26.1.07

Speculumating About 2008 Issues


For once, I'm looking forward to the candidacy debates for the 2008 election. Aside from Iraq, it looks like some of the major issues to be addressed will be universal healthcare, civil liberties (stop tapping our phones!), and the economy.

My dad used to complain that no matter how great a candidate looked, no matter how well spoken he was, the only issue that could get people's blood boiling was the pro-choice/pro-life debate. We need candidates who can argue less visceral topics - Healthcare. Budget. Foreign Policy. - with as much vigor. I want to know how they'll handle the country and what ideas they have in mind for getting the job done. I'm really eager to see who the Democrats (not to mention the Republicans) put forward as their presidential candidate.

One of the main issues this time round as a result of Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal for mandatory health insurance and Dubbya's proposed health plan is: universal health care. Both of the proposed plans have their problems, but at least they're drawing attention to a serious problem we have in this country: the fact that over 46 MILLION citizens do not have health insurance.

After receiving a statement from Blue Cross stating that they were billed $3500 for my MRI, I can't imagine having a precautionary procedure like that done without health insurance, not to mention the cost of the initial doctor's visit and follow up with a specialist; and the out-of-pocket cost of newer-generation migraine medications. And what if they'd indeed found I had the precurser to an aneurysm? How in the world would I have been able to afford the surgery to correct it?

If the main issue for 2008's election is healthcare, which I think is likely (and the most important, IMO, though most Americans put it third in their list of priorities), I think, with mixed emotions, that Senator Hillary Clinton's really got the edge. Obama is calling for "bold health reform," but Clinton has the experience - she was pushing for it when Bill was president.

2 comments:

Shannon said...

As if healthcare will be a problem after Bush's thoughtful tax-cut approach to the issue that will undermine employer-given insurance, make insurance in general a taxable item like income (yet things like parking costs are tax free? huh?), and eventually cause millions of Americans to start paying even more for health care (or forcing them to find cheaper, worse health care) when the increasing costs of health care outrun the tax deduction he's giving. No, I'm sure Bush has solved the issue in a comprehensive and fair way.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

The idea of eliminating employer-provided insurance and making it taxable?!??!!?? is pretty terrifying. Bush is WAY off base with his proposal, as he is with, well, most everything! That's his M.O. I'm just pleased he's acknowledged that health care - insurance specifically - is a problem.

Insurance companies are designed to take in money and keep it. When I first started as a rape crisis counsellor, for example, I was instructed to tell victims to have their HIV tests done at a anonymous clinics and NOT claim the test, which generally wasn't covered on most plans anyway, on their insurance. Many insurances, and I don't know if this still holds true, WOULD ACTUALLY DROP POLICYHOLDERS FOR GETTING AN HIV TEST DRAWN when I was counseling - from 1992-1999. They wouldn't drop them after the results were reported, they'd drop them as soon as the test was drawn because they posed "a high risk". Again, insurance companies are designed to take in money, lots of money, and keep it. BC/BS, IMO, is the best insurance available, but it's also the most expensive. BS/BC of Michigan reported a NET earning of over $336 MILLION in 2005. That's just ONE STATE.

I know that people are skeptical of socialized medicine, but I received some of the best care under the NHS system in England. Yes, I had to wait up to 2 hours to see a doctor once, but the care I received was consistently excellent, and besides - I'm waiting at least half an hour past my scheduled appointment now! And I had the option of seeking out a private doctor if I so desired. I just didn't - I always have a good book with me.