The GOP's Destruction of Health Care
While most of us have been distracted by the war and election in
The Seattle Times is today reporting that the GOP wants “to erect a system in which workers, instead of looking to employers for health insurance, would take personal responsibility for protecting themselves and their families.” All part of that wonderful sounding “ownership society”, which is basically a euphemism for “how it was back before those lily livered liberals destroyed
As for Health Care, the GOP is hoping to get rid of employer funded health plans. Yes, I am not exaggerating. They want to wean Americans off any type of Health Care assistance, and make them pay for it themselves. Yes, they have planned some kinds of personal savings accounts, and supposedly cheaper access to catastrophic coverage, but what it boils down to is that you will no longer get health insurance through your company, and of course you will not from the government as well. You will be responsible to get your own insurance, and of course pay for it.
Of course, as usual, the devil is in the details. This is perfect for young healthy single people, with a good income. They will be fine! Of course for those with long term chronic health conditions, they will be in trouble. As will the majority of Americans who will end up deciding whether it is better to pay for medical checkups this month or to pay the car bill. Since the middle class is already struggling, preventative care will disappear. Most people will only go to the doctor when they have no choice, and in most of those situations they will pay for the cost of care themselves. No group rates. No negotiated costs. No large company behind you trying to get the cheapest costs. You will simply have to pay.
This is incredibly short sighted for a number of reasons. First is that they have ignored one of the most vital lessons about health care. That is that preventative care is a lot cheaper that reactive care when issues get to critical state. However this new plan will have the effect of most people only seeking care when they no longer can afford to wait.
The second reason is that this will only be affordable for those who are already wealthy. The wealthy do not need assistance with their health care, it is the middle class and the poor who need assistance paying for this care. This plan will do nothing to make health care more affordable, and everything to save money for corporations and their shareholders, who want to remove the health care burden from their books.
This change is all about saving money for corporations, at the expense of the middle class. It is all about the abhorrence of any kind of assistance for the poor. This will take us back 100 years to the medical system we used to have. Most people didn’t get quality medical care, it was reserved for those who could pay for it. In our wealthy society, with the money we have at our disposal, this is an abhorrent anachronism. We must fight this change all the way. Health Care, at least in a wealthy country like ours, should be available freely to all.