William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Sunday, 12, July, 2009

Sauce For The Goose

Filed under: Medicine,Politics,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 18:30

I stole this, almost verbatim from CrankyLitProf.

Representative John Fleming (R – LA) has introduced a House resolution that I can get behind: HR 615 states that: “…that Members who vote in favor of the establishment of a public, federal government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option.”

On his personal site, Representative Fleming opines: “Under the current draft of the Democrat health care legislation, members of Congress are curiously exempt from the government-run health care option, keeping their existing health plans and services on Capitol Hill. If Members of Congress believe so strongly that government-run health care is the best solution for hard working American families, I think it only fitting that Americans see them lead the way. Public servants should always be accountable and responsible for what they are advocating, and I challenge the American people to demand this from their representatives.”

Preach it Cranky! You’re gonna dictate what kind of health insurance I get, you gotta have some skin in the game. Recall, please that one iteration of the Clinton health plan would have forbidden going outside the system, even if one had the money to pay for it. I want to repeat that for emphasis.

Previously, when the US Government attempted health care reform, one iteration of that plan would have prevented people from spending their own money on health care, going around the government system*

If our legislators have a dog in the fight, we might have a chance of something that won’t be a total goat-rope! I will point out that there is a word for people who insist on other people doing [being satisfied] with one thing but not being subject to it themselves. Hypocrites.

Rep. Fleming has a form letter you can print out and mail to your own reps. I know I’m going to, first thing on Monday morning.

*Michael Hurd, Baltimore Sun, 20 June 1994.



  1. Urging them to do anything is symbolic only. Needs more teeth.

    Comment by Much Afraid — Sunday, 12, July, 2009 @ 21:34 | Reply

    • Agreed. But it is a start. And it is more polite than “or else.”

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Sunday, 12, July, 2009 @ 21:37

  2. I’d like to persuade them with a few pitchforks, a couple of barrels of tar and several pounds of goose feathers.

    Comment by crankylitprof — Monday, 13, July, 2009 @ 07:04 | Reply

  3. We all need to “urge” our representatives on this issue – and let them know we will back up our intentions with our votes. That is the kind of urging they may better understand.

    Comment by Salome — Monday, 13, July, 2009 @ 08:51 | Reply

  4. Hold on, where is it written that any public option would be a requirement for anyone?

    Actually, if it was a requirement for everyone (not just your representatives) you’d have a great chance at getting excellent single-tier (as in my care is just as good as anyone else’s in the country regardless of their multimillions) care.

    Oooh. Wouldn’t that be just awful?

    You already know a public system cuts down on middle management, paperwork, and waste. People in Canada don’t have to wait for liposuction because that’s private. There is healthcare rationing, but, here’s the kicker, the choices are not made by the payer but by the physicians. The government gets no say in this at all.

    I listen to this rhetoric from the US but I don’t get what’s so scary about public healthcare.

    Comment by red rabbit — Monday, 13, July, 2009 @ 18:37 | Reply

    • Having seen the poor reimbursement, inefficiencies, and generally DISMAL care of the two public systems in the US that exist that I have worked in (VA and Medicare) I fear public health care. Red Rabbit, the Clinton plan would have forbidden US citizens from using their own money to get health care if they desired. That alone is scary about public health care. A public system cuts down on middle management paperwork and waste? Not bloody likely. Any veteran can go to a VA, no questions asked, and get health care. If any veteran has private insurance, they use it. VA patients are, with few exceptions, indigent, addicted, and without options.

      And NO, I don’t want the NHS where instead of changing bedsheets between patients they flip them over, and you have to wait so long to see a cancer surgeon your tumor becomes inoperable. Excellent single tier care would be nice. I haven’t seen a system where it exists yet. And a universal shit-sandwich is not what I desire.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Tuesday, 14, July, 2009 @ 09:55

  5. I’m curious as to whether the sauce would work if applied in the equal-but-opposite direction: what if the average citizen had the opportunity to sign up for the healthcare package the Congress currently gets? [“Opportunity”, not _obligation_]

    Comment by rethoryke — Thursday, 16, July, 2009 @ 10:43 | Reply

  6. You haven’t seen the Canadian system? Flawed, but overall we spend less than a third per capita of what the US does, and instead of having 15% of the population uninsured we are 100% insured.

    Wait times are the big issue here, and seriously, they are not generally a big issue. Elective surgery does get bumped in favour of emergencies etc. Docs make the decisions, the gov’t pays. The government gets no say in what it pays for, but if it’s not medically necessary it’s our responsibility not to order it.

    Sometimes I think people don’t hear anything they don’t think they’ll agree with.

    Comment by red rabbit — Monday, 20, July, 2009 @ 11:31 | Reply

    • Red Rabbit. The Canadian system is not at issue. The problem with the universal health care plan on the table is that US Citizens will not be able to opt out of it. They will not be able to spend their own money on heath care for the greater good.

      This will also open up a whole Pandora’s box of nanny-state legislation as the government is paying for heath care. And, frankly, given the quality of the interactions that I have with the government, from the DMV, to the ATF, to the police and the post office, I don’t trust the US Government to have life-and-death (and quality of life) decision making power over my life and the life of my loved ones.

      And as a physician in a state that borders Canada, I’ve seen plenty of Canadians coming to the United States to get quality of life treatments, including coronary artery bypass grafting and new knees. I don’t want that option taken away. Look, the County Hospital in this town will give you all the health care you want with a $5.00 co-pay if you’ve gotten rated, and the rating lasts for six months. You just have to plan ahead and get rated. Don’t take away my freedom of choice in favour of ease for the nudniks who can’t plan ahead.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Monday, 20, July, 2009 @ 18:00

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