Molasses Blog

Filed under:Blogging,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on June 19, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

I have a bit more NYC stuff to toss out, but I’m using a family visit as an excuse for extra laziness. Regular blogging, including, I swear, what should now be called the Whenever Tolkien, resumes soon.

A Modest Proposal

Filed under:Miscellaneous — posted by Anwyn @ 9:22 pm

Tonight I listened to my sister describe how the baby daughter of a friend of hers died after a prolonged illness, many hospital stays, and several surgeries. For the funeral, the parents requested, in lieu of flowers, donations to offset their medical expenses.

I agree with those who think that the combination of medical fees and medical insurance has gone off the rails in this country, but state control is not the way to fix it. Instead, why not make medical insurance a whole hell of a lot more like car insurance? First, divorce health insurance forever from employment. We don’t get car insurance as an employment benefit. It’s compelled by the state, but we still pay for out ourselves. Why should medical coverage be so wedded to employment status? Something like the current health savings accounts could be used to put money away to continue paying for coverage in case of reduced income or loss of job.

We also don’t use auto insurance to get our oil changed, our cars washed, or our tires rotated. We likewise shouldn’t use health insurance for routine doctor visits like checkups or to see about a winter illness that drags on too long. Think $100 is too much for an office visit? Try seeing how much those routine visits would drop in price if people quit coming in so much because those visits were no longer covered. Then insurance, now on a supply-and-demand system that lowered premiums for high deductibles, etc., like auto insurance pricing, could be used to pay for catastrophic, unforeseen “car crashes”–real ones, causing serious injury, or debilitating diseases that require much treatment and hospitalization. Planning to have a child whose routine visits will run every three months or so? Beef up your coverage beforehand if you don’t want to pay for those routine visits at the time they occur.

The added flexibility and cost savings could then be used in possible scenarios for state subsidies of the poor and unemployed. Keep the flexibility of the market. Socialized medicine will be the death knell, figuratively and literally, for a major part of our way of life in the U.S.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace