Skip to content

My Take on O-Care

July 5, 2012


As a contractor who has no problem finding contract work and tons of problems finding permanent work, with the passage of Obamacare I’m hard pressed to think that’s going to change.  At least companies nearing the 50-employee mark will be doing a lot more contracting and outsourcing than ever before.  Is it coincidence that my current company put a hiring freeze in place the day the Supreme’s made their ruling?

Still, is nationalized health care really as bad as the right makes it seem?  Probably not AS bad, if you don’t mind a monster national debt expanding ever-more and onward.  Or if you think the answer to a broken system is bureaucracy.

Many aspects of O-care are helpful.  No pre-existing restrictions, no cap on benefits; like the banking bill that makes payments go to the highest interest debt first, it simply isn’t all bad.

You know, I even get the mandate.  It honks me off, I don’t think it’s constitutional (sorry Judge Roberts), it will likely make me a criminal somewhere down the road, but people get health care no matter what and it has to be paid for… many things that are wrong have sensible benefits.

And really, it might not be wrong.

Pretend for a moment that Freedom is a patient who wanders into the hospital with a broken knee.  O-care says, “No problem, Mr. Freedom!  We’ll fix that broken knee by amputating at the hip!”  First, before cutting away our freedom, shouldn’t you try to fix the broken knee or perhaps replace it with a new titanium joint?  After that if it goes to gangrene, or flesh-eating bacteria start swarming up the thigh, amputation would be called for.  It’s drastic and European to leap to nationalized healthcare.

I know, I know, it works so well for Europe (ignoring the bankruptcy and horrific economies… clearly nationalized healthcare has nothing to do with that).  But we aren’t other countries.  We have a unique, individualistic culture that many of us want to preserve.  Something that works in Sweden won’t necessarily work here.  Canada is vastly different, too.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time there and it works for them (except when it doesn’t).

There are less severe solutions that could be implemented.  I’ve discussed them before, so I won’t go into them again. If they don’t work, if the list of solutions is exhausted, then bankrupt the country… I mean, implement O-care.

Note: O-care was NOT based on R-care.  R-care was a strong-arm STATE program never intended for national application.  Not even Romney would be dull enough to think such a thing would work in Arkansas.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2012 1:27 pm

    “We would include a mandate in our proposal–not a mandate on employers, but a mandate on heads of households–to obtain at least a basic package of health insurance for themselves and their families. That would have to include, by federal law, a catastrophic provision in the form of a stop loss for a family’s total health outlays. It would have to include all members of the family, and it might also include certain very specific services, such as preventive care, well baby visits, and other items.”

    Those words are from the (conservative) Heritage Foundation’s Stuart Butler, describing Heritage’s health-care reform proposal in 1991–a plan which was picked up by Newt Gingrich and other GOP leaders in the 1990s, and which became the template for Romneycare in Massachusetts, which in turn became the template for Obamacare. There are differences between O-care and R-care, yes, but the individual mandate is what lies at the heart of each, and it’s pretty ironic to me that it’s a conservative idea now scorned by conservatives because a Democrat–THIS Democrat, even more emphatically–ran with it.

    Now the argument seems to have morphed a bit, so that it’s not the individual mandate itself that’s so terrible, but that what’s a good idea for one state (or nation) might not be a good idea for another. And on some issues I might even agree. But I don’t get how anyone can possibly declare, with a straight face and reasoned consideration, that extending health care–preventative as well as acute–to as many people as possible (and preferably everyone, period) is an idea that makes more sense in one place than in another. You can say the individual mandate isn’t as good a way to extend health care to everyone in Arkansas as it is for the people of MA, and that may be a valid argument–but are you saying that extending health care to everyone in Arkansas (or the US) makes less sense or is a worse idea than extending it to everyone in Massachusetts (or Norway)?

    If that’s the argument, I really don’t know what to say, aside from pointing out that the GOP is the ONLY mainstream political party in the civilized world which regards health care as a privilege rather than a basic right. If it’s about the ‘strong-arm’ tactics of the individual mandate, then okay, there are indeed other options. All the individual mandate stipulates is that every household needs to carry health coverage–that doesn’t preclude the option of delivering that coverage in the form of a single-payer system, whether federal or state-level. And that’s exactly what Vermont is doing. Is single-payer the best option for every state in the Union? Personally I do think so, though of course many would disagree. Regardless, whatever we can do to extend health care as a basic right of all citizens is a step in the right direction.

