Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lottery for health care?

That's how they do it in Oregon:
With some 45 million Americans uninsured, how to pay for medical treatment is a big issue in this year's presidential election.

Now officials in Oregon say they have come up with a fair way of providing coverage for some of those who cannot afford it.

In her comfortable home in Portland, Oregon, Louanne Moldovan sifts through a pile of papers.

They are unpaid medical bills, stretching back a year, arising from treatment for Crohn's Disease, the chronic intestinal condition she suffers from. She thinks she owes nearly $15,000 (£7,500) in all.

Louanne says she is looking for full-time employment but, she adds, her earnings through freelance work will not buy enough health insurance for the treatment she needs. For her the state healthcare lottery offers an uneasy solution.

"It's a symbol of how degraded our system is in this country that we are resorting to a lottery," she tells me.

"It's pathetic and repugnant at the same time... [but it's] a necessity because I don't earn thousands each month."

Many do not share her feelings, but Louanne is not alone in trying her luck. More than 90,000 in Oregon are vying for a maximum of 10,000 places in the state's healthcare plan.

Yet it is a drop in the ocean. There are some 600,000 uninsured in Oregon.

At the Outside In community clinic in downtown Portland, doctors see 7,000 different patients a year, 90% of whom have no health insurance.Yet it is a drop in the ocean. There are some 600,000 uninsured in Oregon.
I don't have much to say other than, how did we get to this point? People's health shouldn't be up to a lottery. You can live without winning $25 million in the Powerball, but you have to have health care. Sadly, this is probably the best Oregon, a pretty progressive state, could come up with. That's why we need real leadership on this issue from the next president.


Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

I read a story in JR called the Lottery....and it aint turn out good,

Fan Boy said...

I think the Lottery is a great idea. While 600,000 sounds like a lot of people - how many of those opted out of work plans?

Healthcare is accessible in this country, yes you do have to pay for it. I am not ready quite yet to hand over another $200+ a month in taxes to a burecracy thats proven that private practice manages things better.

The problem is the uninsured, so have them opt into a public program that they pay for out of their taxes and leave my plan alone.

Nat-Wu said...

You have got to be out of your mind. A lottery for healthcare is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've ever heard of. What's good about a plan that doesn't cover everyone? The fact that at least it covers a few people? Ridiculous. Everyone needs healthcare, and you are already paying for those uninsured people through the charges your medical provider lays against your insurance, which in turn your insurance company levies against you.

What, the government doesn't succesfully provide services we all use, like roads, retirement, and mail? You pay a price for everything, but with the government you pay a cheaper price for a service which may not be the best but at least it's there all the time.