Friday, May 5, 2017

Not Me!

If you are a parent, I'll bet  your child's friend "Not Me!" has been over to play many times.  "Not Me! gets the blame for  lots of things at my house, and my friends mention that he or she visits their house regularly too.

Well, "Not Me!" is moving up in the world. "Not Me!" has a job now--paying for healthcare.  I learned this watching the news and following social media as the Republicans passed a healthcare bill through the House of Representatives.

Who should pay for my health insurance?  "Not Me!", I get mine at work.

Who should pay for my employee's health insurance?  "Not Me!"; they are low-wage help, health insurance costs more than their paychecks.

Who should pay for the health insurance of those who work for my small business?  "Not Me!"; I'm barely making ends meet now.

Who should pay for my family's health care?  "Not Me!"; I don't have enough money, my car payments are killing me.

Who should pay for healthcare for the poor?  "Not Me!".  Don't raise my taxes, and besides, if they would just get a good job they wouldn't be poor anymore.

Who should pay for healthcare for the old or chronically ill?  "Not Me!"  I'm young and healthy and you want to take all that money from me every month to pay someone else's healthcare bills?  How is that fair, especially if that person earns more than I do?

Who should pay for healthcare for those with serious expensive illnesses?  "Not Me!", that would bankrupt my family if it happened to us.

Who should pay if I need to spend the rest of my life in a nursing home?  "Not Me!" Why should I have to spend my kids' inheritance?

Who should pay for my family's routine healthcare bills like check-ups, sore throats or birth control?  "Not Me!"--after all the money I spend on health insurance it should pay for my healthcare--and besides I have better ways of spending that money.

Yup, "Not Me!" has a job for life.  I wonder if this job comes with good health insurance?

One issue I have with both the ACA and its purported replacement is that both rely heavily on "Not Me!" and neither addresses the real problem--the cost of healthcare.  We have a dragon eating us alive and we are arguing about whose turn it is to feed the dragon ("Not Me!" of course) rather than talking about how to get costs down.

The reality is that to get costs down,we are going to have to give up something--at least some people will.  Countries with lower healthcare bills than we have provide less care than we do. They use waiting lists and price controls to limit access to expensive tests and treatments.  Of course the answer to "Who wants their treatment limited in return for lower costs?" is "Not Me!".

I don't pretend to have all the answers about healthcare, but as a mom I know that "Not Me!" isn't really the answer.
Disease Called Debt


  1. Lots of truth here. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers either, but I think eliminating big pharma's direct-to-consumer advertising would be a nice start along with some serious regulation about what kind of perks doctors can receive from their sales reps. Big pharma claims it is research pushing up their costs, but these two items must have a pretty big impact as well. Drug costs is just one area, but it is a big one!

  2. I totally agree with you. There are so many factors that come into play, but I do often think that removing the healthcare tie in to employment would help. If customers bought health insurance the way we do car insurance, we'd pay more attention. Demand would drive prices. And something has to be done about frivolous lawsuits and people who use the ER as a doctor's office. So many factors at play here, but the "not me" game sure gets a lot of press!

    1. As one of the people who used to use the ER rather than the doctor, I can tell you it was done because no doctor would see me without health insurance. And usually, you only go in when you have to because you don't want to go bankrupt. The issue there isn't hypochondria. It's lack of insurance and preventative care.
      I'm all for a single payer system. That doesn't eliminate the private market--it just makes it supplementary.