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A Cadillac Plan is one where you get the care you need

2009 December 18
by Ian Welsh

Seriously, someone explain to me what is wrong with Cadillac plans.  Yes, they cost more.  That’s because they’re the only plans where you stand a chance of actually getting the care you really need, when you need it, and not going bankrupt.  We should want more of them, but that can’t be done because we can’t afford it.

Unless, of course, the US went to something rational—like, say, Medicare-for-all, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.  Why?  Because Medicare-for-all would cut health care costs by at least a third.

The health care crisis  isn’t about people not having insurance, it’s about people not getting the health care they need when they need it without having to pay money they can’t afford.  When I go to a Canadian hospital, I never, ever, even see a bill.

And unless you’re a multi-millionaire, I get better care than you get too.

16 Responses
  1. December 18, 2009

    Must read:
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/18/corporatism/index.html

    He does not mention it, but even FISA fits in here. He might have done here the first draft of the Grand Unified Theory of the “modern” Democratic Party, and Obama as its peak expression.

  2. anonymous permalink
    December 18, 2009

    Yeah, but American health care builds character, grit, and self-reliance. Do Canadians ever pull their own teeth cuz they can’t afford a dentist? I didn’t THINK so.

  3. marcopolo permalink
    December 18, 2009

    Right: ‘Cadillac’ is just a derogatory term meaning ‘comprehensive’. And we wouldn’t want that.

  4. December 18, 2009

    What’s wrong with Cadillac plans is that they’re the result of collective bargaining.

    They’re called Cadillac plans because of the association with “welfare Cadillacs,” which feeds right into “entitlement reform.”

  5. Celsius 233 permalink
    December 19, 2009

    It would be interesting to hear from an actuarial on what the real cost of NOT having medical care/true healthcare coverage for all amounts to in 2009 dollars. If I had to venture a guess; I would think the U.S. is losing trillons of dollars per year by not spending 1/10th of that on the health of it’s citizens; anybody?

  6. December 19, 2009

    I don’t think I’ve seen a more succinct example of how crazy the debate on health care reform has become than the title of this article. The only plan that is actually likely to work is a premium plan. It’s like going to the movie theatres – there are three sizes of soda: medium, large, and supersized.

  7. Lex permalink
    December 19, 2009

    The U.S. is almost certainly losing productivity/wealth from lack of decent health care, but the important thing to remember is that U.S. leadership is less concerned with taking care of Americans than it is with greasing the skids for global, corporate colonialism.

  8. John B. permalink
    December 19, 2009

    yes, Lex, I think that is right. Corporations have more rights than people, citizens…

  9. mainsailset permalink
    December 19, 2009

    As usual things are turned on their head; I would have preferred a CBO scoring that included an estimate of how many Americans with a pre-existing condition would face huge hikes in their premiums that would lead to more bankruptcies. Instead, that part of the discussion is left in the cloak room.

    You Canadians do have a great health care system but what’s left out of that little chat is how a good system fares when it is dumped on by a huge immigration of individuals and families that arrive complete with life threatening diseases that need immediate attention and then the ‘locals’ must go to the back of the line. Just a little result of being part of a Commonwealth where members are empowered to move where the health care is…

  10. jo6pac permalink
    December 19, 2009

    Yeah, but American health care builds character, grit, and self-reliance. Do Canadians ever pull their own teeth cuz they can’t afford a dentist? I didn’t THINK so.

    Thanks for the Laugh.
    It’s pretty Sad when we can have money for war, wall street, and defense contractors but nothing for me. When this passes it just more corp. welfare with 3rd world statues for us little people. Business as usual.
    Everything is on schedule, please move along.

  11. December 19, 2009

    One way in which the US has become a “third world” nation is that people here just assume that the government is corrupt and exists mostly to steal from them and just try go around their lives. I wonder when we will get petty bribery. Where petty bribery exists, its because its the only way that ordinary people have to get around the system or make it work for them. Its a symptom instead of a cause.

