Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The $400 flu

Between doctor's visits and prescriptions, largely for things like inhalers so that we could continue to breath, the influenza virus that took down my whole family ended up costing me just under $400. Sure, I can draw on my FSA account, but it's still money out the door and the FSA account doesn't last forever.

It makes one wonder what our intrepid presidential candidates would do about sub-par insurance and high co-pays for those of us with at least half-decent health care. As Michael Moore pointed out in Sicko, we all think we have good health care until something big happens and then we discover how screwed we really are. I checked up on the Republicans first since, well, I wasn't expecting much.

First, the presumptive front-runner, John McCain. His prescription: more competition between health insurers and some other reform at the edges while claiming the whole system needs to change. Note: claiming you're a reformer while leaving the whole corrupt system in place is just lies, lies, lies.

Next, Mike Huckabee. His web page accurately notes: "The health care system in this country is irrevocably broken, in part because it is only a "health care" system, not a "health" system." and then goes on to dump on universal health care and provide nothing of substance other than more talk of free markets. Hey Republicans - I DON'T WANT health care competition between insurers, or to pick different hospitals based on which one treats a heart attack more cheaply, I just want to be able to go to my doctor when I'm sick and get needed medications without paying through the nose, and be able to do that regardless of employment status. Seriously, is this so complicated?

Finally, the Dems. Both Clinton & Obama have very similar plans.  Paul Krugman says so.  Both predict that they will lower premiums for the insured, but both maintain the current corrupt and inefficient insurance scam.

It's almost enough to make one want to learn the lyrics to 'O Canada.'  

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