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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Health Care Notes: Medicare for All, End-of-Life Expense

Worthwhile reading on health insurance reform:
  • Heaven forbid a Democrat act like a Democrat: Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin spun fast to get away from fellow Democrat Howard Dean's claim that South Dakota's lone Congressperson can be counted as a vote in favor allowing Uncle Sam to offer every citizen health insurance. She says her position on the public option is "far more complex than that, and I think South Dakotans understand that," said Rep. Herseth Sandlin.

    No, actually, we don't. Medicare is a public option. It works. Extend it to everyone. Simple, really. Oh, oops: that's another Democrat idea from which Democrat SHS will want to distance herself.

  • Mr. Wiken at Dakota Today points to six good reasons to extend Medicare to all Americans: exorbitant health insurance CEO salaries.

  • Lorraine Collins asks some harder questions about how we spend out health care dollars:
    Quite a few years ago a friend told me that the last ten days of her mother’s life cost a quarter of a million dollars. She was in anguish as she told me this, not only because of the financial burden, but because the last ten days of her mother’s life were not improved by this huge expenditure. She was either unconscious or suffering during the entire time. It was cruel for everybody, and there should have been some way to prevent this from happening [Lorraine Collins, "History Calls," Black Hills Monitor, 2009.10.24].


  1. One of the arguments of high profits by the health insurance companies was debunked today as a report came out showing the Health Insurance Industry made less profit (anywhere from 2.2% to 5%) than dozens of other companies and industries. I don't know of too many businesses that would be able to operate on a 2.2% profit. Several Democratic politicians have touted "excessive profits" as a main reason for healthcare reform, when actually, health companies are not making excess profits at all. While I agree that subjects like portability, declines, riders and affordability are concerns that can be addressed through legislation, reigning in profits is not a legitimate reason for reform of our entire healthcare system.

  2. Regarding the comment from Lorraine, we don't need takeover of the entire health care system to prevent what happened to her friend's family. We already have the answer to that in power of attorney and living wills and conferences between family and patient.

    All agree that some things need reform in health care. But this monstrous bill does not address some of the problems mentioned by Lorraine. This bill will not insure everyone. It will not be deficit neutral. It will not reduce health care costs. It will not reduce insurance premiums. It doesn't address tort reform which would reduce unnecessary tests.

    It sounds like the gov't offering a carrot of "state right opt out" will cover the behinds of some congress people voting for this thing. But I don't trust the gov't to honor states rights. They haven't been too good about honoring those rights in the past, and I wouldn't bet on their doing so in this case when push comes to shove.

    It's funny how Congress and the President get so upset about insurance profits at the same time they vote themselves raises when our nation is broke!

    Go ahead and ram this thing thru to your peril, Dems.

  3. "Takeover of the healthcare system" is a complete exaggeration. What is needed is dumping the grotesquely expensive private health insurance industry that effectively gets right between every doctor and patient.


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