Save America, Hold a Holiday Health Care Party

TomDaschle.jpg…and I guess have Tiny’s cater it.

In last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, there was an article titled “Daschle to Reaffirm Health-Care Overhaul Is a Top Priority”. In it, the apparent health care czar for the Obama administration, former Democratic Senator from South Dakota Tom Daschle, re-affirmed the president-elect’s commmitment to health care reform. The WSJ blog “forshadowed” his speech.

According to the article, Mr. Daschle will continue to move forward on the issue, in spite of the additional challenges due to the current economic situation. He noted that our ever-rising health costs put a considerable burden on businesses. I’ll note that with an increasing number of Americans responsible for their own health care, these costs put a considerable burden on families too.

Of particular interest to me was Daschle’s suggestion that “Americans hold holiday-season house parties to brainstorm over how best to overhaul the U. S. health-care system”. He was quoted as saying, “We are hoping Americans will give us all the gift of their best ideas”. Another WSJ blog post detailed this idea.

I really liked the idea of asking stakeholders, or customers, for input on overhauling the system. Soliciting comments and ideas from people up front, before the government’s staff begins their planning, would seem to me to generate valuable information for the elected and appointed officials in shaping the guiding policy.

Perhaps I’ll host a Holiday Capital Investment Party at Tiny’s. It’ll be BYOP…that’s Priorities.


  1. Peter Millin said:

    I am looking forward to an efficient government run health care plan.
    I hope it will be as successful and well managed as social security, the IRS, medicare and the national budget.

    To those who support a national health care system :

    If the time comes that you have to stand in line or get denied service…… stop whining.

    December 12, 2008
  2. Peter Millin said:


    National health care is a foregone conclusion, as Daschle has so eloquently stated.

    As a citizen that has lived in three countries with various forms of socialized medicine I am baffled why Americans are so fascinated with it.

    If some of you would take the time to evaluate other nations health care systems, (not just in a statistics) and actually live with it, most would change their minds. Or at least put enough safeguards in it so it won’t become another botched government program.

    Unfortunately the majority of Americans never look beyond their own borders.

    If something is perceived to be free it usually get’s abused. There in lies the problem with all of the national health care systems in the world.
    The system becomes over loaded due to abuse. At first taxes are raised. Once that becomes unsustainable it becomes rationed.

    Rationing takes different forms, either by actually cutting services or, which is usually the prefered method. Doctors are being told om how much to charge and how many patients they are allowed to see.
    As a result doctors only see a certain amount of patients a year, because seeing more won’t earn them more money.
    This is the case in Canada, where a fairly large population doesn’t have a primary care doctor. If you should need to see a doctor ( and you don’t have a primary care physician) then you have to go in to a “walk in clinic”. Those are usually run by young inexperienced doctors or third year med students.

    My next door neighbor in Canada was diagnosed with breast cancer and she needed radiation. She was told to come back in three month.
    Fortunately she had the means to be treated in the US. She ended up going to Buffalo for treatment.

    Parts of Canada don’t have any doctors at all. So the Canadian government forces doctors to practice a certain amount of time in those under served areas.

    Due to the limited opportunities of doctors and nurses most Canadians end up working the USA.

    The US system is by no means perfect, but do we really want what Canada has?

    If you don’t believe me I suggest you make some friends in Canada and ask them about it.

    OH and BTW Canadian politicians end up going to the few private clinics that are available or end up going to the US.
    I remember two stories where the then prime minister Paul Martin “jumped the line” and went to a private clinic ????

    Be careful what you wish for.

    December 13, 2008
  3. Ross Currier said:

    Peter –

    Are you so concerned about what you perceive to be a Socialist takeover of our health care system that you are arguing that we should do nothing?

    – Ross

    December 15, 2008
  4. Tom Swift said:

    For those who haven’t heard it already, NPR recently looked beyond our borders and produced a series that examines health care systems in countries that do it better, cheaper and for all:

    Peter: At least 45 million of our fellow citizens are already standing in line.

    December 16, 2008
  5. David Henson said:

    How about if we pay for medicine like we pay for loaves of bread, gas, cell phones, haircuts, auto repairs, etc ? That is with cash to whomever supplies the best price and service. If the government must inflate this market (my Dad said when he was young you could pay the doc with a couple of chickens) then do so by making dedicated funds available and letting health consumers spend as they see fit.

    December 16, 2008
  6. Bright Spencer said:

    First, we have to understand the present system. Briefly, I’ll explain some things I have seen first hand.

    A skin tag removal was recently billed at $108.
    for a fifteen second procedure. However, we are also paying for the sterilizing and packaging of the scissors, tape and swab, the nurse who brought the package to the doctor, the doctor, the person who retrieved the package and brought it to the sterilizing person. Maybe in the old days, all of that was done by the doctor. Then we are paying for the receptionist who made the appt., and the billing agent, again, done by the doctor of old or his wife. Then we are paying for any number of insurance people who get the bill and process it, and send us a bill. When all is said and done, at least 12-15 people are involved in the removal of one tiny skin tag.

    Now, if a procedure involves major technology and several rooms, all to be sterilized and billed and researched, you add up by the thousands of dollars. Is there a way to get around providing that many jobs and provide million dollar equipment?

    Another thing that I think can be looked at is when you order medical equipment and get charged four times the normal amount because the retailer can charge it to medicare…that’s wrong. We found a chair online for 25% of what a retailer wanted to charge for the same model and it was also brand new and no delivery charge was made…not a mistake either…we saved $300.

    We were charged$140 per month for a $560 piece of equipment. The insurance company would not pay for the equipment if we purchased it outright, but would pay for $100 each month for a machine that will be continuously used for up to five years…that’s $6,000 for a $540 piece of equipment that is guaranteed for five years.

    December 17, 2008