's not as attractive because the insured pays the entire premium, but it is still an option.

    I agree that everyone should have some level of coverage, and a public option would ensure that. It won't, however, adequately alleviate the financial hardships of everyone, especially situations like Jake's, as the monetary need far outweighs the benefit. Any system, public or private, will only pay out the money it takes in (remember all those 'is Social Security going to be bankrupt?' debates), thus limits will be set and people will still be left out in the cold.

    Will it help overall, though? I'd like to think so. And I'd like to see it happen. I'm afraid, though, that people are putting so much faith in this idea that when it fails to solve everyone's problems, it will be considered a failure, and Obama will be blamed.