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Graduate of the University of Oregon, Married for 4-1/2 years to my High School sweetheart. I am currently residing in Cleveland while I attend med school.

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    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    SB840 Update: Huffington Post Supports California Bankruptcy

    Well, no surprise that the Huffington Post supports SB840. Yesterday's "hard-hitting" article discussed unanimous support for the bill in a recent informational forum in Burbank (incidentally, the forum was put on by Health Care for All, a group that is heavily lobbying the bill). But, the article is disingenuous and misleading, mischaracterizing the debate as "Proper healthcare for all vs insurance profits," when it is nothing of the sort. The author, Steve Young, states that "everyone, no matter their medical condition, no matter their financial standing, will be covered. Who could be against that?" He's right. Everyone should be for providing the best possible care to the greatest number of people. However, SB840, which would place all health care responsibility under control of the state, is not the way to achieve that goal.
    And the next sound you hear will be the insurance companies and their allies rolling out the usual scare-tactic buzz phrases.

    Socialism!

    Government-operated!

    Small businesses will have to shut down!

    Large corporations will have to cut back!

    You'll lose your family doctor!

    Mediocre healthcare!

    No choice!

    Long lines!

    One word: Canada

    Problem with every one of those fear-inducing caveats: NONE OF THEM ARE TRUE
    Mr. Young has shown his mastery of the caps-lock button as a means of supporting a point. But, don't be overwhelmed by this; SB840 is a socialist plan, essentially by definition. I actually agree with a few of the above points - you won't lose your family doctor, and big-businesses likely wouldn't have to cut-back - though "NONE OF THEM ARE TRUE" remains false (oh the irony), despite being all-caps.

    Less than a month ago the New York times reported on the failings of Canada's system. Canada suffers from frighteningly long waiting periods, mediocre equipment, facility/doctor shortages, and all at a huge cost to tax-payers (Mr. Young doesn't seem to claim that the overwhelming costs "ARE NOT TRUE"). I've posted about the costs and decline in health care (here, here, and here, with more from The Only Republican in San Francisco), which I support with facts and thoughtful arguments supporting my predictions.

    Furthermore, the article demonizes insurance companies. Young seems to abhor the fact that they are allowed to make a profit. Well, I have news for you, Mr. Young; in Canada, "private insurance companies are about to find a gold mine" (New York Times). The very fact that the socialized system in Canada is so inept has made people desperate for private care.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Peter said...

    I live in Ontario which is the largest province in Canada.

    Socialism!

    Wrong.... Doctors are NOT employees of the government and register as corporations.

    Government-operated!

    Wrong... Hospitals operate as non-profit corporations.,,, They decide their own budgets. they receive most of their funding from the government..

    Small businesses will have to shut down!

    Wrong.... Ontario is the economic center of Canada .

    Large corporations will have to cut back!

    The Big 3 rarely close their Canadian plant since the cost of heath insurance they pay for employees is much less then in their American plants since they do NOT have to pay heath insurance premiums for their retired workers.

    You'll lose your family doctor!

    Wrong.... I have the same GP for over 25 years ...

    Mediocre health care!

    American hospitals are always trying to hire Canadian doctors and nurses but few leave Canada .

    No choice!

    All doctors, hospitals and clinics are paid by OHIP (Ontario Heath Insurance Plan)

    Long lines!

    The sickest get treated first and not the ones with the most money.

    One word: Canada

    The very fact that the socialized system in Canada is so inept has made people desperate for private care.

    WRONG !!!! Most Canadian DO NOT want a American type medical system,

    Canadians live about 3 years longer than Americans ... The mortality rate for births in Canada is 1/2 of the American Rate...

    7:33 PM  
    Anonymous Steve said...

    I disagree with you strongly, and completely agree with peter above. SB840 is not socialized medicine. Doctors would still work entirely for themselves, not the government. Instead of dealing with myriad (inefficient) insurance companies, they would bill the state, just as they do for medicare now. The increased purchasing power and administrative simplification would actually reduce costs, such that government, business, and labor would all benefit under this plan.

    I too am usually skeptical of government involvement in the private sector, in the case of such a severe market failure (as we are seeing in health care today), single payer is our best option.

    11:44 PM  

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