Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The fundraiser phenomenon

This year, I've noticed far more fundraisers to pay medical expenses than ever before. Three fundraisers for kids with cancer (no insurance or not enough) right around the beginning of March. Then a couple more. The latest one is for Evan Phillips of the Whipsaws, who is having surgery for an old injury that damaged his hip years ago and lately has been causing him so much pain that he couldn't participate in the planned tour this winter of Tim Easton, Leeroy Stagger, and him.

So now there's a fundraiser in Anchorage, featuring all kinds of musical types. He travels in musical circles, and has friends who are great at graphic design and publicity, so he's likely to be able to raise enough to pay a good bit of the bill.

Doesn't something strike you as horribly wrong with this picture?

While Obama and the Democrats in Congress are moving together on supposed health care "reform," the Republicans are plotting To-Hell-With-The-People obstructionism. But that obstructionism may just save the public's bacon--all the Democrats seem to be talking about is health insurance. Story after story talks about "coverage", "benefits packages," and "insurance". THIS ISN'T HEALTH CARE, you BOZOS!

The REAL health care reform proposal, HR 676, sponsored by John Conyers, is barely mentioned, even in articles that propose things like an expansion of Medicare. Hell, Conyers barely got into the roundtable Obama held earlier this year on the subject of health care reform, and it was only after an e-mail barrage and deluge of protests that they let him in the doors.

So Congress is talking about health insurance and Obama is talking about providing "health insurance to every American that they can afford and that provides them high quality." That's still not the same thing as health care, Mr. President, and I think your route is a mistake.

In the meantime, sick people get to rely on the charity of their friends. Again and again, until their friends and neighbors are tapped out.

What a stupid way to run a country.


jay in uk said...

And the amazing thing is, Deirdre, is we have American friends who ask us if Michael Moore's film 'Sicko' was propaganda.

Well, Gene and I are living in the UK. In 1948, this country introduced national health care, no fee payments and universal coverage. It was fought hard by the medical establishment but seeing it was just after the horrors of WWII, the mood of the country was to provide it over their objections. It has grown to be seen as basic, fair, and here to stay regardless of political party.

Every working person pays into the NHS through payroll deduction and that works out less than insurance deductibles and co-pays. No one is turned away. All have equal right to use whether you are a student, a retired worker or oil executive.

We are enjoying this system ourselves. I am scheduled for an eye exam and possible operation that I wouldn't have been covered for under my Alaska insurance policy as it was "visual" exemption. The thing about my situation is that this surgery would have been considered 'elective' even though it's about saving my eyesight.

Further, as the UK is a member state of the EU, Gene and I can travel anywhere in the EU and receive reciprocal coverage without charge.

There's so much to discuss. But this is very much one of the reasons we're staying here. Our US insurance plans were never so good. It is indeed, highly distressing to see fundraisers for health needs.

People balking at one-payer systems are the modern equivalents of those who opposed a five-day work week, abolishing child labor, establishing universal education. Many times it was because it harmed someone's pocketbook.

Just how many float planes does a doctor need, anyway?

clark said...

98% of the population of the country is basically continuously betting everything they own against the possibility of developing a serious illness.
can you imagine what it would be like if that became a non-issue?
there's a reason every other western nation doesn't run health care they way we do.