Kill the beast! The public option in health care reform

The title of this post is taken from the lyrics of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and explains what the right is doing with the so-called public option of health care reform. Love or hate him, Robert Reich explains the public option clearly, at least to us who laugh at the notion of “competition” with insurance plans. In Ohio, there really is none and opening up competition across state lines would do little to change that.

We don’t like what we don’t understand and in fact it scares us, and this monster is mysterious at least.
Bring your guns, bring your knives, save children and and your wives, so save our village and our lives!
LET’S KILL THE BEAST!

Fox Business News creates another death match

Click to see the full ad
Click to see the full ad

Forget Death Panels. The event of the evening will be the Presidential Death Match.

“In this corner we have B. Hussein Obama, lightweight, barely weighing 170 pounds. He has never won a title fight in his entire anemic political career. And in this corner, the entire GOP fat cats and most of America, salivating at the smell of his blood, aching for him to fall so they can pounce on his near-lifeless corpse.”

Oh, brother. And where does health care reform fit into all this?

Health care reform? Who’s that?

Dunno, but he damn well better have a ticket or we’re tossing his butt right outa here.

What’s wrong with our public schools?

A mass of children, all huddled around a 19inch CRT TV, watching the President address our nation of youth.

In 2009.

Really, WSJ this is the very best photo you could source that shows the rest of the world how wonderful our public schools are? Not only are other developed countries laughing at the big brew-ha-ha over nothing about the speech, but now they have this image of our classroom technology firmly burned in their brains.

No wonder the rest of the world thinks it is beating the United States of America in the brain department. We keep handing them the evidence.

Picture 5

Health care on a freemium pricing model

docphoto

I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk* yesterday deliver a talk to publishers and indie bookstore owners. At some point in the talk, he encourages everyone to have some sort of freemium pricing model. That got parked in the furrows of my brain.

What if we had a freemium pricing model for health care? When you move into a new area, you need to choose a doctor but that doctor may not be compatible with you. Once you got there, though, you usually become “stuck” with the doctor as the new one will require endless reams of forms, medical history photocopying charges, blah, blah. Many of us stick with a doctor because the pain of finding a new one is overwhelming.

Under the freemium model, your first visit is free with no obligation to provide stacks and stacks of forms. S/he would then have to put his/her best foot forward, maybe give you a few extra minutes of time instead of processing you like a sack of potatoes, maybe even have a full conversation with you. The doctor and the practice would have to sell you they are the best option for you.

Maybe the doctor would give you one free checkup a year. They could work the model like auto repair. If you bring your car in every three months for an oil change, they usually find something else wrong with it and end up charging you for replacing this or that, even though you may have waited until this or that fell off. (Come to think of it, oil changes should be free and … that’s another post.)

Vision and hearing checks could be available through the schools to our children free of charge. At the end, the doctor could send home a brightly printed piece of paper that has eyewear package option listed. The model works for class photos and we all know how many of those we buy that we don’t need!

If wellness programs really did save costs overall, they should be free as the “public option” because it makes good business sense. Then, insurance would only be used for major repairs, like heart attacks disease, broken bones, hernias and life-saving operations. Why don’t medical practices compete against each other for customers? What if only the free parts of the medical service was subsidized by a government-run “public option.”

The time to start thinking a little bit outside of the normal ways of doing things is now. The current system of health care is unsustainable and a full public option is perceptibly unaffordable. Every other business is expected to adopt some sort of freemium model in the near future; why not health care?


*I don’t know what Gary’s views are on health care. His video was merely inspiration for this blog post. The views expressed above are entirely my own.

It was not like that when I was a little kid

“It was not like that when I was a little kid,” she said as I mused about life, sitting on the sofa with my daughter watching some mindless movie on a Saturday morning.

I was musing that having friends means crushing expectation that you can’t possibly live up to, that empathy and kindness were a weaknesses and that when you can no longer contribute economically you are tossed aside for someone else who can.

I was fourteen when I started working full time to support myself. I am now well into my forties and have not had less than a full-time schedule of work since. Perhaps I am afraid if I slow down, the world will run me over and not stop to see if I am ok. Perhaps I am scared to ask if my value to everyone around me is solely economic. Perhaps I just don’t know what else to do.

Perhaps I should not be sharing these thoughts with my eighteen year-old daughter who should be seeing a bright, idealistic future and that makes me a bad parent. But I think she already knows the truth and that if I sugar-coat it, she would see through it anyway.

Grow up and buy your own insurance

VIDEO: Rep. Jenkins Laughs at Uninsured Single Mother, Son

Grow up and buy insurance that is not available and not affordable if it was. Grow up and buy insurance that will increase your premiums 30%+ a year, not cover your basic needs without a high deductible and drop you when you dip into it.

Rep. Jenkins, who buys YOUR health insurance? Oh, that right. We do. We the people. We the grown up tax-paying people.

You’re welcome. Even though your stupidity and insensitivity appear to be a pre-existing condition.