October 20, 2007

Off Topic... National Health Care

I know this has nothing to do with technology, and is about as far off from my normal blog postings as you can get, but it’s my blog so I get to write whatever I feel like.

One of the biggest topics (aside from the war in Iraq) that the Presidential Candidates have to deal with is the idea of nation health care. Movies like Sicko portray the US Health Care System as inadequate and sub-bar.

Maybe it is because I have lived a health and lucky life. I have had no serious illnesses, no major injuries, and no extended hospital stays, so I have never dealt with an "inadequate" health care system. I remember going to the emergency room a few times, once for a gash on my arm that I needed to get stitches for, another because I had a bad case of tonsillitis and my throat and swelled up and it was hard to breath. Both times I was treated very quickly. My doctors have always been nice when I have gone in for physicals, or just being ill in general. I tore tenants in my hand, and they took care of me, I have a bad knee and Gout and I have always been taken care of.

In addition to this, my Mom has had several extended hospital stays because of severe back injury she sustained, and because of this needed several surgeries. They took good care of her in the Hospital, and the medical bills were taken care of by the state (she was injured while working a state job).

In fact, I don't know anyone who has had a horrible experience at the doctors or at a hospital. So for me, I just don't see this inadequate health system.

So maybe I have been getting this good treatment because I have always had health insurance. My dad is in a union with great benefits, so I got those until I was 21. But I had double coverage for several years because every company I have ever worked for has given me health insurance. Is this a rare thing? I mean I was 16 working at Blockbuster and even they offered me health insurance (and a number of other good benefits like tuition reimbursement). My current Jobs (yes I have 2) both offer health insurance. Heck my primary job offers 3 different types of coverage you can choose from. 2 are free and one costs me 12 dollars a month. (I picked the $12/month one because it allows me to see any doctor when ever I want for a huge variety of things as opposed to selecting a single "primary care" doctor who I would have to see) If I want to add my girlfriend on to my plan I can. You heard me right; we don't have to be married, just living together. That will cost me an extra $150/month I believe. But its great coverage. The only people I know who don't have health insurance are just lazy and don't have jobs. (Or have crappy part time fast food jobs). And in reality, if you are an adult, working a crappy part time fast food job, you need to take a look at your life and do better.

So what benefit would National Health care have for me? None. I would pay more taxes, so other people could get "free" medical. Why should I have to pay more so others can milk a government system because they are too damned lazy to work (welfare proves this over and over again). People in places like Canada who do have a national health care system still need to get extra insurance because their system doesn't cover everything good private insurance does. So it’s not like my company will stop providing health insurance, and then give me a raise which would then balance out the higher taxes. So really, all national health care will do is take more money from me to help people I don't know and who may not even need the help and are just lazy.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against helping those who really need help. I donate a significant amount of money to charities that I choose to support (usually ones that help fund education and medical research). I also work for a non-profit (where I take a lower salary then I would require from a larger for profit company) because I believe in the work they do and I want to be a part of that. So this isn't about not wanting to help people, it’s about being forced to help people and having no control over it.

The only national health care system I am willing to support would be one focused on children. Where a child would be qualified to receive health care up until age 18. Once they are 18, they are on their own. The reason for this is because a child doesn't ask to be borne, and should have to suffer because they have shitty parents who can’t get a job. If you can't get a job, you shouldn't be having a kid. And no, there is no excuse for not having a job, work a burger king if you have to, but you better damn well have a job. (Obviously there are exemptions to this like those who are disabled but they can get Medicare/Welfare) When you are 18, you can get your own job and your own health care. And don't give me that crap about being in school and not being able to work. I work 2 full time jobs AND still go to school, so it can be done (and it isn't that hard.)

It seems the people I hear complaining the loudest are those who just don’t have health insurance, here is what you do. Go get a job that provides it, or get a private healthcare provider. If your job doesn’t provide health care, or you just can’t afford it, then its time to get another job (a second one even) that will give you the extra cash so you can afford it.

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