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Apologies to Insect Life January 1, 2010

Posted by monty in news, politics.
Tags: , , ,

Somehow I’ll have to overlook the fact that 2009 took John Hughes and Patrick Swayze (by all accounts, two of the kindest, most good-hearted men in show business) from us, but left Rush Limbaugh alive and kicking.  What I can’t overlook, though, is the statement he made about his recent hospitalization: “I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system.  It is working just fine.”

This arrogance perfectly encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the position held by the opponents of health care reform.  They think that because their health care is just hunky-dory, that means it’s working for everyone else.  Let’s keep in mind that Limbaugh makes, depending on whom you ask, somewhere between $28 and $34 million a year, just from his broadcasting contract with Clear Channel.  So of course the health care system works just fine.  He could probably buy the hospital that treated him.

The important question to ask him, though, is this:

Rush, if you made $30,000 a year and didn’t have employer health insurance or weren’t wealthy enough to pay out of pocket, how well would you think the health care system is working?  If you were suddenly faced with a hospital bill that totaled more than you make in a year, would you think we have the best system in the world?

This is why a strong public option (or, dare I say it, a single-payer system) is vital: to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  But the GOP doesn’t see it this way.  Their health care bills are covered, and their salaries are healthy enough to bear the brunt of anything not covered.  The rest of the great unwashed, as far as the Republicans are concerned, can go fuck themselves.

And I don’t know if this is a piece of the puzzle or not, but I can’t help but wonder to what degree Limbaugh’s chest pains can be attributed to the fact that he’s a morbidly obese, cigar-smoking, ex-drug addict who peddles manufactured rage.  Shouldn’t these dangerous lifestyle choices somehow disqualify him from insurance coverage?

I know, I know.  In a perfect world.


Current listening:

The Clash – Combat Rock (1982)



1. Fred M - January 6, 2010

Rush paid for the bill out of pocket. It cost, as he reports, “Roughly half of the cost of a SUV that most American Families wants”. Reading his site (I know, why do I do it..), I’m guessing it was somewhere in the range of $12K to $16K.

For two nights stay at a hospital. And some tests.

Now do the math, say if you have cancer, or are hurt badly. It gets into the 6 figures territory in a hurry.

No “insurance” company is going to want to cover anyone that’s sick.

Now Rush can pay that out of pocket without breaking a sweat. But even a strong, American family making somewhere’s like 200K a year, there goes the kid’s college funds.

So why the high cost? That’s the question that no one will ask or answer.

Its broken.

rcm - January 7, 2010

Yeah, one of the things that’s disappointed me most about the health care reform proposals is that they’re not doing anything substantive to tackle costs. It’s terrific to ensure that everyone has insurance coverage, but insurance coverage might not be the big deal that it is if getting seriously ill didn’t run the risk of bankrupting you. Insurance is only part of a much bigger problem.

2. Fred M - January 8, 2010

The problem is, the Insurance companies originally were not such a bad thing when the costs were lower for things like, say, a cast for a busted wing. You got insurance so that if you *did* get cancer, it was a true disaster. Now insurance companies have inserted themselves in as “health plans” – so even a routine physical has to be turned in, processed, paperwork out the wazzoo, and wholla: $750 bill (my last one, w/ basic bloodwork).

Bill Frist and tons of other doctors have gotten into business, because if you look at it that way, how can you not have a growing industry? Prices have skyrocketed, because there’s money to be made off of health care. People have gotten much fatter, live longer, and take a shit load more pills. All that leads to higher demand, which ain’t going away. Toss in the relatively stable number of clinics (Supply) = outrageous high prices. And the docs, who are effectively competing against each other, will order their own tests, for their own vendors…

Not good.

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