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October 23, 2009 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Health care around the world
-Hawaii: The state has had success over 35 years of requiring employers to provide health care benefits.
-Singapore: Its health care is first class, cheap and market-driven.
-Taiwan: "more than 80 percent of the population is happy with the system"
-China: "300 million people have no coverage at all"
-Dutch: "America is going to go Dutch"
-US: "I just wanted to flag for colleagues that their bosses should be careful using the talking point that under the Dem bill, Americans who don't like the coverage they have, will be able to choose something else... more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange."
posted by kliuless (45 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This means that not only will MOST Americans be stuck with the coverage they have – whether they like it or not – if reform establishes a public option, more than 90 percent of Americans won’t be able to choose it.

Wait...what? That's unacceptable.
posted by DU at 8:52 AM on October 23, 2009


I will happily get sick and die with no coverage whatsoever if that's what it takes to make Obama look like a failure on this one issue.
posted by chasing at 8:58 AM on October 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow -- that's an unfortunate way to look at it, chasing.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:00 AM on October 23, 2009


Unless there's a drastic change in trajectory, this is going to be slavery in the guise of reform.

Which is the difference between neoliberals and neocons: liberals con you and the cons mug you liberaly.
posted by clarknova at 9:02 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


chasing: "I will happily get sick and die with no coverage whatsoever if that's what it takes to make Obama look like a failure on this one issue."

... what?
posted by shmegegge at 9:06 AM on October 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


Ooh, clarknova, I can do even better:

Unless there's a drastic change in trajectory, this is going to be galactic annihilation in the guise of reform.

Your move!
posted by chasing at 9:07 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I would like to know where is the reform? I'm not seeing it.
posted by stormpooper at 9:08 AM on October 23, 2009


What chasing said, I wouldn't put past a lot of conservatives. They cheered when the US lost the Olympics, for crying out loud. Why do they hate America?
posted by scrowdid at 9:08 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


When I was a student I worked 25 hours a week for the University, and 25+ hours for a Waldenbooks. On top of this I was in the Guard. I was only able to get coverage because I was a student. Even then it was embarrassingly bad coverage.

I'm of the mindset that employers should have nothing to do with insurance. Too often this becomes a step away from being an indentured servant. I'm pretty sure I would have struck out on my own at some point in life, and done well enough to feed myself, but no way could I afford insurance on my own and no way could I risk a major health issue.

I'm really surprised that bussinesses aren't clamouring after a mandatory public option. It's costing companies way too much in the US, and makes some not globally competitive. I've heard it argued that countries that pay for their citizen's health care are essentially subsidizing various industries.

How much would a care have to cost if GM didn't have any health care costs?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:09 AM on October 23, 2009 [12 favorites]


(I guess my first comment wasn't clearly labeled as a "joke.")

In seriousness, I might recommend checking out the past couple This American Life episode. Very interesting perspectives on the state of the healthcare system that don't fall into the usual traps of blaming one group or another for the entire mess.

More is Less
Someone Else's Money
posted by chasing at 9:12 AM on October 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I just hope I live to see the day when I have health care good enough to allow me to see that day.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 AM on October 23, 2009 [19 favorites]


I will happily get sick and die with no coverage whatsoever if that's what it takes to make Obama look like a failure on this one issue.
posted by chasing


That seemed pretty obviously sarcastic, to me. But just in case, HAMBURGER!
posted by lazaruslong at 9:14 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I must say, from the Northern perspective I have, that it's interesting to see our own parties ape the republicans in many ways. Not so much the particular policies, but the strange 'what do you mean it's your turn now- well fuck you' approach to government. Perhaps it's just me only now paying attention to what is really an established pattern, but, honestly, politicos- grow up.
posted by LD Feral at 9:14 AM on October 23, 2009


(I guess my first comment wasn't clearly labeled as a "joke.")

Thank god... it's a sad state of affairs where I'm 80% convinced that what you said was earnest opinion.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:21 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just hope I live to see the day when I have health care good enough to allow me to see that day.

