4.09.2006

Is health care a right?

I recently signed up for my company's healthcare plan. It basically costs me 100 bucks for medical and dental care. Within that coverage I have a copay and certain procedures are split 80/20.

The 100 bucks a month ($1200 a year) seems fairly reasonable with the high costs of medical care in the event that I may need it. In reality I believe it is costing me more because my employer is paying whatever else it costs to insure me as a perk for working there.

I'm not someone who requires a lot of medical care at this point in my life. In fact I do not remember the last time I went to a doctor. So that money I pay each month is "just in case" something happens which I am sure I will be greatful to have in case something happens.

I look at all the money that is spent on me "just in case" and I cringe. There's gotta be a better way to do it. fI looked into a health savings account but unless my employer pays me the money that they are spending on my health care it wouldn't be worth it.

Massachusetts recently passed a bill that will insure nearly all of its citizens. Very interesting.

http://www.hcfama.org/

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/us/05mass.html

I want to see how this plays out.

3 comments:

c-spewer said...

Good question. It's certainly not a _legal_ right to have health insurance, although it is your legal right to obtain a certain level of health care in an emergency.

On one hand, I think it should be a benefit granted to all (or as many as possible) citizens. What is health care insurance? It's basically where we all pay into a system so as to mitigate the amount any one of us will pay in case of a catastrophic event. The wider your pool of people participating, the more you mitigate your risk, in general. The widest pool available in this country is... Everyone! So why not?

On the other hand, I don't want to have to pay higher premiums for others' bad lifestyle habits. Why should i pay more for people to smoke, eat too much, eat too much saturated/trans fat, etc.? I think the 2 can be joined if the government had more of a backbone/say in things like Tobacco products and the regulation of trans fat (ie: healthcare taxes). But you can never really regulate saturated fat or plain eating too much.

In the end, I would accept some inperfections in the system in exchange for wider and more accessible healthcare for all. I remember decrying Hillary back in the day for the idea of "universal healthcare", but it's not a bad idea. Can we, as a country, execute on it? Not sure we can.

Kevin Cieslukowski said...

Thanks Chew...

I guess the Mass. plan will be a good indicator of how this could work.

I think that healthcare is outside of the governments duties. What a great campaign issue though.

Maybe on a state level it could work. That way the people have more interest and control. It is easy to watch what is going on in your own state and you care more.

The feds will just bungle it.

Susie Q said...

The greatest risk of any type of government run health care plan is quality. In most european countries, healthcare is free, and directed by the government, but the quality is quite poor...for alas, what makes america great? Competition. I do wish that there was a way to work out a system that allows affordable, quality healthcare to all people, regardless of economic status, and that wasn't a burden on the people.