bigmacbear: Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin, with superimposed caption "It's all about the Benjamins!" (benjamins) seems to me that the health-care system in the US is infested with parasites, known as for-profit insurers, that act as rationers of health care and thereby end up killing patients as surely as any other parasite.

bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Employers are balking at paying skyrocketing health insurance premiums. So the insurers have come up with a solution: Make the plans "consumer-driven", and jack up the deductibles so high that folks will think twice about seeing a doctor if they are sick. Preventive care (such as physicals) is not subject to the deductible, but maintenance care for a condition diagnosed by the physical is. These deductibles are high enough that unless one has a chronic condition requiring medication, or experiences a catastrophic illness, the insurance does them absolutely no good -- they pay 100% of their care out of pocket. About the only thing they are good for is preventing a catastrophic illness from bankrupting a family.

First these plans were foisted off on non-union (management) employees, who have no alternatives and no collective bargaining power to get a better deal. Now that these plans are being forced on unions, they are the direct cause of serious labor unrest. Even (or perhaps, especially) in this economy, as companies force these excuses for health insurance on their employees, this alone is going to be the issue that precipitates a strike.

And in my industry, a strike causes a lot of disruption. Somewhat like the military, my employer is prepared to order thousands of people (myself included) thousands of miles from home, at its convenience, not that of its employees -- in order to force the unions to capitulate. This is going to get ugly.

Essentially, the commercial health insurance industry is sucking the nation dry. We need to take the profit motive out of health insurance by offering a publicly-funded alternative or moving to a single-payer system. Otherwise, we will continue to have severe rationing of care, either self-rationing on the basis of price or outright denial of care by insurers, as has been demonstrated by the horror stories we've all seen (The Runaway Jury is not that far from actual documented cases in the courts).
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Mother can pursue lawsuit over harvest of son's brain

Predictably, one of the comments to this story reads, in its entirety, "Braaaaiiiiiiins......" ;-).

In another odd coincidence, while reading misc.transport.road this morning I happened to read an article about a Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, NJ. Someone responded to that post, "Did you hear about the dyslexic zombie? He kept seeking Brian ;)."

August 2017

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