And your rhetoric disappears in a puff of tautological meaninglessness.

Is your health care so bad that you died before making that comment? No. So your health care, however objectively bad, was good enough for you to live to see today? Yes. And you did in fact live to see today. So. Um. Yeah. What was your point again?
posted by jock@law at 9:25 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Al Franken kicking ass
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:26 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, I think I like this Wyden dude.
posted by jock@law at 9:27 AM on October 23, 2009


That makes everyone's life more difficult, because the Senate pretty much runs on bad policy compromises, and the people making those compromises prefer it if they're not pointed out. Indeed, as the talking points show, they sometimes try and pretend those compromises were never made at all.

Change "sometimes try" to "always try" and you have the operative Senate reality, and not just on health care.
posted by blucevalo at 9:29 AM on October 23, 2009


In seriousness, I might recommend checking out the past couple This American Life episode. Very interesting perspectives on the state of the healthcare system that don't fall into the usual traps of blaming one group or another for the entire mess.

Just listened to an interesting one from the Economist which argued that the real cost of healthcare in the US is born by employees. Provider passes costs to insurer who passes them to employer, who then passes them on to employee by providing lower pay rises than they would have otherwise received.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:30 AM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I like Wyden too. I hope he survives whatever attempts to stifle him by the Senate "leadership" that will no doubt be coming his way.
posted by blucevalo at 9:30 AM on October 23, 2009


I'm really surprised that bussinesses aren't clamouring after a mandatory public option. It's costing companies way too much in the US, and makes some not globally competitive.

While true, I think many employers, especially small businessmen, hold dearly to their free-market beliefs. And they just can't accept a public option. "Socialism" and all that, y'know...

Lucky for them, though, that a public option isn't the only method of decoupling health insurance from employment. If you simply do-away with employer-based plans and dump everyone onto the open market, employers will be perfectly happy. They get rid of the hassle/expense of the employer-based system and can still wave the free-market flag. Win-win.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2009


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "Al Franken kicking ass"

thank god for this. I'm intensely happy that Franken isn't doing some kind of "funny man on the panel" thing and is just straight up making sure he's the most informed man in the room being deadly serious.
posted by shmegegge at 9:38 AM on October 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, I think I like this Wyden dude.

The League has had quite a thing for him for a while now. Check out the Wyden-Bennett stuff, especially.

(Yes, I'm pimping the League again.)
posted by cimbrog at 9:39 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Chasing:

Unless there's a realignment of legislative supersymetry this will have always been a trans-brane implosion in the guise of fourth dimensional existence.

Mate in three moves.
posted by clarknova at 9:44 AM on October 23, 2009


I'm intensely happy that Franken isn't doing some kind of "funny man on the panel" thing and is just straight up making sure he's the most informed man in the room being deadly serious.

Not to derail, but Franken has never done "funny man on" ANYTHING and I include SNL in that statement.

(Seems to be kickass Senator so far, though.)
posted by DU at 9:45 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


What chasing said, I wouldn't put past a lot of conservatives. They cheered when the US lost the Olympics, for crying out loud. Why do they hate America?
posted by scrowdid


they don't. they just hate us. :P
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:46 AM on October 23, 2009


Eh, Ezra's ok. Fucker won't close his drapes though.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on October 23, 2009


"How much would a care have to cost if GM didn't have any health care costs?"

It's about 1200 dollars compared to the Japenese. This is one of the major reasons the big three do not effectively compete on small cars, healthcare costs add 10% to their costs compared to their direct competitors and their isn't enough profit in the segment to cover it so quality and/or features suffer. If it wasn't for CAFE they probably would have dropped everything below 20-25K all together.
posted by Mitheral at 10:22 AM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm intensely happy that Franken isn't doing some kind of "funny man on the panel" thing and is just straight up making sure he's the most informed man in the room being deadly serious.

Yeah, he seems to be working really fucking hard. I'll admit I was pretty skeptical when he announced he was running for the Senate; it seemed like a good way to make sure the Republicans hung onto the seat in a Democratic wave election. He's completely blown my expectations away, though. Good for him.
posted by EarBucket at 10:34 AM on October 23, 2009


And your rhetoric disappears in a puff of tautological meaninglessness.

