Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Missing from the Health Care Debate

One thing I've noticed that seems to be absent from all the grand and wonderful solutions to our "broken" healthcare system and the "debate" it is generating (yeah, go ahead and laugh, I saw some debate on the NewsHour, so there).

Can anybody guess?

Give up?

How about, the knife in the back Insurance Companies?

Employers pay into a pool, or provide their employees coverage. Employees pay, the Government pays, employers pay, everybody pays. And who do they pay to?

Why, yes, the knife in the back Insurance Companies.

Employers pretty much hate paying for health insurance, why should they pay for their employees or their sick kids, after all, they aren't their kids, are they? They never call out sick, why should their employees? Never mind that healthy people work harder and longer and more productively, the same if their kids are getting cared for when they're sick or injured. No. it seems like it's always better to try to weasel out of paying for anything if you can, even if it does benefit your company in the long and short run.

And what has always puzzled me, is why business votes for the Republicks on this issue. Do they enjoy paying those premiums? Do they enjoy all of the paper work, researching better or cheaper plans every year, all of the time and money that goes into the whole insurance process? You wouldn't think so, but somehow, that's what they do.

And all this while, the insurance industry just rakes the profits. And does everything in their power to stop the notion of universal health care, of Medicare for everybody. Because, of course, if that were to happen, profits would dry up to bare levels, their investment monies would go away and they would become weak and no longer the feared decider of our fates.

Got a pre-existing condition? Fear your insuror. Wrong disease, or taking the wrong drugs? Bow down to the insuror. Have a favorite care giver who really knows his/her stuff, who knows you as a patient and a person, your history and your prognosis, who's seen up your ass and saved your life because of it? Better hope your employer doesn't change plans, or you can always pay the higher premium and still see your favorite doctor.

So far, what little I've heard of Obama's plan, and all the others, employers and patients make all the sacrifices, and nothing is required of the insurance industry, except to take your premium dollars.

And that is what is wrong with all of the proposed solutions. One party gets all of the benefits and gives up nothing in return.

It's like the time when these 7 Democrats went into this bar after a long day herding cats. Tired and thirsty, they bellowed for beers and whiskey. The bartender said, "sorry boys, all I've got is this here sarsaparilla and this Shirley Temple drink."

"Shirley Temple and Root Beer?!!?!" cried the catpokes, "are you out of your developmentally disabled disease vectored head? Scotch and Guinness or we'll take our business elsewhere."

Such unanimity couldn't be abided by the barkeep, he laughed and said, "go ahead, take your business somewhere else. Where you going to go, to the local gin mill and micro brewer? And risk getting their filthy common germs on ya? No, go ahead, leave if you must, but it's naught but Pink Drinks for you, not even the sarsaparilla is on the bar now."

The angry Dems got up and left, reluctant to pass on the glistening pink glasses lined up at the bar, but soon enough they all left. 2 minutes later they were back.

"The moonshiner was making a run, we couldn't wait for him to come back, so we'll take your Shirley Temples, but the next time, we really mean it when we say we're going to the competition. Really."

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