2009-08-31

Tap To Go

LA Metro has a new system to pay for your ride. It's called Tap to Go. You get this card that's kind of like credit card, you load it up for the month and then when you get on the bus you just tap it on some type of reader and then you go. Seems simple enough.

However, I think a better name would be Try to Tap and No Go. Ok, not the catchest title ever. But what a disaster it's been in rolling this program out. It was supposed to start in January. So every month when we made the trek to buy the boy's ticket for the month, they would tell us we need to get Tap to Go. We reply "Sure, let's do it." And then they would say "Well, it's not quite available yet. But you really need to get one." Huh? Eventually a lady ordered the two cards for us (because you can't order them online yourself). Twenty some days later, they arrived in the mail. Twenty days just mail us two cards. I tried to go online to prepay them so the boys could use them. What a horrible website they have. I created an account, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to add the cards to my account so I could put money on them. This would seem like an important part of the process. Eventually, I gave up and sent a message to support. They are supposed to answer in 24 to 48 hours. It's been a week and I still haven't heard from them. So I decided to get brave and call the help line. Surprisingly the wait time wasn't too bad and I got a friendly guy who told me they created accounts for the cards when they sent them to us. Really? That would have been useful information to include with the cards! He emailed me the info so I could log into each card and fill it up. Apparently, I'm not allowed to put both of them on one account. So this thing that is supposed to be so easy, apparently isn't.

This is the government bureaucracy that wants to run my health care. I can't imagine that ever being better that what I have now. I know our health care system needs help. But I think we could do better by fixing what we have instead the major change that has currently been proposed. The government has a hard time figuring out how to get people to pay a few bucks for a bus pass - I can't wait for the problems I'm going to have trying to get them pay for a surgery or a hospital visit. Just the thought of it gives me nightmares.

Oh well, at least my boys can ride the bus. I guess that's something.

7 comments:

LeAnn said...

Wow what a nightmare! Ya not looking forward to government run health care either!

Scott Roche said...

"This is the government bureaucracy that wants to run my health care. I can't imagine that ever being better that what I have now. I know our health care system needs help. But I think we could do better by fixing what we have instead the major change that has currently been proposed. "

Really? The LA Metro wants to run health care? Interesting. ;-)

Seriously, the gov't is already providing health care coverage for a good number of people (VA, medicare, medicaid). This would simply be an expansion of those prgrams. Admittedly those programs could be run better too, but I know and have been in many situations in my life where a crappily run gov't program was better than nothing.

And the government won't end up running "health care", they'll be providing some level of health care coverage. Not exactly the same thing. Taking your example it would be like the governement issuing those cards. You'd still be able to pay for the bus yourself and ride it. If you can't afford it you'd get a card allowing you to ride for free. Would there be bureacracy in that? Sure. Better than hitching a ride though.

Bill A said...

Thanks for you thoughts Scott. But I strongly disagree with you.

Scott Roche said...

So dialog with me. Can you really disagree with my first paragraph, since it's largely fact?

The second paragraph consists of the measures that seem most likely to pass congress.

I mean I know everyone is up in arms about what they think the gov't/Obama is trying to do, but seem to be missing what they actually are saying they want to do. Do you think Obama is lying? If so, why?

Bill A said...

You are correct that the gov't is already providing health care for many folks. That doesn't mean it is a good thing. A simple google search will quickly turn lots of problems with the how the gov't runs their share of the system. I readily admit the private system has it's share of faults, but the current proposal is not the best we could do.

I think you are right in that it will pass congress, but again, that doesn't mean it's a good thing. Congress has done lots of things that I don't think are good ideas.

The gov't has over stepped it's bounds in what the constitution said it can do. No where in the constitution can you find we have the right to "free" health care. (Not that it's really free...) There are many other areas where the gov't has over stepped the bounds that our wise founding fathers set up. But that doesn't make this transgression right either.

Scott Roche said...

I agree. The current proposal is not the best we can do. The best we can do is ensure that every American has the healthcare they need. If that means giving everybody free healthcare (I don't think it does, for the record) then that's what it means.

Can we agree that we have some of the best doctors/hospitals in the world? Arguably the best health care system? Shouldn't we be in the best health and live longer as a people that anywhere else?

My answers, we do, we do, and we should but we don't.

You're right Bill, Congress has passed a lot of bills that aren't good for the country. We could argue about what those are and I think we'd agree on some and disagree on some.

I do think we as Americans have a right to access basic health care (the ER is not the place to get that), a right to have food, and a right to have shelter. No that doesn't mean that the government should be required to put everyone up in McMansions and feed them duck a l'orange while giving them face lifts.

How can one have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when one doesn't know where the next meal is coming from or where they will sleep tonight or for that matter get the medicine they need? There are adults and kids who fall in that category. Are some of them users? Sure.

If you give stuff to people they will often take it. Some, even if they could get better stuff by working a little harder. But there are people that can't get insurance of any kind no matter how hard they work. They can't get access to the health care they need for cancer or mental disorders or other serious issues even if they can hold down a full time job (which not all can in those conditions).

I'm sure you'd agree that that's a problem. What do you see as a solution? I'm curious.

Bill A said...

Here's where we probably disagree.
You said "I do think we as Americans have a right to access basic health care." And maybe I'm being a bit nit-picky here, but I'm ok with the right to "access" of health care - but I'm not ok with the government running the health care. I agree that every race, religion and gender should have the right to access health care. I don't believe that it should be provided for free to everyone. The potential of abuse is just to great. And I don't believe the it's the gov't charter (as laid out in our constitution) to provide health care.

In broad strokes, my proposal for the health care system would be:
- Oversight (gov't or private) to keep the insurance companies in-line. Some regulation for our health care would be a good thing.
- Continue the privatized health care.
- Bring back the low-cost/free clinics to provide service for those who can not afford insurance.
- This one is key - tort limits on malpractice suits. Too much of our health care money is going to pay off silly get rich quick lawsuits.

Obviously this doesn't begin to cover all the detail in the current 1000 page bill in congress (wonder how many of our reps read and understood all that?), but a proposal like this would allow the people who can get insurance still have a choice about their health care. And the folks who can't get insurance can still have access to health care.