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December 22, 2006

Luck

There's not a whole ton to say about such stories of woe. I will note that they show how luck works in health care. The mother's stroke and the rare genetic blood disorders in two of the sons aren't conditions higher deductibles or more cost-sharing would help with. Such reforms would just bankrupt a working family already laboring beneath far too much. Meanwhile, you think these folks are ever going to get decent insurance outside of a massive corporation or government pool again? Yeah, me neither.

Elsewhere, my friend Murray Waas's rebuttal to Washington Ciity Paper's shameful attempts to turn his survival of cancer into some hack bit of pop-psychology is powerful and affecting. I'll note that cancer drove Murray, then a Pulitzer-prize finalist journalist, into bankruptcy. with all the stigma that carries. One of the City Paper reporters actually accused him of being "a deadbeat cancer survivor." And the award for Most Extraordinary Display of Prickishness in Pursuit of an Article goes to....

I've spoken to Murray more recently about insurance costs and they are, for him (and all others who've once been sick), not cheap. Is there anything humane about a health care system that strains to price out those who've been unlucky enough to avail themselves of its services? We have a massive, miraculous industry devoted to healing paired with a massive, malicious industry devoted to making such miracles unaffordable to those likeliest to need them.

December 22, 2006 in Health Care, Insurance | Permalink

Comments

American healthcare is like Three Card Monte. The only people who think they can win at it are the ones who haven't had to play the game yet.

Posted by: Stephen | Dec 22, 2006 11:59:02 AM

This is what I didn't like about the Wyden plan, and why I hate it when Democrats talk about this in terms of XX million people being uninsured. I don't want insurance. I want health care. Yes taking on an entire industry is problematic. But it's not like they won't sabotage any proposal anyway. The advantage of single-payer is that it is easy to explain: if you're sick, go to a doctor; if you have income, pay taxes on it. Everything else is handled by other people.

Posted by: tatere | Dec 22, 2006 2:06:36 PM

"We have a massive, miraculous industry devoted to healing paired with a massive, malicious industry devoted to making such miracles unaffordable to those likeliest to need them."

Well said Ezra. It's that fundamental dichotomy that needs to be illuminated in every discussion of health care in the US.

Posted by: dale | Dec 22, 2006 3:29:16 PM

I've lived in the DC area for about 15 years. Maybe about midway into the first year I realized that the only honest writing in the City Pages is "News of the Weird" and "The Straight Dope". Even by the standards of "alternative" papers it's a piece of shit.

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