Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kottonwood Kolerz

Last day of September, honored with my first singlespeed Cottonwood loop of the fall.

Cottonwood (trees) have I think a more beautiful color than aspen, and they stay bright for much longer. They generally start a little later and keep their leaves quite a bit later. What better place to watch them start to turn than Cottonwood Gulch?

OK, now I'm going to digress a bit from bikey subject matter. I know that it is often unpopular among readers of recreation blogs to get political rants, so if you have no tolerance for that sort of thing, click away my friend...

The health care debate is making me ill (pun intended). Why must Americans insist on sticking with a cost-management approach to health care? Why can't we expand our minds to see health care as a health management issue?

All the debate in Congress and the press is about whether it should be mandatory private insurance with some new regulation, or whether there should be a so-called public option. This public option would be government provided insurance.

Why does there have to be an insurance layer between the sick person and the health care system? Because we are still seeing health care as a cost problem.

In countries that have successful health care systems like Britain, France, and Canada, health care is not seen as a cost, it's seen as a vital component of the well-being of citizens. In those countries, a public health care infrastructure is maintained by the government. Not run by the government, it's run by health care experts. They don't worry about cost, they worry about treating health issues. And through some magic, it all costs less!

They pay more tax to support the system, but they don't have to cough up huge amounts of income to pay for insurance. The insurance that is emptying Americans' wallets is often worthless. The insurance companies charge huge premiums, fight claims and often force the sick person to spend hours on the phone trying to get the care they need. Often those hours on the phone are wasted, and the insured American goes bankrupt because they got sick and their insurance turns out to be worthless.

Perhaps countries that have public health care pay less because there isn't a whole wing of every hospital full of administrative staff who spend their days trying to get money out of insurance companies to pay for their patients' treatment? How does that overhead really help sick people get treatment?

Sometimes, profit motive does not produce the best solution. Sometimes the public sector is the only viable provider of services.


Ed said...



brian stevens said...

Great cotton wood pictures, and very good logical statements about our health care system. Big money will be hard to break in America unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Nice pix!

As for Govt HC - don't break a leg.

Matt said...

I love Cottonwood Canyon!

What an amazing culture we could foster in the US when people could take jobs and not have health care to worry about.