Digby on the NYTimes editorial board coming out in support of Medicare vouchers:

I don’t understand what world these people live in. Do these people honestly believe that the elderly, most of whom are already sick in one way or another or are destined to become so (after all, it’s a rare person who stays perfectly healthy and then dies peacefully in his sleep at age 92) should be forced into a more complicated system than that which already exists? It’s as if they are being accused of irresponsibly running up big bills and must be taught a lesson in prudence before they die.

I would love to know where this penchant for making the health care system even more complicated and unworkable comes from? And why does everyone have to be a “consumer?” We are citizens and human beings and when we get old we get sick, period. Making elderly people shop around in order to live is utter nonsense when we know that the only reason to do so is to keep our “privatized” system reaping profits every step of the way.

It’s the abstraction in all these debates that drives me crazy. People, not statistics. Patients, not consumers. Yes, health care costs are high and are absorbing more and more of our GDP, but the sick people are not the problem. Getting sick can happen to anyone and getting old is something that will happen to everybody (if they’re lucky). Treating being human as a problem is the problem.

4 thoughts on “Crazy

  1. Isn’t it always the best approach to use the Capitalist model to solve all of our problems? Aren’t free markets–you know competition– the cure all for driving down prices? It wouldn’t seem so if one were to look around at the mess the economy is in these days. But the NYT is run by the Capitalist 1% and not Karl Marx.

  2. I live with my mother and take care of her bills, and I can tell you that plain old vanilla Medicare as it stands now can still bankrupt you if you are one the edge already. $1,100 deductible for hospitalization for a year, co-pays on the ambulance ride to the hospital and back home, co-pays for the ER doctors, the hospital doctor, and specialist like the neurologist or gastroenterologist and the radiologists you never see, can stick you with two or three thousand dollars out of pocket for one trip to the hospital.

    And I had to basically keep it all secret from Mom, or she would have had a nervous breakdown worrying about all of it. I WISH people would not talk about things they don’t know anything about, and stop making decisions for other people’s lives.

    A voucher plan in a world of compulsory austerity. This makes a hell of a lot of (non) sense. What do they think is going to happen in the next round of “deficit reduction”? Or do they know exactly what will happen, and that’s the plan?

  3. BTW, don’t suggest a “medigap” insurance policy because she lives on $1,000/month from Social Security. We had managed to save $1,000 in a reserve account over two or three years, so that went out the window first.

  4. My heart goes out to your mother, and to you, Pragmatic Realist.

    The amount which makes one eligible to assistance in addition Medicare requires an income which, in truth, no person can actually live on.

    But, WTF is wrong with the NYTimes editorial board nowadays??? The editorials used to be more rational and liberal on social issues. WTH is wrong with them now??

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