Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who Needs Health Care When We Have Emergency Rooms?

In light of Mr. Bush's remarks regarding health care access and local emergency rooms (obviously, he's never sat in one with a non-life threatening case and tried to get help in under an hour), I could only roll my eyes in response to this headline:

Rules May Limit Health Program Aiding Children

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.

Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a monthlong Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were intended to return the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

(emphasis mine)


I'm angry about this, because obviously, the states are trying to provide health care for children. And why would we want to extend any help to the middle class, or rather, the people who are desperately trying to cling to middle class standing? The Bush Administration is almost devoted to wiping out the middle class and recreating the Old Europe standard of the Three Estates (The Aristocracy, the Clergy, and the Peasants).

When I continued reading and looked at the standards for what qualified as "low-income" and therefore eligible for CHIP coverage, and what qualified as "middle-income" and not eligible, I was almost appalled. Actually, strike that, I was definitely appalled.

The poverty level for a family of four is set by the federal government at $20,650 in annual income. Many states have received federal permission to cover children with family incomes exceeding twice the poverty level — $41,300 for a family of four. In New York, which covers children up to 250 percent of the poverty level, the Legislature has passed a bill that would raise the limit to 400 percent— $82,600 for a family of four — but the change is subject to federal approval.

My salary is in the "twice the poverty level" range, and I have to say, I probably couldn't survive on that salary alone, let alone try to cover a family of four on that. Has the federal government priced housing in New England metro areas lately? When you're done paying for the roof over your head, and the utilities to keep warm (including, say, oil, hrmph!) how on earth do you bundle health care in with food, gas (!!), clothes, etc. Health insurance eats a significant portion of your "leftover" income. It's simply untenable.

I also like the bit about ensuring that CHIP doesn't replace private health care coverage. That's they whole point: privatization. Allow insurance companies to keep premiums high and deny coverage through privatization. Because the point of health insurance is to make corporations rich, not provide chemotherapy to cancer patients or anti-depressants to depression patients or anything.

It's a good thing that I work somewhere with good health insurance coverage. Because this administration makes me sick.

3 responses:

ccroceiii said...

Calla;

Imagine you have an employee who is having trouble with his job; the poor guy is trying really hard, but just does nothing right. You really don't want to fire him because you like him and want him to succeed.
That is our government. We give them the post office and the military but I am sure you will agree he does neither job very well. Now you want to give him healthcare?
I plead with you to drop your dreams of Universal Healthcare or at least move to a country that already provides it and leave me to enjoy my country.

With respect,
Charles.

Calla said...

Honestly, Charles, I'd fire the whole Bush Administration if I could, because I *know* it can't succeed. Then I'd put in some people who actually worked their way through college and politics, instead of buying or bulling their way in, and have them take over running things capably.

Cheers!
Kate

PS: you should start writing your own blog, you've gotten to be quite eloquent in your comments. Or, maybe I'll let you guest post!

ccroceiii said...

Calla;

You are speaking about deposing the government of the United States of America. I am not quite prepared to do that yet. However, I do not wish to stop you... charge those machine guns! I know what the outcome will be and it will be good for my country.

Do you really believe that ANY governmental administration built by humans could or should be allowed to administer something like someone's personal healthcare? You overestimate the abilities of your fellow man if you do. Healthcare started out as a nice job perk and now people think of it as a right. I find it amazing that people want someone else to pay for their healthcare. That is greedy and that is not right.

On the other topic, no I will not write my own blog because if I do something terrible, which man is wont to do, I do not wish to give the media an easy time to find out what I was thinking by giving them a blog site to visit; (to put it simply) I do not want too many people to know what I think.

You are a safe place to post because I doubt even you take anything I write too seriously.

Love,
Charles


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