((this is reprinted, with permission, from a DailyKos diary by nyceve. Nyceve is one of the most astute advocates for universal health care in the blogosphere. You can read her many thoughts on the subject here. California will be a health care battleground in 2007, so it’s important to keep the pressure on. – promoted by dday)
As I write this, the Republican governor of California lies in a hospital bed receiving V.I.P. treatment for a broken leg the result of a skiing injury suffered several days ago at his palatial estate in Sun Valley.
Schwarzenegger to undergo surgery in L.A. today on broken leg
By Peter Nicholas, Times Staff Writer
December 26, 2006
SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital Sunday in preparation for surgery early this morning on his right leg – broken in a skiing accident in Sun Valley, Idaho, the governor’s office announced.
Schwarzenegger’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kevin Ehrhart, said in a prepared statement that the surgical procedure planned for the governor was “relatively common” and was expected to last two hours.
Allow me to contrast the treatment Mr. Schwarzenegger received to what you or I would get–if we were lucky, and if we had insurance.
Notice the Governor was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, which happened to be December 24th? Now note that his surgery was actually performed on December 26th–two long days later.
You think you or I would be invited to spend two days malingering in a very expensive hospital bed if we needed orthopedic surgery?
But hey what’s ten thousand here or there, he’s the governor.
When was the last time, you knew anyone admitted to the hospital two days in advance of a surgical procedure? Doesn’t happen–unless you’re a government official–say Denny Hastert, Dick Cheney or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mr. Schwarzenegger has said that providing healthcare to the 6.5 million uninsured Californians is a priority. He is promising that the State of the State speech will explain how he will move the Golden State closer to universal healthcare in the coming year.
The Orange County Register, lies at the heart of one of the most conservative regions in the United States, Orange County, California. Hence the series of editorials on the healthcare crisis in California becomes a delightful preview of the right wing noise machine in action. This is but a taste of what’s to come. The smears, fear and deceive campaign against universal healthcare we should expect heading into the 2008 Presidential election. And today, the venom is directed toward the Republican governor of California.
Universal healthcare will result in huge tax increases and there is already too much regulation of the insurance and healthcare industries:
The governor should avoid any proposal that can be implemented only by imposing new taxes, which always seem to metastasize and never shrink. The current vogue among “reformers” is to tout Massachusetts’ new universal health care law, which originally was advertised to cost “only” $125 million. But soon after its adoption this year, a bond measure revealed the cost to be $276 million instead.
. . .It is the over-regulation of medical professionals, facilities, technologies and health insurance that price quality health care beyond the reach of consumers.link
Universal coverage will cause insurance premiums to skyrocket.
The governor should avoid like the plague any calls to require insurers to accept every applicant, regardless of risk. By forcing insurance companies to insure people they otherwise would not, several states devastated their markets in the 1990s. When this regulation was combined with restrictions on pricing premiums according to risk, it drove “numerous insurance carriers out of the market, and increased premiums beyond the reach of all but the wealthy,” according to “What States Can Do to Reform Health Care,” a recent book published by Pacific Research Institute.
. . .Rather than rely on more federal – or state – taxes, the governor should break away from the Nanny State mindset and work to deregulate the industry so market forces can bring costs under control. As long as someone else pays, the people selling health care, and the people receiving health care always will demand more. When the third party paying for it is the government, there is even less incentive to say “No.”
And most appalling, health care is not a right. And I fear we’ll be hearing a lot about socialism, communism, Cuba and long waiting lines.
Health care is a desirable commodity. But it’s dangerous stuff to elevate it to a “right.”Health care is a “right” in communist Cuba. And that’s one reason Cuba’s economy is abysmal. Health care is a “right” in socialized Canada. And that’s the reason in Canada treatment is rationed, and people must wait months for surgery.
As we all know, the Republican/AHIP lies and misinformation noise machine exists to maintain the for-profit status quo.
Here’s the truth about single-payer health care. You can read everything you need to know on the web site of Physicians for a National Health Plan. link
Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.
Currently, the U.S. health care system is outrageously expensive, yet inadequate. Despite spending more than twice as much as the rest of the industrialized nations ($7,129 per capita), the United States performs poorly in comparison on major health indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality and immunization rates. Moreover, the other advanced nations provide comprehensive coverage to their entire populations, while the U.S. leaves 46 million completely uninsured and millions more inadequately covered.
One final thought. I’d like to highlight a comment Elizabeth Edwards made yesterday.
This thread is exactly right (24+ / 0-)
Putting a face on the victims of poverty or racism is so essential. And it is, if I may say so, what John does so well: tell someone’s story, with honesty and compassion. It is what he has been doing for his adult life.
Join me at http://blog.johnedwards.com
by elizabethedwards on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 01:37:26 PM PST
The reason I mention this is because, like John Edwards, I believe putting a human face on pain and suffering is the way to make the American people sit up and demand change.