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"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care," the former Republican vice presidential candidate wrote.

The scariest thing is people keep buying that the proposed health care would kill people and that the government is going to euthanize old people. Wrong factor forty five, people. Now, I'm not expert on health care systems, but people who fact check have already debunked this stupid rumor.

But what gets me about this statement by Palin is how much it ignores our current privatized health care system and it's grievous flaws (and the fact it ignores medicaid/medicare, which are, you know, government run health care programs). As it stands now, *I* have to stand in front of a "do you deserve coverage" panel and be denied health care because of 'pre-existing' conditions that I currently don't have and hopefully won't have again in the future. My "level of productivity" is defined by a clinical diagnosis that, for a short period in my life, required medication. The "subjective judgment" is the profit margins insurance agencies and big pharma see when they determine how much of an investment a potential client may require. Now I'm only one of 30% of the people who are denied medical coverage for one reason or another - 70% do get coverage. That isn't a really winning statistic, though.

When a private corporation is using cost-benefit analysis to ascertain whether you or I have the right to be provided basic medical coverage, there is something very wrong.

All of us deserve the option to have health care coverage. All of us. If you prefer privatized health care, then you can keep it up with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Kaiser, Sutter, whatever. If you want a public option, you should have that right too. The bottom line is you should never be without health care benefits. It's offensive anyone would argue otherwise. And really, the proposed bill is pretty modest and could go farther but won't.

I'm not saying public health care is without issues. Every single system of health care has problems. That said, if private insurance companies and drug manufacturers make it egregiously difficult to get coverage and afford basic medication, when tens of millions of people cannot get coverage, and when thousands are dying annually because of lack of coverage - something has to give. The system has to change. Because this current system? It hurts people, it puts people into financial bankruptcy, and yes, it actually kills people. I'm tired of it and I want a system that allows me to have health care coverage regardless of whether I had allergies ten years ago and needed an inhaler. 

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
rozae
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's funny (okay, not really) how everyone is discussing problems with the bill which aren't even in the bill. Meanwhile, perfectly legitimate problems get ignored. Nothing productive is happening. A lot of fear is being spread, and that's all.
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Exactly, certainly as evidenced by the opposition's organized efforts to disrupt and incite violence at town hall meetings (I mean, I totally support their right to protest and ask valid questions, do not like their violent, disruptive tactics).

And I don't want to make it sound like I think the proposed bill is full of teh awesome, but I do feel it's important to have that public option available.
rozae
Aug. 8th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
Haven't heard about any violence.
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
At least one raucous crowd had to be dispersed by police after they tried to force their way into a town hall meeting. I think it was in Texas? I'll have to find the video.

In all the town hall videos, there's a clear edge of violence barely restrained. I'm surprised it's taken weeks for folks to really clash.
rozae
Aug. 8th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
What a shame. =\ People always seem to act extra stupid in large crowds.
dragonvyxn
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
i don't get how anyone can think that health care is not a right... it makes no sense. wtf is the hippocratic oath for, exactly? how does any of the bs the right wing republican idiots say even get believed by rational people?
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
That is what I don't get - people BELIEVE that this bill would kill old people and apparently throw our country into third-world status. It's mind-boggling.

I just wonder how many of these people don't have health insurance or know what it's like to be denied or unable to pay the premiums.
dragonvyxn
Aug. 8th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
yeah, it makes no sense. i have no health care... because i'm not employed by any company, and because i had a kidney thing when i was 1. yeah. 1. a-holes. one day i'll try again...
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
That's just effing ridiculous and wrong.

We are the only country in the "industrialized" world that does not believe all of it's citizenry should receive health care and that the gov't is responsible to provide it.

Just seems so basic to me.
rozae
Aug. 8th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
People believe in Cesar Millan and that Bonsai Cats are real. *shrug* What'cha going to do?
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Prove them wrong, make sure they don't taint the dialogue any further and ruin chance at all of us having access to health insurance. :)

I know people believe silly things, but that doesn't mean I become complacent over the big, important things.
rozae
Aug. 8th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
I get you. I just mean there's only so much you can do. People often believe what they want to. I'm sure someone thinks that of my spiritual beliefs, you know? You can do what you can to educate and also set a good example, but in the end people believe what they want.

Edited at 2009-08-08 08:51 pm (UTC)
smeddley
Aug. 8th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
I still believe the first - and biggest thing - that needs to happen is lawsuit caps. As long as doctors can still be sued for millions, there are going to be cost issues and problems. Yes, there are a few legitimate cases where awards are justified (say, cutting off the wrong leg, you know). But if you agree to a procedure that has risks, and are told those risks, and things go wrong, you don't get to sue the doctor.

I'm not for 'public' health care, a la the National Health system in the UK, because it has HUGE problems (the biggest being it's bankrupt*), but I can't see why health insurance should be different from car, life, home, renters... if all insurance was available to everyone, and you had a bunch to choose from, those companies would have to compete just like the car insurance companies do. No big fat 'oh, I have a huge contract with X company, we can charge the little guys whatever we want' attitudes.

