It's just lazy people that are uninsured.

Of course, it's just those lazy welfare mom's that don't have health insurance. It's good for nothing slouches that don't have work, don't look for work. THEY are the people you want to cover with your expensive Universal Health Care, with my taxes.

Bzzzzt. The welfare mom myth. The lazy drag on the economy myth. I've said it before, I'll say it again.

The uninsured? We used to call them the Working Class.

From a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Uninsured and the Affordability of Health Insurance Coverage

The 2005 Current Population Survey (CPS) is used to estimate what share of uninsured Americans are eligible for coverage through Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), need financial assistance to purchase health insurance, and are likely able to afford insurance. Twenty-five percent are eligible for public coverage, 56 percent need assistance, and 20 percent can afford coverage. This varies across uninsured populations: 74 percent of children are eligible for public programs, and 57 percent and 69 percent of parents and childless adults, respectively, need assistance. A central conclusion is that a large percentage of uninsured adults need help purchasing health insurance.

A few key points.

  1. Twenty-five percent of the uninsured could be covered through public programs. This can because of "administrative barriers, limited outreach efforts, or lack of knowledge about eligibility for public health insurance coverage, or because families themselves do not make the necessary efforts to obtain coverage." That's a lot of uninsured Americans that should/could be covered. The cost is not just to them, it is to the rest of us as well. We pay when they go bankrupt (50% of personal bankruptcies), we pay when they use emergency services with no health care ($922 a year in extra premiums), and we pay for lost productivity in the work place that causes price inflation (no measure).
  2. Twenty percent can afford coverage. This reminds me of our old friend Ogre, who says he doesn't need health care and dammit no universal health care bullshit is going to make him pay for it. No sirree bob. The problem is, of course, that when old Ogre gets taken out by a faulty break line or trips down the stairs and breaks his spine in half - we'll pay for it. He has no insurance, which is his right, so we get to foot the bill through higher premiums, higher service fees, higher copays, higher coinsurance, etc.
  3. Fifty-six percent of the uninsured can't afford health care. The statistic in the article show that even if they make THREE TIMES the miniumum wage, they can't afford health care. A living wage, that is what Democrats need to fight for, and the living wage could be much lower if we had single-payer health care for all.

Join the NC Defend Health Care email group at Yahoo and guess what...they say we're finally, almost, about to test our new website.


i recently thought of something

The Repugs all believe that healthcare in the rest of the developed world is horrific and that our system is amazing. Yet, we have a disgustingly large health care crisis that is a huge part of the national political dialouge. How come I dont hear similar stories from these other countries with "such horrible health care they all wished they lived in America" ?

One way to reframe this debate is to ask the question: "To help take care of this problem we can either have universal health care or raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Which would have more of an effect on the economy? Because we have to do one or the other." The trick will be convincing the ostriches that we do indeed have to do something instead of ignoring it.

"Keep the Faith"

It's not news to anyone here....

One of the big complaints we hear from the other side is that Universal Health Care will raise our taxes.

What is not ever considered is the "tax" that we are already burdened with because of our woefully inadequate system of obtaining and paying for health care.

I am blessed to direct a small not-for-profit company that does provide 100% fully paid health insurance for our employees. The average cost to our company is roughly $500 per month per employee. With 15 employees, that is $90,000 a year. That money *is* a tax, if we didn't pay it, our employees could have that additional $500 per month in salary, but then they'd have to turn around and pay it out for health care - or worse, not pay it for health care/insurance, and when they needed it, they would rely on the ER system, which is frightfully expensive for everyone.

Since our "group" is relatively small, we don't have the negotiating power that a larger group (like, oh, an entire nation) would have.

As an employer, I would much rather pay the $500 per month per employee into a Universal System that would create a larger group that would have more power to negotiate lower prices for prescriptions, procedures, etc.

As an employee, I would be willing to pay a tax on my salary if I knew that by paying it, my health insurance would be intact if I left my job, and that it would guarantee health care for others as well as myself.

I think we've got to make this one of THE BIG ISSUES for 2008. Health care shouldn't be a luxury only for people who can afford it. It should be a right. We can't have "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" if we can't afford necessary medical treatment.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

$500 per month is great!

