A Follow Up

I was responding on Facebook to Facebook comments to my last post, but it is not easy to type there. It is much easier for me to create a post in my word processing program already set to post directly to my blog, which then posts to Facebook. I am a social networking fiend.

Besides, this software has a better spell check and thesaurus.

Adding to my health care debate were Sister; employed, insured, but in a financial quagmire from co-pays and insurance deductibles after surgery, and Cousin; employed (in the health care field), insured, willing to barter for services. They provided the ammo to the gist of my argument.

In an unsubtle segue I heard today that the FDIC is running out of money. In case you do not know, the “I” in FDIC stands for “Insurance”. Because so many banks are failing, the FDIC is losing money on two fronts; outgoing claims and incoming premiums – with 100 banks failing this year alone, those 100 banks’ depositor funds have to be covered and those same 100 banks are no longer paying insurance premiums.

Because the “F” in FDIC stands for “Federal” (although I can think of other things), this news is not the disaster it could be. The FDIC is backed by the full faith of the US Government, with which they have a 500 billion dollar line of credit. But, in an attempt not to use that line of credit, the FDIC is raising the surviving banks’ premiums. They actually would like banks to pay for 3 full years of premiums upfront, but that’s another story.

This exact scenario is what I feel is going to happen to the health insurance industry. Minus the 500 billion dollar credit line, of course. As more people lose their jobs and insurance, as more companies pull back on health insurance benefits, leaving people un or under insured, insurance companies are going to have to charge the existing American clients more for premiums if they want to stay in business. Already, insurance clients pay for those that are un- or under-insured. After all, these companies are not in the business of insurance to help people, but to make money.

If insurance rates continue to rise (or, if coverage is reduced or both), more people will drop their insurance. This could circle back to higher rates (or less coverage) for an ever-decreasing group of policyholders.

I do not think that it is a “right” for every American to have health insurance simply because they are American. What I do believe is that a nation as advanced and as wealthy as ours should provide basic coverage to all its citizens simply because it is the right thing to do.

Even if it means paying for people who abuse the system and their bodies.

Even if it means paying for people with bad genetics.

Even if it means paying for people who will never use it.

Otherwise, we might as well be a 3rd World country. You know, those countries where diseases spread unchecked, where children starve, where death and poverty are commonplace.

I would be glad to contribute to health care costs, just as I contribute to K-12 education, just as I contribute to the protection of my home, life and country. I have no children, yet I pay taxes pay so others’ children can be educated. My house has never caught on fire, nor has a crime been committed in it, nor has a rogue militant force ever invaded it, yet I pay for all these services.

If I were back working in Corporate America, under a Universal Health Care system, they could either save the money they’d be paying for my insurance, or give me a raise to cover my increased taxes. Either way, they would be more profitable and therefore more competitive. Plus, I would not be forced to stay in a dead end, lousy, or miserable job just because of the health care benefits.

Personally, I’m all for Universal Health Care, Medicare for All, Government Sponsored, Socialist/Communist/Fascist medicine, or whatever you want to call it. I would like to be able to use health care services (or not) and not worry about the cost, just as I can use the police service (or not) without a worry as to cost. I would like to see EVERYONE be able to use health care services.

Well, except for members of Congress.

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