Today we are joined by Spicey G, one of SEE Level's favorite commentators, to address the health insurance and public policy issues we talked about last time. She brings a unique perspective to this discussion for several reasons. First of all, she's been covered for the past 38 years under the federal government's health insurance program. This plan is currently only available to government employees, but it closely resembles the favored Democratic plan for health care reform. In addition, she is currently the financial director of a private business firm, making her responsible for the purchasing and maintenance of their employee-based health plan. But most importantly, she lived part of her adult life in Great Britain, the country we will use today as our model for socialized medicine. Thus, her background gives her firsthand experience with the pros and cons of single-payer systems and important knowledge of how different universal health care systems can realistically be financed.
This interview will be presented in audio, so please click on "Spicey G" following a question to hear the response.
2. In consideration of surging health care costs coupled with the high expectations we have for treatment, have we lost touch with how much it all costs? Are we the ones to blame? Spicey G 1. H
1. How good of a job do you feel we’re doing with health insurance in this country? Spicey G
3. Would socialized medicine be a quick and easy route to universal health care? Spicey G
4. Here, S.G. tells us about how the British came up with their socialized medical system, which centers around a national debate they had in 1945 over what the government should provide for its citizens.
So what came of this debate in Britain? Are the issues we’re wrestling with 60 years later any different? What have they done about them? Spicey G
4. Mr. Benton mentioned how the big disadvantage we see with government-run health insurance is rationing of care, which inevitably happens due to lack of funding. But are we not rationing now? What are the differences between how the British ration health care and how we do it? Spicey G
5. What do you think of his argument about people in this country trying to get free health care? If not exploiters or young invincibles, who do you think these people are who lean on emergency rooms for health care? Spicey G
6. John Kerry and many other Democrats attempted to have a health care national debate around the 2004 election and drew up a proposal for what they thought would be a feasible was to achieve universal health care without being stuck without all the downsides of socialized medicine. Can you summarize this proposal for us? Spicey G
7. How would this program be paid for? Spicey G
8. Why shouldn’t businesses pay for this new system? Spicey G
As a side note, the British pay for their health care system with the VAT, value added tax, which is added to anything sold in country. We in the United States do not have this tax added to our imports, so we do not receive that extra funding for health care.
9. Lastly, what else do you think needs to change about our health care system? What about the fraud Mr. Benton talked about? Spicey G