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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Need insurance for sick kids? Fuggedaboutit!

I sometimes get looks of puzzlement when I tell people that there is plenty of money out there to support a single-payer healthcare system. But when you look at the amount of money going to support the administration of claims for all the tens of thousands of private plans out there in this country you suddenly see hundreds of billions of dollars.

Rick Ungar writes a blog for Forbes. He recently wrote an article pointing out the recent decision by some big players to pull out of the child insurance business altogether (rather than have to underwrite sick kids). I've posted the link here: http://tinyurl.com/2u2cj7m

At one point he writes:
We can’t have it both ways. If we have an obligation to provide for the health of our children – and we do – and we don’t believe it is right to put this responsibility on the shoulders of the private market, then it falls to the public sector to take care of this obligation.

I know. We can’t afford it. And why should people without sick children be obligated to assume the responsibilities of those who do have a sick child?

For the same reason that people without children bear the tax burden of paying for the public schools your children are attending. And while schools may be suffering cutbacks due to stressed out budgets, I have yet to hear anyone, with the possible exception of a few extremists, suggest we do away with our public education system.


So, I wrote him a comment, which I paste below:
Disagree with only one thing. You state we cannot afford for a socialized healthcare for our children. I believe that to be inaccurate. Not only could we afford child healthcare but we could also fold in birth-to-grave care as well. By eliminating all insurance carriers and only have single-payer we would save hundreds of billions of dollars (each year). So why not do it? Well, there’s that itsy bitsy thing called a lobbyist and he happens to own Congress.

He was kind to reply:
I don’t think I said that we cannot afford it. I was saying that those who are against say we can’t afford it or it is not someone’s responsibility to take care of another’s child.
I agree with you completely. We not only can afford it, we have to afford it – even if it means making this a higher spending priority than other expenditures — like a useless war in Afghanistan.


He also later on agreed that sadly it is too true that lobbyists for the insurance carriers control the debate on healthcare reform.

A big shout-out Thank You! to Rick Ungar for spotlighting another evil machination of our precious insurance industry.

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