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Friday, January 23, 2004

Who needs insurance? Health care is what is needed.
This is a point Kucinich makes whenever he talks about universal health care. Dean and Kerry (and others) talk about providing "health insurance" for more people. But that leaves them tied to an insurance company which sets deductibles and copays, regulates access to doctors, and decides what is covered and what isn't. Kucinich says that we need to provide health care, not insurance.

The level of stupidity in this game can be seen in this paragraph from Bob Herbert's latest fine column:

I wrote a story last week about the tens of thousands of low-income youngsters in Florida who are eligible for a children's health insurance program but are being put on waiting lists. State officials say they can't afford to insure the kids now. In California, an estimated 300,000 eligible children are being shunted to similar waiting lists. No one knows when they might get coverage.

A waiting list for insurance? Why not just give them access to doctors when they are sick, and pay those bills? Instead, Florida and California (I'm sure with the full support of their wonderful governors) insist that the insurance companies get their money before the kids get care. And care is what they need; not coverage. And not all of them need care. It sounds like when the states find some money, they'll INSURE 50,000 kids based on their order on the list. Most of these kids will be relatively healthy for the next year or two. But there will be a few thousand farther down the list who will have serious illnesses or injuries, but they won't get adequate treatment because they're not insured. Screw the insurance companies; take care of the kids.