Monday, August 03, 2009

Who, exactly, are those uninsured Americans?

I have no idea if this is accurate or not. So why am I posting it?

I'm a firm believer in the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" We've been hearing for years how our health care system is "broke" (that's as in "broken," not out of money).

What proof is offered? Usually the statistic that tens of millions of people are uninsured and thus can't afford needed treatments and therapies and medications. And in a country as rich as America, that's a travesty.

I never gave much thought to that argument, accepting both premises: 1) that all those peole didn't have coverage because they couldn't afford it, and 2) that this fact is a travesty.

Then I saw this cartoon, and began to wonder . . .

Is this just some right-wing fringe hype? Or is it close to the truth? If the latter, then . . . Gee!

Of course, it doesn't matter. It looks like we're going to get a government health plan of some ilk, regardless.

Will that be a bad thing? My gut tells me, probably. But the pendulum swings both ways, in most cases. We'll see.


kenju said...

I was once one of those un-insured and no, I couldn't afford it. Thank God for Medicare.

Andy D said...

I wrote about this as well here and found very similar numbers. The other interesting thing is people in those categories aren't static. People come in and out of those groups (for example, young people get older or decide to get health care, those between jobs get a new job, and so on). I also found that people get very insulted when you ask if this is a good use of our tax payers dollar.

Jack K. said...

I understand that there are a greater number of the uninsured who are resorting to using emergency rooms.

After talking to my urologist yesterday, we both agree that it would be a hell of a lot better if doctors could practice medicine rather than some insurance company person.

Christina said...

i have been uninsured, as has my son, because even though I was working and my employer offered health insurance, I could not afford my portion of the premiums. Fortunately my current employer offers a better deal and I can afford it now!

Nankin said...

I understand that under Obama's plan that all we'll get at our age is counseling that we're getting old and should accept death.

Karlo said...

While I don't think that Obama's plan goes nearly far enough, as a person who has lived for in both Asia and Australia and who has also been to a doctor in France, I can vouch for the fact that other countries offer healthcare that's just as good as that in the U.S. at a mere fraction of the cost. So yes, I think we can safely say, "It's broke." The argument should only be over how to fix it.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Gee. See what happens when I get controversial? I get COMMENTS!!

Karlo, I appreciate your opinion. My personal family doctor was born in India, and has family members in India and the UK. He has lots of stories to tell that back up his opinion that our system is far superior to any he is familiar with that involve national governments in either controlling or regulating the care, or in paying for it.

Our opinions are all based on our personal experiences and those of others we know about or have heard or read about. That's why we have different opinions. And that's healthy!

You say, "I don't think that Obama's plan goes nearly far enough . . ." I'm not sure I know what Obama's plan IS! I've read so many conflicting stories; and different members of congress are touting different features of their version of "the plan." It's very confusing.

But I'm still not convinced our system is broken.