It's called Irish Bull, but jokes are ruined by being explained.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm intensely happy that Franken isn't doing some kind of "funny man on the panel" thing and is just straight up making sure he's the most informed man in the room being deadly serious.

Really. Franken's a much better Senator than he was a comedian. I'm annoyed that Coleman kept us from having Franken at work for all those months. Here he is macerating a KBR arbitration lawyer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:47 AM on October 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


cjorgensen I'm really surprised that bussinesses aren't clamouring after a mandatory public option. It's costing companies way too much

But they've also got a good incentive to fight health care reform. Right now, employer provided health care makes it harder for people to switch jobs, and harder for people to risk unemployment in switching jobs, or to start their own business and need to get individual health care. Having this sort of hold on their employees has got to be worth something to them.
posted by JiBB at 11:16 AM on October 23, 2009


jibb, i don't think that enters into it for most of them. i think the small to medium sized ones are mostly hoodwinked into working against their own interests
posted by lodurr at 11:28 AM on October 23, 2009


Franken is amazing. If you haven't watched that video yet, please do. Seriously.
posted by grubi at 12:09 PM on October 23, 2009


OH WHAT THE FUCK OBAMA.
posted by EarBucket at 12:55 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange

If I quit my job, would I then be allowed to shop for insurance including the public option?

OH WHAT THE FUCK OBAMA.

The opt-out is dead in the water. There's no way the insurance companies will allow it. It's too costly. MoveOn.org.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:03 PM on October 23, 2009


I will happily get sick and die with no coverage whatsoever if that's what it takes to make Obama look like a failure on this one issue.

Preach it, brother! I too will gladly die sick, bankrupt and alone if the alternative is that those people might get access to health care. I think we all know what kind of people I mean.

Now if you'll excuse me, my face has been getting a little uppity. Looks like I'm going to have to cut off my nose to show it who's boss.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:15 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


FWIW Marc Ambinder has someone on record saying that Obama's not pushing the trigger.
posted by condour75 at 5:11 PM on October 23, 2009


Fuck the United States of America.

- born in the USA
posted by pkingdesign at 8:32 PM on October 23, 2009


Re the above: without healthcare I'd be poor and dead, thanks for my incurable and expensive disease. Our government is fighting tooth and nail for a system that would either make me an indentured servant or forced to pay for my life. Seriously, I've had enough. It is the will of the people to have public insurance and we deserve basic protection. Thank you, that's all.
posted by pkingdesign at 8:42 PM on October 23, 2009


A word about the health care system in Singapore, this was about 15 years ago. My family moved there when I was a kid, we were US citizens and my dad had a work visa as he was starting up an office for his company at the time. A few weeks after we moved, I was out on the deck and through an unfortunate series of events I ended up headed (facefirst) through the plate glass door separating our deck from the living room. Blood everywhere, broken glass, screaming, panic, frantic calls to the emergency operator. Ambulance comes, brings me to the hospital, 3 hours of surgery including anesthetics, 28 stiches, the whole nine yards. A week or so later, a bill arrives. Not the invoice from our insurance mind you, the actual bill from the hospital, including the ambulance. It was for $325.
posted by sophist at 11:39 PM on October 23, 2009


Not much of a public option if it's not available to most of the public, is it?
posted by dilettante at 10:17 AM on October 24, 2009


I must say, from the Northern perspective I have, that it's interestingterrified to see our own parties ape the republicans in many ways.

FTFY.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2009


um so, in some weird twist of fate, it looks like we'll be getting a gov't-run financial system before gov't-takeoverrun health care...
posted by kliuless at 5:08 PM on October 24, 2009


Good news. The final bill will have a public option (with the possibility for individual states to opt out of the plan). It'd take 60 senators to pass an amendment stripping the public option out, which means it's pretty much in there for good. This is a huge step forward.
posted by EarBucket at 12:46 PM on October 26, 2009


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