The Benefits of Insurance

Monday, July 11, 2011

Medical reporter for the New York Times, Gina Kolata, talks about a new study from Oregon on the effects of Medicaid on patients. 


Gina Kolata

Comments [10]

landless from Brooklyn

I listened to this show in the evening. I do not know why Brian is surprised that 90,000 people applied for Medicaid and sighs that this is America. America has not been a prosperous country for the past thirty years and Oregon has lost the logging industry as well as industries supporting military contracts. I enjoy Brian's show, but he needs to be less sentimental.

Jul. 11 2011 09:33 PM

Tanya, my heart goes out to you. I remember back before Clinton was elected getting to know a young woman clerking in a local dress shop. Lovely, intelligent, but born with a chronic ailment which was, at the time, covered only because NJ offered special plans for people with illnesses like hers. No insurance company would cover her as the costs of her medication were so high.

She was about to graduate from university and had been having a terrible time landing a job. Small firms couldn't afford to have her on their health insurance plan, and, up to the time I lot touch with her, she hadn't found a job with a large corporation which might be able to absorb the costs of her illness. The big corporations tended to have health exams prior to finalizing a new hire -- and that's when she had been told there wasn't an opening after all.

I've never forgotten her -- her name, yes, but her and her plight.

I had such hopes that with a Dem prez and a Dem Congress, during a time when deep changes needed to be made to our financial sector in order to allow our economy and society to prosper, and when health CARE had been a major factor in the Dem primary, we would finally achieve the final missing part of FDR's New Deal. Universal health CARE.

Instead we got a Dem who is letting his Inner Republican out and doing what Republicans would do.

Getting back to the young woman I'd known, I hope, I pray we don't get the Hurry Up and Die group in power. But, having Republican Lite enacting policies with the same result is terrible as well.

I'm so tired of voting for the lesser evil.

How'd that happen?

Jul. 11 2011 11:29 AM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

I'm right in there with Tanya. The working poor cannot afford health insurance but we all have to pay our taxes. Also, since my employment is now "self employment" I must pay taxes on health care. NOT FAIR.

Jul. 11 2011 11:29 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ gary from queens -

Clearly your anti-govt. dogmatism is getting in the way when you state that "the proof is in front of you"; yes, you're correct, the proof is there: _Both_ having more transparency and decision-making (rationing) by patients _and_ rationing by "bureaucrats" is the only way to reduce overall healthcare costs, the only thing that will contain costs for Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, etc.

In the end, there is no utopian future predicated on a single, simplistic "individual vs. govt." solution, like "the people always know best" (they don't), just like "bureaucrats always know best" (they don't).

Sorry, as "always" in the U.S., and for better or worse, there will be a pragmatic, hybrid approach mixing individual and govt. decision-making on health care going forward.

Jul. 11 2011 11:29 AM
John from NYC

It is interesting that we can all agree that it would be unethical and immoral for researchers to randomly deny people access to medical insurance to obtain important social science data but somehow society does not seem to think it is unethical or immoral when the government does the same thing.

Jul. 11 2011 11:23 AM

Gee, if we'd only had a Democratic president, maybe we could have passed Medicare for All Improved....

But, dang, we got this simulacrum of a Dem who wants to complete St. Ronnie's tear down of the New Deal and the Great Society.

Jul. 11 2011 11:20 AM
Tanya from NYC

What is really annoying is that for the working poor there are no options. I work almost everyday (I am underemployed currently). I work through a temp agency that requires I work for them for at least one year before I am even eligible for employer sponsored coverage. I have been without insurance for over a year and cannot apply for employer coverage untill September (only if I still have a temp project through the agency at that time). I also have a chronic illness. I cannot apply for the NYS coverage because my employment is not consistent enough to ensure I will be able to make premium payments. If I get onto the NYS sponsored plan and miss a premium payment I will not be eligible to re-join the plan for a extended period of time. We should have insurance for all Americans - especially those paying taxes regularly as I do.

Jul. 11 2011 11:19 AM

Am I hearing right -- people hoping to get lucky to win a chance to get treated via experimental medicine?

Can't they do it the American Way -- put up a "Raise $$ for my cancer treatment" jar at the local deli?

Jul. 11 2011 11:15 AM
Glenn from Manhattan

Poor people are less likely to be depressed.

Depression means one is thinking about the past or the future.

Poor people are constantly focused on the present - making a living so they don't have time to think about how bad things have been in the past or could be in the future.

Jul. 11 2011 11:13 AM
gary from queens

Perhaps someday we can discuss the effects of Medicaid on the FINANCIAL health of the next generations. Because Medicaid is a pyramid scheme and a broken promise by government.

If individuals were allowed to ration their own healthcare, cost-effective choices are made. When government bureaucrats ration our healthcare, you get debt and insolvency. The proof is right in front of you.

Posted on June 4, 2011 by John Hinderaker
Telling the Truth About Medicare


Andrew C. McCarthy
June 11, 2011 4:00 A.M.
Not Entitled : Ending Medicare does not mean abandoning the elderly.

Jul. 11 2011 09:23 AM

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