Desperate times call for drastic change and that is not what Hillary Clinton’s new health care plan (American Health Choices Plan) calls for. Our health care system is broken and we need to see big change in order to fix it. We need to take the profit out of health care. Leaving health care in the hands of insurance companies is not the way to do it. Insurance companies need to be taken out of the equation. Hillary’s solution is a combination of tax credits, unspecified encouragement to drug companies to “offer fair prices,” and promoting “consumer price consciousness in choosing health plans.” Those tax credits will mostly benefit higher income Americans. And people like me, who struggle with the ever-increasing cost of medical bills, insurance premiums and deductibles will likely choose the cheapest plan that provides the worst coverage. Sounds pretty much like what we have now in this broken system.
If you’re in doubt our health care system is broken, check out the statistics here or here or here. Or note American Cancer Society’s plan to spend their entire 2007 advertising budget addressing the health care crisis. Dr. Otis Brawley, incoming chief medical officer of the cancer society, said 1 in 10 cancer patients lack insurance. Almost 560,000 Americans will die from cancer this year, and the American Cancer Society estimates 36,377 cancer patients will die without insurance.
Hillary announced part 3 of her new health care plan on Monday. The most shocking revelation: a mandate on health care. That is, all Americans are required to have/pay for health insurance, just like car insurance. Why must we be forced to insure our bodies and minds? I thought that was for the JLos and the Angelinas. We need health care. Not health insurance. Imagine the 47+ million Americans without health insurance today. Now imagine every single one of them being forced to pay for health insurance. There is a reason so many of the uninsured do not have health insurance. They cannot afford it! And there are some like me that have insurance because I fear life without it and so I go deeper and deeper into debt thanks to my rising premiums which go up every single year. It’s worth noting insurance premiums have climbed 87 percent the past decade. That doesn’t even include the rising cost of deductibles, co-pays, prescription drug prices, hospital charges, etc. The letter I receive from my insurance company informing me of my premium increase always states the same explanation: rising health care costs. The insurance companies blame the doctors and the medicine and the research. I know how much insurance agents (salespeople) make a year. I know they are rewarded when their sales increase. We are not buying cars here- whether or not one has health insurance can determine whether or not one lives or dies.
Hillary recently said the insurance industry would never nominate her as woman of the year because she’s tough on them. Really? I beg to differ. um, first of all, forcing all Americans to purchase insurance will send their profits through the roof. Think about it. Let’s say the premiums, through the variety of plans insurance companies will offer, are on average $200.00/quarter (and i doubt any will be that low). That’s $800.00/year. Now multiply $800.00 by 47,000,000. That equals: 37,600,000,000. 37 billion dollars a year to the insurance companies simply from the Americans that could never afford health insurance in the first place. Some of these people might not otherwise spend $800/year on medical bills. And those that would spend more, require more care, well, paying the premium won’t be their the only cost, they’ll still have to pay a percentage on what insurance doesn’t cover. And I’m sure that will be murky. I don’t foresee a future (with Hillary’s plan) that makes health care understandable. The “what is or isn’t covered” will continue to be debatable. In an interview with the associated press, Clinton said she could imagine a system in which “you have to show proof to your employer that you’re insured as part of the job interview like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination.” I can’t wait for that!!
You can read about her plan and decide for yourself. I don’t doubt Hillary wants to see a change, I think some parts of her plan, like mental health parity and covering pre-existing conditions, are excellent.
Unfortunately she wants to keep insurance companies in control.
Health care will undoubtedly be the #1 domestic issue during the 2008 presidential election. and it should be. What frightens me is the thought of choosing between the lesser of two evils as we always seem to do when it comes time to casting our vote. Not one of the 3 “top tier” democratic candidates (Clinton, Obama and Edwards) offer the solution to our health care crisis. The only two that really want to make change a reality, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kuchinich, remain shut out by the media.
Meanwhile the majority of Americans and all mainstream media seem more concerned with the latest on Britney Spears and OJ Simpson. Yesterday there was more coverage on OJ Simpson than the tasing of University of Florida student, Andrew Meyers and Hillary’s new health care plan.
That speaks volumes.