[February 10, 2008 @ 2:38 am] David Gratzer

“In Boston, people can walk into a store and buy tobacco and alcohol. They can also purchase sugary soft drinks, high-fat foods and herbal medicines of dubious clinical use. If Mayor Thomas Menino gets his way, however, they will be unable to see a licensed health professional for a flu shot because it ‘jeopardizes patient safety.’Vice, junk food and snake oils are OK, but the mayor has started a campaign to ban retailer-based walk-in clinics, reasoning that ‘allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong.’ The problem for American health care is that while Mr. Menino’s position is exceptional — he is as yet the only mayor to oppose these clinics — his sentiment has influenced health care laws and regulations for decades, leaving us with fewer options and higher costs.” So opens my latest, published in the Baltimore Examiner. 


  1. Anne Says:

    Simply because our health care coverage, costs, etc. aren’t perfect, doesn’t make it a requirement for the government to totally take over its control! (which would certainly change every 4 years)! Our gov’t has neither the personnel, knowledge, drive, or resources to take over control and “make sure all 47 mill have insurance”. First off, the real number of uninsured is 7 mill (we don’t need to insure the illegals), this is the last thing our our gov’t needs to be responsible for, when they are in fact, very poorly handling present programs. “All insured”? We can’t even count everyone! Car insurance is mandatory; but there are millions driving without licenses, without insurance… We have a “legal” population of 300 mill? If Hillary or whoever, gets elected and this whole “universal or gov’t, or ONE PAYER”… IT WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER MADE, costing not just the billions to fund, run, but in care. When problems occur, we have already found if it’s a gov’t handled issue…. there are no recourses, there is no one accountable, there is no one individual responsible; and once again, the U.S. Citizen is going to be the big loser while politicians continue business as usual. Drop the idea, work on improving the good system we have.

  2. Anne Says:

    Private business, in order to be competitive, keep costs down, yet need to offer the customer the best product. It works. Our politicians have an endless supply of funds, are supposedly already overworked. Isn’t that what we hear when sumitting claims to “Social Security”, Disability…. The private sector would never get away with those same tactics. Also, the private sector will continually improve, review their practices… It will take an “ACT of Congress” to make any changes to a new system with many faults and weak areas. This is already shown in so many areas… Welfare,
    Social Security, Education, where there is so much waste! We are caught between the bickering and “who’s in control” between Democrats and Republicans. We are American’s. U.S. Citizens. We need to stop the growth and start decreasing the government control. We need to “take care of our own backyard”. We need to stay strong as a country, so those that would harm us, cannot. “We are the richest nation in the world?” Lie. The majority is middle class, and we have a cancer growing within. Without the health of the middle class, the very poor will starve and the wealthy politicians will have nothing to control.

  3. Anne Says:

    I am a child of the 60″s and we saw many things that “always were” and needed to be changed. We have dropped the ball. It is once again time to say, no, “this is enough”.

    We have many advances and our society has changed. Example, there was a time when a boy/man could have (without responsibility) have sex with any female available, “without being accountable”. But now we have DNA available… No such thing as “no father”? Instead of unlimited funds to assist unwed mother (especially with more than 2, 3, 4 children). The father is listed on birth certificate. His social security will include how many children he has and he will be taxed accordingly. If he disputes it, he can pay for the DNA test. We need to teach this in the schools, boys “if a girl (whore or whatever) wants to have sex with you, you accept the responsibility that no birth control is 100% effective, that girl that was a slut or cheap or whatever, can prove you are the father and you are responsible for life. Our government is already involved in welfare and all the aid programs, these changes to make the father, not the faceless millions of tax payers, responsible for support of that child. The IRS has available to them every piece of information on every legal individual, why not make these men more responsible. And if the girl is 13, 14, he will be changed with rape. It’s unbelievable that the old double standards hasn’t changed, even though so much of our world has. It’s not just a money issue, that child has the right to know, on birth certificates the mother is of course, indicated, the father should be also. Unless rape is involved, then there should be a criminal report. We have many problems here in the U.S. that need addressing… Drop the Universal health coverage thing. It’s just a political ball. These politicians have no other ideas, they don’t want to try that hard, and nothing else to talk about.

  4. Joey Ramone Says:

    After reading over much of this website, I see a few issues/flaws with the consumer driven approach advocated here. I’m curious to see how you propose we deal with these issues.

    First off there is the problem of those with pre-existing conditions. In the consumer-driven approach it would be virtually impossible with anyone with a pre-existing condition to get health insurance. Insurance companies, concerned with profits only, would be fools to offer insurance to anyone with cancer, bipolar disorder, anorexia, etc…

    Any ideas? Are we as a society prepared to just abandon these individuals?

    Secondly, low-income people will probably largely avoid going to the doctor all together if they have to pay for the visits themselves. I’m not convinced this approach is best either from the statement of human health or economics. Could be the insurance companies realize this themselves, and that’s why routine visits and preventative care are generally covered right now. For this reason, do you really think a high deductible model is really best?

    If you believe low-income people will go to the doctor regardless, I think you are being as naive as Obama in thinking low-income people will buy insurance if it’s only cheap enough. I have serious doubts either of you have ever been low-income!

  5. Joey Ramone Says:

    Just as an addendum… I don’t believe there is an entrepreneurial/free market solution to the problem of pre-existing conditions.

    No matter how you look at it, these individuals will have extremely expensive medical bills. This is simply a reality. Whether they brought it about themselves by an unhealthy lifestyle, or whether it was just the bad luck of genetics, they are a financial burden.

    What is capitalism’s solution to this problem?

  6. W Horter Says:

    Simply put, private Healthcare Companies, have dropped the ball. This “system ” is broken. 33% of the healthcare dollar is going to buraucracy! Private company buraucracy! Government spends less than 4% of it’s madicare dollar, or medicaid dollar on buraucracy. Look it up! Those of you who think private companies can do it better are simply wrong! We are spending, as a people, 2.2 Trillion on Healthcare, 17% of our GDP! Most other developed Nations spend 11% or less, and insure everyone! And remember, they live longer than Americans! National Health Insurance would be a “good thing”, it’s long past time we have it. Get it done, and go on to other problems!

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