Socialized medicine....not really! | Buzz Blog

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Socialized medicine....not really!

Posted By on July 12, 2009, 2:00 PM

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A.G. Mark Shurtleff is on the public dole.  Make that payroll and as such he enjoys employee benefits such as paid vacation, sick days and health benefits.  Now that he is running for Sen. Bob Bennets seat he has made disclosures required of candidates.  Come to find out he has racked up medical bills with the University Hospital and IHC between $20,000 and $30,000.  Plus he has credit card debt on two cards with liability up to $50,000.

All this because of an accident he suffered on a charity motorcycle ride in which he hit some loose gravel and crushed his leg.  That accident required at least 12 operations and he is lucky to have not lost his leg altogether.  He is doing better and I wish him well.  What I find puzzling is a statement from his general consultant, Jason Powers, stating that even though Shurtleff has experienced the high cost of health care with the coverage afforded him by his job.  Powers says this experience hasen't changed Shurtleff's attitude about a government-run health care system.  "By no means is socialized health care an option." said Powers. 

Here is where the crazy starts to rise to the surface.  As a state official Shurtleff has access to health insurance that would be the envy of any of us in the private sector and Powers has no explaination why even with this gold plated coverage, Shurtleff's insurance hasn't covered all his medical expenses.  Powers really goes off the rails trying to explain the state plan is not socialized medicine, saying that, "When an employer's providing health insurance, that's not socialized health care just because the employer is state government."  HUH?

Just who does Powers think is paying for Shurtleff's insurance?  His boss is GOVERNMENT which has no money.  They only have our money and that my friend is socialized medicine.  When you work for a private company they don't have the luxury of having the entire population of the state help pay for benefits like health care, sick days, vacation days etc through taxation.

What Shurtleff is experiencing is exactly what the rest of us face.  The arbitrary mercy of private insurance companies who decide what they will pay for and what they won't.  I go nuts when I hear these politico's say that they don't want government between themselves and their doctors.  Just who do you think is between you and your doctor now?  These huge for profit insurance carriers who will do anything possible to increase their profits and cancel or deny claims without explaination.

Do we need health care reform?  Absolutly.  Do we know what form that would take? No, but something has to be done to fix an obviously broken system.  If nothing else, this unfortunate experience that Mark Shurtleff is undergoing should make him realize that something must be done.  His unfortunate and painful accident should propel him to the forefront of the debate on health care and coverage for all. 

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Tom Barberi

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