Thursday, July 03, 2008

Better than 'Sicko'

OK, my three faithful readers: this is important, y'all. I think the current NPR segments on comparative healthcare (link below) are really worth looking at and listening to. The piece on Germany's healthcare system aired this morning and I was extremely impressed. NPR might have done a better job exploring possible downsides of the German health system, but I really learned a lot from the comparative perspective.

Health care access is an issue that bothers me deeply -- not least of all because I feel literally chained to a job because I'm in "a situation" in which great health insurance coverage is a necessity. It pains me to think of how many people are slipping through the cracks, and I feel lucky, yet resentful that my career choice is dictated almost solely by insurance benefits. I know that sounds like a whine; I just don't believe career fulfillment versus health is a choice people should have to make. But yes, I'm lucky.


Dennis said...

I have a couple of friends who have to make job choices based life insurance. One works in the pharmaceutical industry so it's not as big an issue for him, but the other works in the service industry and, though he doesn't openly complain about it,, I can tell it worries him.

Mike said...

By tying health coverage to employment, the economy of the United States is distorted. People are less willing to change jobs because they don't want the ordeal of worrying about no coverage for periods of time when starting anew. What this does in effect is make people become "chained to a job" as you described it.

Then there are the people in loopholes like "temporary employment" and the whole "part-time means no coverage" thing. For some people the definition of "part time" is 30-35 hours per week. There are great systems to look at all over the world, you would think by now we'd be able to see what works elsewhere and pick the best choice. I don't think Canada, France, Australia, Japan or Germany would choose our plan, that is for sure.

rptrcub said...

I feel your pain. I have awesome medical/dental/vision (including an unheard of $300 deductible) but I'm about to lose my shit here.

BigAssBelle said...

i whine about health insurance every chance i get and i know people are sick of it. but it is a critically important issue and the only way anyone finds out is to get sick. once you're sick you're fucked, so a whole bunch of people in this country are already fucked and don't know it yet.

we HAVE to fix it. have to. there simply isn't a way to continue to allow insurance companies to make record profits by denying care for sick people. private is NOT a solution. mccain's ridiculous ideas are not even worthy of discussion. they're just stupid.