  2. July 6, 2012 7:57 pm

    Well, first, healthcare does not equal insurance. There are a whole lot of low-cost, non-insurance answers to healthcare.

    Second, healthcare is not a right by virtue that you don’t have a right to someone else’s labor unless you’re mandated to operate within a system. The caveat is due to our right to legal representation within the American jurisprudence system which is non-negotiable for people within our borders (foreign embassies not withstanding). While universal healthcare it is not a right, it should certainly be our goal.

    Yes, it was for your quote’s existence that I severed my ties with the Republican Party in 1991. It is also why I would have moved out of Mass under Romney. However, I still assert the states have the 10th Amendment right to be stupid or brilliant depending on their leadership.

    Mandates to carry insurance are ridiculous. The wealthy don’t need it, some of us have deals with our doctor-clients for affordable care, and others simply can’t afford it.

    My problem with the single-payer system (presuming the single-payer isn’t the patient) is that it’s simply more expensive. If I go to my doctor and I pay at the counter with a check, the cost is a couple pieces of paper and the fee. If I go to my doctor and he has to bill a bureaucracy, there’s the cost of a billing department in his office, mail (or an Internet infrastructure requiring building and maintenance), an AR department on the other end, them mailing it to the government where they have a department, several billion-dollar hammers and plungers, some lobbyist’s and senator’s palms to grease, and AR to send it back to the insurance company or the doctor, while I have to pay my insurance. My way, the doctor gets paid immediately, the other way, in a few months. I’d like to think that’s an exaggeration, but I doubt it is. On the other hand, if the single-payer is the insurance company, why do you need the government involved?

    Training clinics, pro-bono doctors, doctors and nurses working as a part of their loan agreement, retired doctors and nurses, medical technicians, corporate clinics and wellness centers… my goodness, there are thousands of solutions that can be tailored to a community while a Federal “solution” harms as many people as it helps AND allows fraud and abuse in yet another government entitlement program.

    This being said by someone who would benefit from O-Care (assuming I can eventually get a permanent job that helps with insurance payments, though oddly, so many hiring freezes went into place when the O-Care bill passed the Supreme Court).

    I am a small-government, government-as-close-to-the-community-as-possible independent who votes for what’s best for the country not just for myself (okay, in this election I’ll vote against what’s worst for the country, but same idea).

  3. kverdeck permalink
    July 10, 2012 9:41 am

    Semantics, granted, but in the US, at least, health care and insurance are essentially synonymous for most of us–if you don’t have insurance, you’re probably only going to get health care when you really, really need it, at which point you probably won’t be able to afford it. It’s not a great system, which is why every other first-world nation (and even some second-world nations) have abandoned it.

    Your single-payer-is-more-expensive argument holds no water, I’m afraid. For the honor of being ranked 37th in the world in health care efficacy, we rather solidly hold the Numero Uno spot in both per-capita and percent-of-GDP health care spending–and projections rather ominously project that the percent-of-GDP number is going to increase beyond what the economy can bear, with or without Obamacare. Meanwhile, countries with single-payer keep costs down AND obtain better results. It just works, yet we’re squabbling to keep our for-profit system?

    Similarly, your arguments against Big Government fraud and waste are pretty boilerplate conservative folderol. Is there fraud and waste in government? Sure, just like there is in all human enterprise. I read a survey this morning wherein a quarter of surveyed financial executives said unethical behavior was NECESSARY to succeed in their field. It could be presumed that the same holds true for all corporate executives, including for-profit health care. So I suppose the question is whether we’d rather deal with fraud and waste in the government–a realm supposedly accountable to We the People–or consign ourselves instead to the fraud and waste of the corporate system, which is accountable only to the bottom line and shareholders. I know which one I prefer!

    Speaking of what’s worst for the country, are you following the recent focus on exactly how Romney’s made his millions, and what he’s done with them over the years? Interesting stuff.

    • July 10, 2012 8:15 pm

      I’ve never been one for the excuse ‘because everyone else does it’ especially when they are all going bankrupt faster than we are. No amount of hand waving gets past the $1.4 trillianprice tag that simply doesn’t work for everyone. No bite on the Romney thing. He isn’t my guy so I won’t do much defending of him. He has to be better than Obama, though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: