Rick Santorum wants you to die in 10 years

I’m no fan of Obama-care.  Rick Santorum obviously isn’t, either.  But I heard yet another gaff from him on TV new the night before last.  He tried to equate health care insurance to car insurance.  His point was that car insurance does not cover things like an oil change (and so health insurance should not, either).

That’s one of the stupidest comparisons I’ve heard.

Car insurance is not about caring for health for life.  It’s about compensation for accidents so your wallet doesn’t get too thin when occasional random bad events happen.  It’s about distributing the costs of things that may affect a random few people in a group, so the whole group has predictable costs.  With predictable costs, people can spend more money now, without having to keep a few thousand dollars around just in case (which mode people cannot do, at least up front).

But cars do soon wear out and break down.  Typically that’s roughly in about 10 years, though many people have pushed them off to the used car market by then.  Car insurance isn’t trying to make a car live a full life.

Health care is about keeping people healthy.  And it’s not just “for” that person’s benefit.  It’s for everyone’s benefit.  It’s for the benefit of the whole society.  It’s a national benefit to keep the population healthy.  And business works better when its workers are healthy, and the population it hires from is healthy.  And that helps us compete in global markets.

Santorum was making the comparison of car insurance to health insurance.  Apparently he wants health care to be limited to the insurance format.  That’s a common thread in the Republican party.  It’s also rampant in the Democratic party, including Obama.  Obama-care is health insurance, not health care.

But my concern is over Santorum’s idea that if we don’t do certain things (like maintenance) through insurance for cars, we shouldn’t do it for people, either.  He wants people to be like cars … which operates on a planned obsolescence model.  Let them break down and die in 10 or so years.  A well maintained car can go 20 or more years, but making sure of that is not what car insurance is about.

If Santorum wants health care to be like car insurance, then you die in 10 years (or so).

Health care is (supposed to be) about keeping people healthy, which needs to cover both maintenance and repair.  Obama-care might be bending the insurance model a bit.  But the only form of health care that really can work is the one where business profit models are removed entirely.  And that’s “single payer universal care”.  No insurance means no risk of someone in a cubicle with a quota to meet deciding your operation isn’t going to be covered (and if it were it would only be 80%, anyway).  It’s the only model that can genuinely cut costs and make the population healthy.  The national health status should not be a market.

Have a look at Sweden, the healthiest country in the world, which accomplishes that with just 60% of the cost of the USA (relative to GDP).  As I mentioned at the start, I’m no fan of Obama-care.  It’s still just a pig with more paint.  Genuine health care reform is universal single payer health care.

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10 Responses to Rick Santorum wants you to die in 10 years

  1. Do not agree at all. The USA has the best healthcare in the World. The catch is we have to work to have health insurance. Look at Canada their healthcare is terrible. I don’t thing a universal single payer health care plan would work for our county at all. I think that we should be able to “shop” for healthcare across state lines, and then the prices would come down. However, there should be regulations for the health insurance companies to ensure that we get what we pay for, in essence that they actually pay the freaking bill.

    Are you suggesting a healthcare plan such as the plan that is in place in Canada or as like a plan that is in Massachusetts right now?

  2. I really doubt Rick wants me to die in ten years 🙂 ha ha

  3. motre says:

    The titles are satirical and poking. But it is in line with how politicians (on both sides of the middle) tend to spin things. So on commentary about the election process, I feel free to spin in a like way. Of course, literally, Rick Santorum has no such intention. You don’t really believe what you read on the intartubes, do you?

    I do believe the USA has the best health care in terms of the available technology. But it’s a tilted system. The one percenters get ALL of that best health care. The people at the bottom still get a lot of it, and they get it for free. It’s the middle class … that does not get corporate executive pay … that gets the least. And it is the insurance process that restricts things so much. It’s called recission. Technically, that means voiding or undoing a contract. But it is referenced under that term by insurance companies to find a means to deny coverage. A common way this is practiced is employers terminate people when they get ill. This, in turn, terminates their health coverage. Not everyone can afford to pay COBRA coverage when they are unemployed AND too ill to find other work.

    Coupling health insurance with employment really complicates things and adds to the cost. If I start my own business, I want to focus on my business and not on mandatory benefit packages. I want to be able to compete on a level field with businesses in countries where the government, not the business, provides the health care coverage.

    If insurance were required to provide complete health care coverage (no recission) at 100%, or if at least some did and their rates were still affordable, and anyone could sign up, that would work in the sense of everyone having the opportunity to shop. But as soon as the industry does that, everyone will flock to the lower priced general coverage. Of course, they will then have even worse customer service, doctors and hospitals will get paid late, if at all. And we will still have problems. This is why I believe “market forces” should not be used for health care coverage … or at least a “non-commercial option” should exist.

    I already made my pledge to refuse to buy insurance under Obama-care. But it wasn’t so much due to the mandate to buy into it. It was in large part because the public option was defeated. And in lesser part because there is no insurer that will provide the plan I want (total 100% coverage, yearly co-pay cap at $300, no recissions, and no arbitration clause).

    I am not suggesting to have what they have in Canada (What care, eh?) or Massachusetts (Romney-care). Instead, I would suggest the type of care they have in the country ranked as the healthiest country in the world, which also achieves that with nearly the lowest cost of health care relative to the country’s GDP. That would be Sweden. It is totally single payer health care. Although Sweden does have a higher tax rate than the USA, only a small portion of that applies to health care, in part, because they can streamline the system by taking insurance out of the picture. Sweden’s health care cost is less than 10% of the GDP (and Norway about the same). USA passed the 17% mark last year.

  4. I watched a documentary once on Sweden. It stated that the taxes are so high in Sweden that most people live in very small apartments. It said that most people do not own their own home. Just don’t understand why just ten years ago my employer paid for 100% of my healthcare, but now I pay a fortune and only covered at 80%. What happened?

    Well…All I know is that if you get really sick these days you better be:
    A: Very poor
    B: Very rich

    If you are a terminally ill person you certainly do not want to be in the middle class in the U.S. This country has Medicaid which covers at 100% for the poor. We have Medicare that is decent coverage for the elderly. It is not 100%, but it is decent. Medicaid and Medicare always pay the bill.
    The middle class gets the worst healthcare, and we work our butts off to pay for the insurance. It is not fair at all. Something has to be done to help the middle class and fast! My health insurance right now is putting me way over budget for the month.
    I will have to do some more research on Sweden. You may be right.
    Perhaps living in a small flat, and having excellent healthcare, would be better than living in a big house with a white picket fence? What is the use in owning a home, if you die from terrible health insurance coverage?
    You may be correct. I will research and get back to you regarding Sweden.

    • motre says:

      Sweden actually has a very high rate of private home ownership. I have not checked the numbers for Sweden, but Norway has a higher rate of private home ownership than the USA does (as of a couple years ago). In many respects Norway and Sweden are very similar.

      Probably largest tax burden for Sweden is the welfare system. It’s similar in Norway. But the end result of the higher taxes is at least some reduction of costs elsewhere. For example, you don’t have to take in your poorer relatives and fewer people are out on the streets. I do think the system is abused, there. If I lived in Sweden I’d want to see more monitoring of the abuse.

  5. By the way – You do realize it is blogger social protocol to leave comments on the bloggers site that comments on your page and to follow their blog if they are following your blog. If you do not comment on other blogs, you will not get much traffic.

    • motre says:

      Yes, I know about that. I just haven’t gotten around to visiting very many other blogs, yet. I spent a lot of time browsing the forums to learn case examples of using WP.com, and still am. Still more reading to do, and searching around for other blogs of interest.

  6. Well, if you get a chance please read my blogs on the economy, jobs and others. The economy and jobs are in my older posts. I would like to hear your views on the subject!

  7. Kainui says:

    thanks man! you’re website is great, I’m such a political junkie, and it’s great to see some anti-partison viewpoints. I’m personally a libertarian socialist. Can you give me some hints on how you got so much messages? (I might have put this message in the forums accidentally). Good luck on your blog!

    • motre says:

      A lot of my leanings go either libertarian or socialist. So maybe we have a few things in common somewhere. As for the messages, I just got active in the forums answering questions where I can, and put my blog in my signature on a few forums.

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