A P.S. to Medical

I’ve spent my whole life in state-owned health insurance systems. First, in the USSR, then in Ukraine, then in Canada, then in Illinois. And every single time, it was a very bad experience. What’s weird is that it was bad in a very similar way.

I’m currently paying crazy amounts to be on my husband’s crappy private insurance to avoid the cheap and supposedly good state insurance I can have from my work. I’m not going back to a state medical system unless Kamala or whoever force me into it by outlawing private insurance.

Yes, people have bad experiences with private insurance, too. But have they tried both systems, like I have, in order to make an informed comparison?

P.S. By the way, can anybody help me to figure out how to pronounce Kamala? I thought it was “Ke-MAH-le,” accented on the middle syllable. But people in the news seem to pronounce it as “Camel-ah,” accented on the first syllable and sounding like camel, which sounds strange.


9 thoughts on “A P.S. to Medical”

  1. The news gets it closer than you do, though the first syllable should have more of an “ah” sound. Someone I know said we should try to sell single payer to people by talking about how it would be like the VA, but for everybody. That would be the perfect way to turn people against it, because I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have terrible experiences with the VA.

    I’ve been on some pretty great private insurance before through my parents. I’m on state insurance now (Medicaid) and I’m fine with it, but I’m also a young, relatively healthy person who doesn’t have to go to the doctor much. Plus my options aren’t between private or public, they’re between public and nothing, so obviously I’m gonna be fine with what I can get. I think America should have a public option that everyone has the option of using, but I don’t know why so many people have their heart set on single payer.

    I do appreciate that Kamala is being honest about what this would entail; other M4A supporters seem to gloss over the less pleasant details. With the reality out in the open, we can have a real debate about it.


    1. “it would be like the VA, but for everybody.”

      I’m surprised that nobody (including me) thought to bring up the VA during last night’s lengthy discussion about “Medicare for all” — because the VA is by far the best example in America of a 100% federal government-run health care system: U.S. government administrators and run-down hospitals, relatively poorly paid doctors who see a huge number of patients, ridiculously long waiting times to see a physician and to obtain tests, and overall notoriously poor care.

      The VA sounds very much like Clarissa describes the Canadian government health care system — and is also one of the best arguments against trying to duplicate such a system for everyone in America.

      Thanks for bringing it up!


      1. I hadn’t gotten around to saying that, about the VA, but had thought about it.

        As I keep saying I’m insured through the state and can go to any doctor. Not just the VA, not just Kaiser, not just some small network on an HMO. I’ve done this in California, Oregon and Illinois and I am in Louisiana. Now, that doesn’t always mean “state run” (sometimes you’re in a state group that has bought private insurance) but it means state supported and subsidized.

        Repeat: you do NOT want managed care. State of IL also offers traditional insurance. Managed care is always bad and is bad when not connected to a state job, too.


  2. There are health insurance options that might improve your coverage and lower your costs. For individuals, there’s a faith-based cost-sharing initiative called Medi-share, which you can find online. If you can cope with the “window-dressing,” the underlying program is what Ben Franklin intended insurance to be and is much less expensive than standard insurance rates. If you decided to create an LLC for your writing business, there are also options with National General (disclosure, I represent them, but am not licensed, yet, in your state). Health insurance is a side-gig of mine which I enjoy. No one talks about Medi-share because agents don’t get paid to sell it. It’s strictly only purchase only.


  3. I don’t know if you control which ads appear where, but right below this was an ad for the awesome Susana Mendoza. I’d prefer her to run for national office, but if she settled on mayor, I’m hoping she really thinks she can accomplish something.


  4. I admit that I have no actual experience with a single-payer health care system. However, the narrative of the Republicans about how scary government-run health care would be always states the same problems that we already have with private insurance: “death panels” (= insurance companies denying care), you won’t be able to choose your own doctor (I already have limited choices, and many people would love to see just any doctor), you’ll have to wait forever to get an appointment (I already have to wait a while when I need an appointment). So I’ll admit that my argument in favor of single-payer is theoretical since I’ve never experienced this system personally, but whoever decided that it would be a great idea to base access to health care on employment is an enemy of humanity. And insurance is one of the biggest scams of the capitalist system.


    1. The thing is, you don’t need single payer or a government run system to get everyone covered. I’m aware of several European countries that have universal health coverage without single payer or a government run system; this is true of Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands and probably others.


  5. I’ve heard her name mostly pronounced as Kaw-muh-luh, with maybe a slight accent on the first syllable. But I also get all my news in writing, so I could be wrong.


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