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Susan Estrich
8 Oct 2014
Stomachaches

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3 Oct 2014
The President's Security

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1 Oct 2014
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How John McCain Will Lose This Election

Comment

There's a lot of talk lately about how John McCain might just be the luckiest guy in America, what with the Democrats still fighting among each other, the Rev. Wright proving that friends can be worse than enemies, and Republicans swallowing their doubts about their about-to-be nominee and giving their support to a guy many conservatives can barely stomach. No doubt, he's one lucky fella.

But what makes him even luckier is that he and his wife don't have to rely on the health care plan he proposed this week. If they did, they'd be in trouble.

Imagine the call to the local insurance company. Here's a couple that companies would be falling all over each other to compete to insure: He's an active 70-something with a history of recurrent cancer and major surgery. She's 20 years younger, but with a medical history that includes a stroke in her 40s. How do you spell uninsurable? How do you spell see you later? How do you spell thanks, but no thanks, no matter how many millions the missus has?

Has John McCain ever tried to get insurance on the "free" market?

Has he ever tried to buy it for anyone else who is in better health than he and his wife?

My guess, reading the plan he offered this week, is that he hasn't.

When I looked at it and tried to figure out how the McCains would manage to get coverage, the answer was simple: They'd get a nice tax credit that wouldn't help them one bit to purchase insurance because no one would want to sell to them.

"John McCain understands that those without prior group coverage and those with pre-existing conditions have the most difficulty on the individual market, and we need to make sure they get the high-quality coverage they need."

That's what it says on his website: www.johnmccain.com. So what is he going to do for those millions of people? Nothing. "John McCain Will Work With States To Establish A Guaranteed Access Plan."

Work with states to establish a Guaranteed Access Plan? Come again? What does that mean?

"John McCain will work with governors to develop a best practice model that states can follow — a Guaranteed Access Plan or GAP — that would reflect the best experience of the states to ensure these patients have access to health coverage.

One approach would establish a nonprofit corporation that would contract with insurers to cover patients who have been denied insurance and could join with other state plans to enlarge pools and lower overhead costs."

Any other approaches? And any idea what to do in the meantime, while the guy who is supposed to be in charge is working with the states to come up with an idea and millions of people still can't find insurance?

I tried to buy health insurance for the woman who has helped me raise my children. At the time, she had gastritis — not cancer, not a history of strokes. Stomach aches. That was enough for every plan but the HMO she least wanted to reject her. I was willing to pay whatever it cost, but it didn't matter. They didn't want my money. One doctor actually told her that if she stopped taking any medicine for her stomach for six months maybe she could qualify for coverage.

We settled for the HMO. Then she developed early stage osteoporosis — blood pressure was a little high, but completely controlled by medication. And when I tried to get her a better plan from the same HMO, she got rejected again. When I inquired of my insurance agent about getting her better coverage, she laughed. "Are you kidding?" she said. "You wouldn't get any coverage at all now."

Stick with what you have. Be grateful you got anything. And, dare I say, knock on wood that her health history is a lot better than that McCain couple. Are they lucky? For sure. But whether their luck will hold until November is another question. It will take a lot of work with governors, that's for sure.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

6 Comments | Post Comment
Susan, I don't know who you think you're kidding. Left wing politicians have been using the healthcare issue to get people elected to office since 1948. Truman was the first, not Bill Clinton. Not even close!

You're a law prof at USC. That means you know better. We can't afford the entitlements we have, much less add to them.

If the Canadians are having difficulty affording single payer for thirty million people (and they don't really have a military), what makes you think we can afford it for three hundred million?

I remember you saying Dukakis was the second coming in 1988. Bush beat the shit out of him, partly because of that moronic episode with the tank.

And we're supposed to listen to YOU?

I don't like McCain, but I think he's going to end up being President. WHY? Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. People in those states don't vote for left wing politicians. That's how it is.

And there's nothing you can do about it. I grew up in both of those states. My father sold insurance and real estate in the suburbs of Akron for forty years. I know the place inside and out, and I'm telling you that Barack Obama will have his head handed to him.

It's United States of America, not the United States of northern California, Massachusetts, northern Illinois, New England and Maryland. Time and time again, this ia lesson you refuse to learn.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Larry Stimely
Sat May 3, 2008 7:53 AM
Susan, I wonder how you respond to someone driving around without car insurance and then after having an accident they begin to wonder why no insurance companies will give them a policy. Why , as the employer of this person, did you not get her insurance before she got ill? With that said, Id hope that each state would come up with a plan for those that cannot afford insurance. The large majority in Washington have no clue how to solve this problem.
Comment: #2
Posted by: adiudicium
Sat May 3, 2008 8:34 AM
Susan I have been in the medical field since 1976 and I blame the law suits and lawyers for the cost of health care. Doctors have to pay high rates for malpractice and this raises their rates. Hospitals are faced with law suits all the time for situations that do not belong in the courts but lawyers encourage the patients to sue. Most hospitals find it cheaper to settle out of court then pursue cases even when not at fault because it is cheaper for them then fight in court. We don't need socialized medicine to bring down the cost we need less lawyers.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Kathaleen McCausland
Sat May 3, 2008 8:41 PM
I have been in the medical profession since 1978 and law suits and lawyers are the reason that medical insurance is so high. Malpractice insurance is so high that the doctors have to increase their rates and many excellent physicians are leaving the medical field. Hospitals are faced with law suits that have no reason to be in the courts but the lawyers know they will settle out of court because it is cheaper to settle out of court then fight in the legal system. We do not need socialized medicine we need less lawyers.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Kathaleen McCausland
Sat May 3, 2008 9:10 PM
Re: Kathaleen McCausland
Sorry i printed 2 messages but I thought the 1st one did not get posted. Correction to the 2nd the year should be 1976. Kathaleen
Comment: #5
Posted by: Kathaleen McCausland
Sat May 3, 2008 9:12 PM
I am a Republican who is very conservative on social issues. I think the idea of one's employer paying the health insurance premium is idiotic. I think it's time to move on corcerninging this issue. Everyone gets something basic from the Government, and let the well to do buy supplements. If Charles Manson gets health care (and I think he should) then the 54 year old single mom making beds at Hotel 6 should also.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Paul Graham
Mon May 5, 2008 12:23 PM
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