Wednesday, October 03, 2007


SCHIP is vetoed (good primer on the story here).

The current trajectory of health care in this country is untenable. In fact, I think everyone knows that -- which is why a majority of Americans are willing to entertain the idea of a national health care program. This is not to be confused with nationalized medicine (we're not communists!) or even with SCHIP (which uses an extension of private insurance).

A single payer system will become a reality eventually. It makes good economic sense to do this in the insurance space since insurance is all about leveraging risk pools. It won't happen for that reason, however. Or because Dems get their shit together. Or because Americans decide in overwhelming majorities that they want it (although they will). It will happen because corporate America will say they can no longer afford to provide health care coverage and stay competitive in the global workplace.

P.S. Although I'm grateful to have it, given the alternative, my own very expensive employer-offered health insurance ain't all that hot anyway. A few factoids:
  • I haven't gotten to pick my own doctor (except off a short list) or select my own hospital in over 10 years.
  • I don't get to decide if I need to see a 'specialized' doctor like a dermatologist... I have to get a 'primary care provider' to give me a referral.
  • Doctors and hospitals rotate on and off the list on a whim.
  • A good percentage of the doctors on the list aren't taking new patients.
  • Each of my three kids was delivered by a different OB because of changing plans. I've gone through six Ob-Gyns, total (trust me when I say that's one Dr-patient relationship that is not easy to establish).
  • My current insurance plan has changed hospitals three times.


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