Florida congressman Alan Grayson.

Florida congressman Alan Grayson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have Alan Grayson to thank for reading all the fine print in healthcare insurance plans and explaining their essence in two sentences.

“Don’t get sick. If you do, die quickly,” (or go bankrupt).

That is GOPcare in a nutshell. Obamacare is a step in the right direction. It is a COMPROMISE between what we have had, GOPcare, and what I believe is the ideal, Medicare for all. If the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is flawed, and it is, it is because it is a COMPROMISE, and compromises never satisfy everyone.

Supporters of GOPcare claim that we have the best healthcare system in the world, and I suppose we do if you can afford it. Most of us cannot. My wife was born and bred in Canada and her relatives still live there and are much more satisfied with the care they receive at little cost than we are with the care we receive at a much greater cost. Of course, they and we represent the low-end of the income scale. If we were a part of the 1% and could afford the best in healthcare, our reactions to Obamacare and Canadian medicine might be different.

Alan Grayson

English: Official headshot of Rep. Alan Grayso...

English: Official headshot of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Democrat from Florida Alan Grayson was a member of the House until he was defeated in 2010. Now he is back in the House beginning January, 2013. Welcome back, Congressman Grayson. Gone from the House will be Joe Walsh from Illinois and Allen West from Florida, both TEA Party favorites. You may recall Alan Grayson from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) debate when he described with charts the GOP plan. “Don’t get sick. If you do, die quickly.”

Alan, it good to have you back in Washington. We need more legislators like you.

GOP healthcare

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY)

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-KY) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The GOP want to repeal Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, but they are reluctant to reveal what they propose as a replacement. Yesterday on FOX, Chris Wallace repeatedly asked Mitch McConnell what the Republicans propose for replacing Obamacare, and he refused to be specific. I believe that Alan Grayson had it right when he stated in Congress during the debate before Obamacare was passed that the GOP position was, “Don’t get sick. If you do, die quickly.”


Official headshot of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)

Official headshot of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t get sick!
And if you do get sick,
die quickly!

These words were famously said by Alan Grayson in Congress in the debate leading up to the passage of Obamacare. The Republicans want to repeal Obamacare, but they have not proposed anything to take its place. The Republicans were very upset at those words of truth. Somehow they are allergic to the truth. Perhaps an allergist could help them, but I have my doubts.

The US has the finest or one of the finest healthcare systems in the world. We also have the worst possible system of paying for healthcare, our for-profit healthcare insurers. Members of Congress have healthcare insurance provided by the taxpayers and members of the 1% are wealthy enough to self-insure. The rest of us must struggle for adequate coverage and if you have a pre-existing condition, forget about it.

Death and Budgets

John Caldwell tombstone

Image via Wikipedia

On July 14, David Brooks wrote a column for the New York Times
entitled, “Death and Budgets.” In that article he argued that the
majority of the nation’s health care costs are incurred by treating the
illnesses of old age. If those illnesses are treated successfully, the
result is merely the extension of a pain-filled, diminished life for a
few months or a few years. His argument is that the nation could put
its fiscal house in order if the ill decided to forgo expensive
treatment in their terminal years. Of course but unstated, is the wish
that others than friends and family adopt that course.

Alan Grayson on the floor of the House of Representatives demonstrated
with two charts the Republican health care policy, “Don’t get sick.”
And if you do get sick, “Die quickly.” What Grayson put into two brief
charts, Brooks used two pages to restate in more words.

Since the Republicans want the ill to “die quickly” and since they
believe in free market solutions, I propose the following solution to
run-away health care and Medicare and Medicaid costs. Every individual
in the US would be allocated a lifetime cap on what the government will
spend on a person’s health care. When that cap is reached, no more
government assistance would be available.

For illustrative purposes, let us use $100,000 as a lifetime cap. Each
individual could decide how to use that money, to buy insurance or to
forego insurance and spend the money directly to pay for health care
services when provided. As an incentive not to overuse health care and
thus keep costs down, any unused balance in a person’s health care
account would go tax-free to his/her heirs after death. If I had used
$50,000 of my lifetime cap and faced an illness at age 70 or 75, I
could decide to spend the remaining $50,000 on prolonging my life, or I
could decide to forego treatment and leave the $50,000 to my heir(s).
Of course, the wealthy among us could continue to purchase and pay for
expensive treatment out of their own pockets.

Please see US versus Canada healthcare