  12. anonymous permalink
    December 19, 2009

    “I wonder when we will get petty bribery”

    Not any time soon. This is America where stealing millions or billions is unethical. Writing a hot check for $100 will get you jail time. And with the job markets looking crappy for the foreseable future, public servants with job security and middle class lifestyles will do their work, especially the police and military who will happily crack your head or taser your anus if you get out of line. The fat cats will let them be little dictators, but as long as they can keep the thugs’ hands of the big money, I don’t see petty bribery being the way to do business.

  13. December 19, 2009

    Gulf oil-exporting states to launch single currency

    http://joshfulton.blogspot.com/2009/12/gulf-oil-exporting-states-to-launch.html

  14. marcopolo permalink
    December 20, 2009

    It’s too bad the CBO isn’t doing an analysis of the Senate bill, which looks at the bill’s cost to the entire economy, instead of a score, which looks only at its effect on the budget. An analysis wouldn’t look so pretty, especially if it were compared to an analysis on the total cost of a single payer plan.

    Here’s a good article from Harper’s on what Obamacare is really
    about:

    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/12/0082740

  15. December 20, 2009

    You’ve hit on something that’s bothered me about this process, marcopolo. There are all sorts of costs to our economy as a whole that just don’t show up when examining how these measures affect the federal budget. In fact, I’d say that they’re the more important ones here.

    There’s how these costs affect business, how they affect peoples’ ability to improve themselves or take the financial risk of starting a business, and its cost in lost lives. They are what’s making us a poorer and a less just society.

  16. blacknblue2 permalink
    December 22, 2009

    I guess you are correct unless you live in Alberta

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Government+reverses+policy+Alberta+Hospital/2363175/Health+project+calls+radical+change/2333839/Health+system+quickly+going+broke/2288601/story.html

    ””The public needs to be told exactly what is going on and
    have the information. So when you have these corporate
    cowboys going out to B.C. to share the news with their
    colleagues there, but not communicating with the people back
    home who are paying the bills, there’s just something wrong.
    I can’t emphasize enough how offensive it is that there are
    these massive changes and in some cases, dramatic reductions
    in levels of care, without telling Albertans what they’re
    doing.”

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Government+reverses+policy+Alberta+Hospital/2363175/Health+project+calls+radical+change/2333839/More+operating+rooms+close+over+holidays/2305899/story.html

    More operating rooms to close over holidays

    Patients who need elective procedures at University Hospital
    must wait

    Budget pressures are hitting the front lines at University Hospital, forcing some operating rooms to close for three weeks instead of the usual two weeks over the Christmas holidays.

    That means more patients who need elective surgeries for cancer, heart problems or knee and hip replacements will have to wait longer for their operations, said Glenda Coleman-Miller, the hospital’s vice-president.

    From Dec. 16 to Jan. 6, nine of the 16 operating rooms will be used, cutting elective surgeries 40 per cent for those three weeks.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Cutback+plan+dropped+overnight/2363175/story.html

    Cutback plan dropped overnight

    EDMONTON — A plan to save $70,000 a year by taking free
    toiletries and snacks away from mentally ill patients was
    overturned by the Alberta government Saturday in a hasty
    flurry of goodwill.

    ”Something like this only adds to the feelings of stress and
    uncertainty that both patients and families are feeling
    right now,” Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford, said
    about the new cost-saving measures at Alberta Hospital Edmonton.

    Critics blasted the idea as a petty and mean-spirited way to
    save money for the health department, which is facing a
    $1.2-billion deficit.”

    Government programs and more of them will only bring about
    more fighting among citizens. In the above Edmonton news a
    comment was:

    ”Way to go protestors and whiners – you just caused the loss
    of another nursing position to pay for the coffee and
    cookies! I’m sure that will benefit the patients won’t it!
    All inpatients can and should provide their own snacks -
    nothing wrong with that at all!”

    The system is in financial trouble and people are all in
    arms that financial decisions must be made (although I think
    the snacks is a bit off target.)

    Another comment: ”Has anyone else noticed that the deficit
    that AHS is facing is the equal to the amount of the health
    care premiums that we stopped paying January 1st 2009?”

    As for me, shhh ……everything in the world is fine, I heard my Senator tell me so.

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