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Subject:  Re: Retire Early Group Health Plan Date:  3/16/2000  7:19 PM
Author:  jpkiljan Number:  6254 of 841242


Please add me to your list of people you'd like to rant about. I think JTMitch and the people in just about every other western country have got it right. What we have now hurts the poor and it hurts our children. I'd have a lot more faith in the current US healthcare system if there were a fewer people who decide to just opt out and go with no insurance at all for themselves and their families (about 15% in my state, if I remember right); and, if the US infant mortality rate wasn't (from the last time I looked the data) trailing just about every other industrialized country.

What we have now just widens the gap between the poor and the rich in our country. It makes me wonder what social price we are going to have to pay for this situation in the future and what incentive those who are now sitting at the bottom of the economic heap have to save anything if they know they can loose it all to pay for a family member's medical condition.

Government is, by its very nature, inept, inefficient and bureaucratic; but the private sector has outdone the feds and gone beyond the pale in a Byzantine array price structures, billing complexity, prior condition pre-qualifiers, market manipulation, continuous-coverage certifications, waivers and political lobbying. It makes about as much sense to keep government (we call it 'gubmit' out West) out of our national heathcare system as it does to turn our military or criminal justice system over to the private sector. Would we want to fight just the cheapest wars or only the ones that bought us the lowest oil prices? Concentrate on arresting just the criminals with the most assets to recover (you can go home now kids!)? Those ideas seem absurd; but, for some reason, we think the 'for-profit' sector can best manage our basic medical safety net.

After many years we're starting to make progress in healthcare and someday I think our country will actually get it right; but, for now at least, count me among those who think