The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

So Thad, Gordo, where would you guys rather get cancer? The US? Or France? Or Switzerland.

Al Frankin lays it out pretty well in the video above. As does this, an interesting health care discussion from (hardly a left-wing propaganda site) about who pays for what where.


"So, where would you rather get cancer? In America, you have a modestly better chance of surviving most cancers for 5 years. But there's a 1 in 4 chance you will lose your life savings and a 1 in 10 chance you will have to beg for food or rent, while in France, the whole thing will cost you nothing.

What'll it be?

But wait: why are we even asking this question?

Why don't we just change our insurance system to fix the payment problem, but keep our great treatment system? We could eliminate rescission and lifetime caps on coverage, mandate that insurers have to ignore pre-existing conditions so that a cancer diagnosis doesn't mean you can never get insurance again even if you're cured, and use government subsidies so people who are too rich for Medicaid can still afford insurance, and nobody has to blow their kids' college fund on chemotherapy. In other words, we could do what the House health-insurance reform bill does!

How is insuring everyone, and making sure that "insurance" actually means insurance, going to make cancer treatment in America worse? Are cancer-treatment centres all eager to preserve a situation in which their patients may abruptly lose insurance coverage and have to mortgage their house to afford drugs?

Is someone really going to argue that in order to have the world's best cancer-treatment system, we need to arbitrarily bankrupt a million or so unsuspecting saps every year? That our treatment outcomes are so great because of our fine insurance system? Surely no one could take that claim seriously."


Thad Wasson said...

The denial of insurance claims is the exception not the rule. Mr. Frankin should provide stats on those getting turned down after they made their premium.

Michael Sanborn said...

Sorry, Bill

Al Frankin lies when the truth makes a better story. If I have to get cancer, I'd rather get it here where my chances of survival are better than most countries, although France and Japan have a good survival rate too.

Bill Fleming said...

Even if it means you have to go bankrupt, Mike?
I think that borders on the criminal, myself.

Michael Sanborn said...

I have been down this path. And, when faced with bankruptcy or the life of my child, I'll take bankruptcy every time.

It took years in my case, but I was able to avoid bankruptcy. Some don't.

What I thought was criminal was a so-called not-for-profit company with nearly $100 million in reserve charging 500 times retail for meds and unnecessary, expensive and – at times – incompetent care.

Bill Fleming said...

My point, Mike, is that you shouldn't have to be faced with such a choice. No American should.

Michael Sanborn said...

How does Obama's or the House's plan keep me, a self employed person, from having to face the same choice?

Donna said...

My sister lived in Norway for almost 30 years. When she had cancer, indeed everything was paid. Including a taxi to pick her up and take her to her treatments. Unfortunately, their tax rate is right at 50% of their income to cover this wonderful health benefit.

Bill Fleming said...

And, Donna, I hear they like it that way in Norway. In fact, I heard some conservatives tried to change things and they all got voted out. Is that how your sister understood it? I also heard there was not nearly the disparity in income between the "haves and the have nots."

Donna said...

They accept it as a way of life. Obviously, none are prepared to give up the benefits they have currently. But also they would prefer to pay less of their income to the government.

I am really not sure how the religious right would make this health care system function as part of the process in Norway is sex education to all children- taught in the schools and on public TV. What you don't have in Norway are teeneage unwed mothers living off a welfare system.

The point is, you'd have to accept most of the lifestyle changes to really compare what works and doesn't work.