I watched the Keith Olbermann show, Countdown, for several nights in a row and listened to his moving plea for healthcare reform. In this hour long program Keith spoke passionately of his father’s brush with death and how he was thankful that he was able to get one of the top five surgeons in the world to save his fathers life.
I commend Keith on taking care of his father and agree that Keith was fortunate to be able to pay for his fathers medical services. Keith Olbermann had the ability to pay these bills because of the success in life afforded him by the opportunities of living in America. The high quality of care available to him was also because he lived in this county.
This story moved me until I realized that there were several things I didn’t understand because Keith did not mention them on his program. These omissions raised some questions in my mind.
Keith Olbermann is advocating healthcare reform, he is advocating Medicare or a Medicare like program for everyone in America and here is where my confusion begins. Keith’s father is 80 years old, does he have medicare coverage? Does medicare cover kidney transplants? Did Keith’s father get a transplant or some other type of surgery? Did this surgeon accept medicare? If medicare coverage was available why did Keith’s father not use the medicare system and it doctors? What did Keith pay for, medicare share of costs? The overage of costs that medicare did not cover? Did Keith pay all the costs because medicare didn’t cover this procedure? The bottom line is why did Keith have to go to this highly skilled surgeon? The simple answer in my mind is because he could afford the best to save his fathers life.
I understand that even if Medicare would pay for the transplant the donors would probably be responsible for their own medical cost and possibly their insurance would not cover the procedure. I understand further coverage could or would be denied to them under the preexisting condition clause of their policies. But lets look at why. If you have a major surgery, do you not open your self up to the possibility that you may have future health issues as a result of the surgery? These problems may take years to manifest themselves. The insurance companies would have to cover you in your time of need. This may be a cost that would not have been incurred had you not been a donor. Others under the plan would see increases in their premiums and co-costs. I only bring this up to give you a different prospective on this issue.
Keith brought up a number of interesting and valid points concerning the insurance industry. I agree that a major reform of the insurance companies and our healthcare system is in order. I am not sure what the answers are, but I would not advocate for a government system that seemingly failed my father. No matter whether we have a government program, private program or a combination of both, you can be sure that it will have it’s faults. You can be sure it will be expensive and you will pay for it. You can also be sure you will have a form of premiums, copayment, exclusions of coverage and all the other things we currently have to deal with.
We all hear about the obscene profits insurance companies get by denying coverage or payment for a multitude of reasons. If this is the case, perhaps our lawmakers should change the law to prohibit this practice. There are many things we could change in the system to create an affordable inclusive healthcare system. I believe we can do these things without have a government run system of healthcare. I have worked in a government bureaucracy, there are a lot of hardworking folks, but, I for one do not want a career civil servant making decisions about my healthcare.
Keith Olbermann’s plea did cause me to think about this issue. I think that he is passionate and sincere in his desire that good medical coverage is available to all of us. All I am asking is if the government is going to change the current system please don’t screw it up worse than it already is! Please don’t add additional cost to us! Please don’t add billions or trillions to our country’s debt.
I titled this blog as, Keith Oblermann, impassioned plea or spin. In my opinion it is a little of both. The only difference between Mr. Olbermann and all the extreme conservative talking heads is that he is an extreme liberal. Most Americans are not! we find it hard to believe what either side is saying when they continuously shout, scream and shade the truth. Just a thought to all of them….