You are right of course. In addition, somewhere around here I have a list of all the other costs you pay so that OTHER people can have insurance. I think I'm up to 10 bullet points of fees you pay for other people's insurance.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Yeah, it's great -

But it's not counting the $1700 deductible on major medical/hospitalization, the 20% copay after that, the severely strict limits on some prescription meds (I've had to go back to my doctor for samples of meds that she prescribed because the ins. co. won't approve the amount that she prescribed for me. I shouldn't have that many migraines.)

But the point is....that $90000 a year is for 15 people to have health insurance. I don't have numbers in front of me, and with your resources you could probably find out faster than I, but I suspect that with that kind of money, a single payer system could cover more than 15 people. Or am I thinking too idealistically?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

yeah, sorry.

I wasn't suggesting that was acceptable. Obviously, it's not. As you mention, you are putting out a lot of pocket money.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

No sorrys needed!

We're on the same side.:)

We were really lucky to find this insurance co with such low rates, especially since I have several employees who are in their late 50's an early 60's - who tend to skew the group higher in cost. It's that cooperative First Carolina Care that I mentioned in an earlier post, and we're very pleased. I believe they are an intermediary step between what I'd like to see and what should be. Equal rates for every employee no matter what the age or medical condition, wellness events held right at my worksite, and very progressive policies. But they're a small company trying to do what could be done so much more effectively by a larger system.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

wellness events.

it sounds like you have a Health Care Plan, not Health Insurance. I think that is great. I used to have a Health Care Plan, now I have Health Insurance.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

It is insurance

First Carolina Care is real insurance. We have it. They are very progressive as LCloud says. They come here at least yearly and do various screenings such as Cholesterol and bone density. They also gave us free flu shots. Many benefits are also available to employees not even insured by them.

I don't necessarily think the government should provide health care, but I do like the idea of requiring all to have insurance like they just started to in MA(?). It will be interesting to see how that approach works out.

ma will fail

which is exactly what they want.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


Because mandating that people who can't afford health insurance have to buy it anyway will be so effective.

Granted, there's probably no small amount of recent college grads who don't have insurance because they don't think they need it. Young healthy people, who could maybe afford a high-deductible plan, sure. But the working poor?

Not news to me either

As a self-employed person, I have to pay through the nose for insurance. I have friends who have had health problems who pay $1,000 or more a month. How many people can afford that? We have all talked about it, and we have all thought about dropping it, but we don't. We are afraid to be without it. The ones that don't have it don't have it because of the cost. My mother has been on that universal/single payer health care bandwagon for years. They even had an article about her in The Fayetteville Observer once. Nobody was listening tho', and she finally just shut up. It isn't because she doesn't still believe in it. People would call it "socialized medicine" like it tasted bad to even say it. Do these elephant holes really think what we have now is working?


When I first heard of NC Defend

I was at a precinct meeting where Rep. Verla Insko and a NC Defend spokesmen were discussing her bill for Health Care for All. The guy next to me was self-employed and he had a quote in his hands from BCBS for $3000 A MONTH. He was self-employed, in his late 50s, and had developed some health problem. Can't remember specifics.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

socialized medicine

would mean the state owned the hospitals, employed the doctors and paid them a set salary. I love when people use that argument because it gives you the chance to educate them that Universal health Care will still bring the same profits to doctors and hospitals, to some extent, but will provide basic health care to every American at the same time. Only the insurance industry will really be hurt.

Make no mistake, after this happens there will still be issues to fight - like malpractice and SOME tort reform, even JRE says we need some changes. Also, we can't forget that HMOs were supposed to save us from doctors that were performing high profit tests you didn't need so they could line their pockets. Now, I begin to wonder if that wasn't 90% HMO talking points, but we'll have to keep an eye out for it.

My college football coach used to always discuss the 2% rule. In any given situation, 2% of the people are assholes. Try to stay away from them and you stand a much better chance of succeeding. We need to keep our eye out for the 2% that will try to game the system.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

lcloud, have you read Steve Bousers blog

he talks about a letter you sent to the pilot about how they are a forum for racist bigots! You go girl!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

I hadn't seen that -

But thanks for pointing it out! I guess I'd better go comment on it.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

Hurting the Insurance Industry

It seems to me that the insurance industry is in large part at fault for the state of our health care system in the first place.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi