3.11.10 That Dog Won’t Hunt, Son

3.11.10   That Dog Won’t Hunt, Son
I had a recent email exchange with one of my favorite Rightwing-Conservative-Libertarians —Steve Lonegan. The subject matter was, of course, national healthcare. Steve and others in Conservatoid-World decree national healthcare (“Obamacare” they call it) to be the work of the devil, and a harbinger of the End of Days. I, on the other hand, am a supporter of the public option. We agree on nothing.
Now, I must say that my respect for Steve has grown in recent years, as the one person on his side of the aisle with a good deal of coverage, and a great sense of humor. He takes his work seriously, but he takes himself lightly. But, once again, we agree on nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zero.
Steve is the head honcho of Americans for Prosperity in NJ, the group that believes in “cutting taxes and government spending in order to halt the encroachment of government in the economic lives of citizens.” Of course, this is from the same guy who when he ran for governor in 2005 was more than willing to take government money to support his political campaign. He even urged potential donors to give because “New Jersey’s unique campaign finance laws” enabled their donations to be matched by the government. So it goes—but I digress.
In a recent email to me, Lonegan described the current health care reform proposal as the “cold fingers of government wrapping around the soul.” That definitely caught my attention. So, I asked him what kind of health insurance he has, and what someone does who has no insurance.
He said, “I had my own business until 2005 and gave my employees insurance that they contributed towards. I have a PPO with high deductibles today. I would prefer to buy my insurance in Texas. One-third the price. But the statists don’t allow me that freedom. Remember that word?”
So, it is from Texas that Mr. Lonegan would like to buy his health insurance. “Does Texas law require healthcare insurance companies to provide the same level of coverages as NJ?”, I inquired.
Steve responded with, “Absolutely not. Texas, the best state in the country for economic growth, actually lets people chose what level of insurance they want. Like big deductibles, not insisting on paying for Viagra or fertility treatments for 80-year-old women. Texans hold their freedom in high regard.”
Well, Steve, as they say in Texas, I think “That dog won’t hunt.” Let’s compare just how great this Texas health insurance system is, when compared with New Jersey’s.
According to Cover the Uninsured, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
√ In the Garden State, 85.8% of our folks have healthcare. And 69.3% of employers offer healthcare to employees.
In the Lone Star state, only 76.1% of their folks have healthcare coverage. And just a tad over 50% of their employers offer healthcare to employees.
√In New Jersey, there are 377 physicians per 100,000 population.
And in Texas, there are just 248 physicians per 100,000 population.
√ In New Jersey, the percentage of population with a personal doctor or health care provider—83.4%
In Texas the percentage of population with a personal doctor or health care provider—just 72.2%.
Overall, Texas is one of the worst states in the nation offering healthcare for their residents.—-Great “freedom” these folks have.
Steve, like they say in Texas, getting’ good healthcare there is “Like tryin’ to scratch your ear with your elbow.” Good luck with that. I’ll stick wit the Garden State.

3.11.10    That Dog Won’t Hunt, Son