Still, legal reform is the biggest and most important thing to pulling down costs, I think. It's the only reason I can figure it costs me 10x more to get the same medical treatment for me as for my dog. She has no insurance (but don't worry, I'd take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for her medical bills if I had to) and it cost something like $150 for a trip to the vet, x-rays, and medication. That wouldn't even cover me speaking to a doctor... But then again, malpractice insurance for a vet was something like $4,000/mo, and for a doctor it can be over $40,000/mo.

* I also want to say I'm going to scream if one more person talks about how socialized health care is 'FREE'. Does no one realize the MASSIVE TAX people in the UK pay for their health care? (and there's always talk about raising it) Most people in the US pay about 15% tax (after loopholes and deductions and whatnot) and I know I'd have to pay 40% in England, based on my income. It's fine if you want it, but don't lie and say it's 'free'.

Edited at 2009-08-08 04:04 pm (UTC)
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Few things are actually free, of course. But look at Massachusetts (which is often criticized). It insures more than 97% of its residents. The cost is 4/10ths of 1% of the state's total budget (88 million out of 27 billion). I think a lot of that is b/c of the incentive for employers to, you know, offer basic coverage to the people working for them.

And we're the only country where 34% surveyed agreed that the US health care system needs complete overhaul . I mean, sure, all the countries in the survey agreed fundamental changes were needed, regardless of the type of health care. But as far as complete rebuilding of a system - the US citizenry is not satisfied with our current system and wants it completely redone.

smeddley
Aug. 8th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
I agree there are problems, it's just that people seem to tell just as many lies about the greatness of the NHS. There really is a lack of service, and some people do have to wait months or years for treatment. It does happen. Also, most people in the UK get - if they can - private health insurance on top of the NHS because that's what it takes to get decent coverage (and this is coming from people that live in the UK).

And changes need to be made - but I do honestly believe, on the cost front, lawsuit reform HAS to be at the top or it's not going to work.
polyphonicvegan
Aug. 8th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
But muh taxes, muh taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaxes!

I love how many of the same people who are screaming publicly about senior people getting sent to death camps are the compassionate folks who would not support a public program to keep senior and disabled people in their homes; they would rather send people to institutions that cost the state more and provide worse care (actual death camps). I deal with these people every year in the form of California's ass backward Republican politicians (and the idiots who vote for them).




yesididit
Aug. 8th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
i dont have health coverage because when my cobra ran out after losing my job, i was denied for having pre-existing conditions.

i will never understand the mentality that "you need coverage the most, so we're not gonna cover you." todays health care system is all about making greedy bastards richer, and has nothing to do with helping people who truly need help. this is what has to change.
rinalia
Aug. 8th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
Agree 1,000,000%
rhinecat
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
I agree with you. I'm generally opposed to government interference in private matters, but adding another competitor to the health insurance field (which already meddles with private matters quite a lot, as you point out) doesn't seem unreasonable.

I would actually be more likely to support a plan that euthanized people. :P But I think I'm in the minority there.
zita_skyandano
Aug. 10th, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
It's so nice to see someone from the States realizing what a good idea public health care is. The idea is that when you need to go to the doctor, you can. Yes, maybe it's going to cost you some extra money in taxes, but compared to the US, many other people in other countries pay a great deal more in taxes, and sometimes they can get alot more back in turn in the long run. I was born and raised in the States but now live in Canada. I have NO health care coverage in the summer when I'm not in school, and a limited health care that covers my prescriptions when I'm in school (which I'll be loosing in December). But if I'm sick and need to go to the doctor, I can walk down the street to the walk in clinic, flash my health card and get the care I need without having to pay a dime on site.

I'm not saying Canada's health care system is perfect - it's not. Yes there can be long wait times for certain procedures. And each province has to maintain it's own system so sometimes there is a lack of something in one province while there is an overabundance of it in another. But at least every person can be seen by a doctor when they need to be. My husband had to go to the emergency room once when he was visiting the States from Canada and his parents were utterly FLOORED by the bill when it arrived.

What I don't get is how people can run around in the States bitching that they don't want someone from the government standing between them and their doctor. Don't they realize that the insurance agent ALREADY does this?! And then there's all this crazy shit that we hear gets said on the news like "One in every five Canadians must DIE so that everyone else can have health care." Um.. no. Come live in Canada for a year and get educated.

And you want to know what's even MORE crazy? Some people from Canada want to switch back to privatized care from the system they have now! GOOD LORD!!!

But I would also agree that government health care isn't the easy answer. You still have to fix the system that's in place. You still have to try to account for the problems with public health care. There's no easy answer, but at least making sure EVERY PERSON can get health care coverage is a big step in the right direction.

~Striker
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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