Sunday, October 18, 2009


Northern Bro checking in with a perspective from the trenches on the health care debate:

Two things happened this week: First, we found out our insurance carrier was going to increase our premiums by 16.4% in January. I expressed surprise that they would go up by this amount in this political climate. Our rep insisted that they had to increase rates because of the political climate. Their story is that because of the uncertainty created by the health care debate in Washington many people are rushing out to get elective surgeries out of fear that the Democrats are going to take away their insurance (something that no one in our little corner of the Northern woods has witnessed) and that because the President offered COBRA subsidies as part of the ARRA, many sick people are still on the insurance rolls who ordinarily would not have been able to afford insurance. According to the insurance company both of these factors made it necessary to increase our premiums.

Secondly, the unmarried partner of one of our employees lost her foot to infection this week. She had been laid off and didn't have insurance so when her foot became infected she put off going to the hospital to have it looked at. By the time they finally decided that a visit could not be put off any longer it was too late to save her foot.

It appalls me that there are people around who claim our system does not need fixing.

It seemed to me that about a month ago I noticed a change in the tone of the anti-reform rhetoric. Up until then, I commonly heard, "We have the best health care system in the world -- why would we want to change it?" But then, about a month ago, it seemed that even the anti-reformers became embarrassed by their own claim, and there was a shift to, "Okay, the health care system needs improvement, but [fill in your obstacle du jour here]."

For example, "Okay, the health care system needs improvement, but all it needs is a cap on malpractice awards, and that will fix everything." Or, "Okay, the health care system needs improvement, but Congress is moving too fast, and needs to take another year or more to think about it."

It's an interesting phenomenon, this abandoning of an extreme position that's patently ridiculous and retrenching around a new position that creates the illusion of being more reasonable and therefore easier to defend. It's pretty much the same as when the creationists retreated retrenched around the Intelligent Design idea.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?