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September 15, 2009

Must Read of the Day

Amen:

There was a time, within living memory, when most Americans did not have health insurance-- and it was not the end of the world, as so many in politics and the media seem to be depicting it today.

As someone who lived through that era, and who spent decades without medical insurance, I find it hard to be panicked and stampeded into bigger and worse problems because some people do not have medical insurance, including many who could afford it if they chose to.

What did we do, back during the years when most Americans had no medical insurance? I did what most people did. I depended on a "single payer"-- myself. When I didn't have the money, I paid off my medical bills in installments.

The birth of my first child was not covered by medical insurance. I paid off the bill, month by month, until the time finally came when I could tell my wife that the baby was now ours, free and clear.

In a country where everything imaginable is bought and paid for on credit, why is it suddenly a national crisis if some people cannot pay cash up front for medical treatment?

That is not the best way to do things for all people and all medical treatments, which is why most Americans today choose to have medical insurance. But millions of other people choose not to-- often young and healthy people, sometimes deadbeats who use emergency rooms and don't pay at all.

Is this ideal? No. But if every deviation from the ideal is a reason to be panicked and stampeded into putting dangerous arbitrary powers into the hands of government, then go directly to totalitarianism, do not pass "Go", do not collect $200.

And go ahead and drop your bone in the water, in hopes that you can get somebody else's bigger bone.

Like Professor Sowell, my husband and I paid for pre-natal care, the birth of our first son in a hospital, and several years of pediatric care out of our pockets.

We were well below the federal poverty line at the time. How did America survive before the federal government began defining choice as a national emergency?

Posted by Cassandra at September 15, 2009 03:28 AM

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Comments

"How did America survive before the federal government began defining choice as a national emergency?"
After reading the piece, my question is, what happened to all of those self-reliant Americans?

Posted by: bthun at September 15, 2009 08:25 AM

We did the same thing - I had home-births for my last three, so it was considerably cheaper than a hospital birth (although that was not why we did it), but we did not have insurance for the second child and paid out of pocket for that.

We DID have insurance for the subsequent children, but paid out of pocket for them, as well, because Tri Care viewed home-birth as "weird" apparently and they won't pony up for it even when it is completely legal and attended by a licensed midwife (it was illegal in CA the first time we did it, so there was no question of insurance even if we had been covered).

My parents had to pay out of pocket for my brother, who was born nearly three months early in the late 70s. They were paying him off for most of his childhood. We celebrated when he was finally fully ours.

Posted by: airforcewife at September 15, 2009 09:14 AM

My parents, after numerous referrals to the non-existent "money tree in the back yard", taught us that if we did something stupid the cost would be covered by the Christmas Fund. Many injuries we suffered were treated with bandaids, door knobs, and copious amounts of Bactine.

These days, kids have no experience with pain. Children, dressed like line-backers, play in the sandbox with fears of latent e-coli and swine flu forcing them to wear face masks by the dour elite who want to save us from all risks forever.

Is it any wonder that people who pick corn kernels out of camel dung, live in caves with no utilities, have a more intimate view of the difficulties of day-to-day living than a skinny latte slurping metro-sexual or an anorexic yoga practitioner dealing with imaginary pain and over-indulgence? Kinetic energy is not clanking a spoon against the inside of a steaming cup of chai tea with two bars on the air card. Just ask the warrior fighting the bad guys at altitude somewhere in the Kush.

Posted by: vet66 at September 15, 2009 09:47 AM

The way I heard it the hospital tried to hold myself and my mother hostage when I was born, as we were a very poor family, just starting out. (I was the first born) Anyway, my uncle dressed in his best suit and presented himself as a pro bono attorney, representing my father in order to demand visitation rights. We were allowed to leave; the bill got paid...eventually. True story, to the best of my (not inconsiderable) knowledge...

Posted by: camojack at September 16, 2009 01:27 AM

We had insurance to cover emergency hospitalizations. There was no coverage for the birth of a child, so we saved up to cover the cost, about $2500. It wasn't easy on $10-$20 an hour but we managed, I worked two jobs, my wife worked nights and we put the money away for our family.

If they would just stop the tort lawyers and their frivolous lawsuits and jackpot justice, we could have those days again. But the lawyers are in control now, so the fix will involved cutting back on the doctors, nurses and hospital care.

Yes, I know those few paragraphs are an oversimplification of a complicated system, but they are more true than the President's statements on coverage for illegal immigrants.

The illegal immigrant in the bed next to my sister-in-law had her baby delivered for free (to her). My sister-in-laws bill was $4500. That was 30 years ago. Any narrative on why health care costs so much that does not go that far back in time is intentionally trying to mislead you.

Posted by: tyree at September 16, 2009 02:22 AM

The issue is not health care, per se. The issue is that Congress will be voting on legislation it has not been given the Constitutional authority to pass and that legislation will give the Executive branch authority it has been Constitutionally-prohibited from possessing.

Posted by: BillT at September 16, 2009 02:59 AM

"The issue is not health care, per se. The issue is that Congress will be voting on legislation it has not been given the Constitutional authority to pass and that legislation will give the Executive branch authority it has been Constitutionally-prohibited from possessing.

Posted by: BillT at September 16, 2009 02:59 AM"

The good that may come from this on-going Federal cluster-copulation is that more attention is being given to how the gub'ment consistently oversteps their enumerated powers.

Posted by: bthun at September 16, 2009 02:05 PM

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