20 Things To Consider About Health Care Reform
“If you don’t like your health coverage or don’t have any insurance, you will have a chance to take part in what we’re calling a Health Insurance Exchange. … You will have your choice of a number of plans that offer a few different packages, but every plan would offer an affordable, basic package. And one of these options needs to be a public option that will give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market so that force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest. … What I am trying to do – and what a public option will help do – is put affordable health care within reach for millions of Americans. And to help ensure that everyone can afford the cost of a health care option in our Exchange, we need to provide assistance to families who need it. That way, there will be no reason at all for anyone to remain uninsured. … But what I refuse to do is simply create a system where insurance companies have more customers on Uncle Sam’s dime, but still fail to meet their responsibilities.” –Obama’s speech to the American Medical Association, 6/15/09
1) Not one person in the White House, Democratic Caucus or otherwise has given clear-cut examples of the numerous tragedies and personal loss that have resulted from our current health care system or the glaring lack of care for so many Americans. Florida congressman Alan Grayson is the exception.
2) Republicans present a doomsday scenario to the public that’s not only harmful, but also patently false. They have loudly proclaimed that Death Panels will send their aging grandmothers off to their graves. They also claim that faceless bureaucrats will deny them much needed medical care. They failed to mention to their fledgling audience that Medicare already provides pretty damn good universal health care to Americans aged 65 and older.
3) Democrats are being let off the hook. Allowed to remain anonymous if they join in filibustering the health care bill. Democratic leadership is not stepping the fuck up and shooting down Republican scare tactics that work.
4) Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take 60 votes to pass a bill. It takes 50 senators voting yes and the Vice President’s attendance in case of a tie to pass a bill. 60 senators voting yes are needed to cease the debate on the floor and bring the matter to a vote. The Democrats need 60 votes to prevent a filibuster. I say, if that means bending over backwards so the Republican (minority) can get rid of the public option, let them filibuster until the cows come home, then pass the bill anyway.
5) Republicans are presenting us with data sheets showing how detrimental it would be to our country and economy if the senate were to pass the health reform bill. Where are the Democrats with their fact sheets and data projections and plethora of real life examples to show how unfair the current health care system has become?
6) What frustrates most Independents in support of the measure is that the Democratic Caucus is handling this in the same manner they’ve handled other important matters that have come across the senate. Clearly, congress is dysfunctional. When the party with the least members can obstruct highly important measures and the strategy actually works, then there’s a major problem. When it comes to filibustering a bill of this magnitude, it should be done in the standard filibustering way. Legislatures have every right to endorse the plan they believe works in the best interest of their constituents. However, we already know the public option is supported by the majority of the house, narrowly, and the majority of the senate, narrowly, the President of the United States and a majority of his constituents. So what’s the problem?
7) A few rogue Democrat senators get to secretly express their dissatisfaction with the bill by privately threatening to join with Republicans in the filibuster, yet they do not have to go public so the voters may never know which of the Democrats are taking part. Meaning, not only do they get to not support the bill that the majority of their voters support, we don’t get the privilege of knowing who exactly they are because they can do this secretly. Again I say, what gives?
8 ) Most Americans are fucking fed up. They don’t trust the government yet Democrats are supporting secrecy within the ranks. The same kind of political hogwash that should have been kicked out of the White House along with the Bush administration. The Democrats seem to be more concerned with catering to a few centrist and Independent Democrats then to the people who got them elected; us.
9) Corporate extremism, and capitalistic excess is doing more damage to this country than anything else. There is no mandate to follow, no rule of thumb. The American people are competing with wealthy, corporate lobbyists so in turn our legislatures get to pick and choose who their “true” constituents they will represent that day/week/month/year depending on the issues and whatever bill is up for vote. We, the people, have to compete for coverage in Washington against none other than the major health insurance companies.
10) Democrats are going to have to start calling each other out on the bullshit. Insurance reform without a public option and insurance exchange will lead to increased costs in health insurance. Why wouldn’t it? With no real incentive to lower costs and no real competition to speak of, what motivating factors will cause private insurers to lower prices? Without competition the health insurers won’t do anything drastic, like reduce their rates so that people can actually afford insurance. Getting rid of pre-existing conditions without making health care affordable is not conducive to getting the job done. In fact, it does just the opposite.
11) Health insurers will be forced to accept people who have pre-existing conditions, yet their coverage will not be affordable and may negatively impact your costs. Why? Because they’re considered high risk and insurance companies would have to actually pay for their care instead of deny, deny, then you die. With a public option, the government can essentially create a continual flow of cash from taxpayers to the insurance companies regardless of conditions that previously made working and middle class Americans ineligible.
12) People are of the mindset that health insurance reform is only to the benefit of the low-income, non-working, and those with pre-existing conditions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Those making up the middle-class with middle incomes who are unable to obtain insurance is not because of any pre-existing conditions, but because it’s not affordable.
13) We need a public option.
14) For those whose insurance companies enjoy high profit margins, where do you think your money is going? A percentage is going straight into the pockets of corporate shareholders and top executives. The more services that are denied, the higher the paycheck bonus for the denier. This is skewed as hell but it is also no secret.
15) Anyone who has worked for a small-medium size company can tell you one thing about the costs of insurance; the more the merrier, the more people in the group plan, the lower the premium. The same is true across all boards. Insurance costs are most cost effective when you have a large, diverse pool including those who fall within the risk category.
16) What has become clear to me while keeping up with the reform debate is that there is no clear way to win Republican support. Independent Democrats need to either put up or shut up, and back a plan that works. What’s interesting is the number of Americans who would rather continue putting their complete trust into huge for-profit corporations masquerading as insurance companies instead of allowing the government to do what they’re there to do. It’s the governments job to regulate.
17) We see what happened when the government decided to listen to lobbyists with congress members in their back pockets. The economy took a nosedive and 10% of the country is out of work as a result.
Do we not learn from mistakes? Why should your health care be based on cost-benefit analysis? We’ll take care of your illness if you don’t cost us a certain amount in the long run. A lot of Americans are running scared of what they consider “socialized” medicine, when the truth of the matter is that when it comes to capitalism health insurers are sort of self-serving.
18) People honestly believe that PRIVATE INSURERS care more about their health than they do about making a profit. Your doctor cares about your health. The insurance company cares about profit. The premiums we pay not only go toward our health plan, prescriptions drugs, etc, they also go toward paying LOBBYISTS who in turn pay legislatures to vote their pocketbook instead of their conscience.
19) How is universal health care an attack on free-market capitalism when capitalism in a free society should breed competition and competition should breed capitalism? How is it that this model works for mass produced goods and services but not for health insurance? A public option makes the system cheaper, more efficient, more comprehensive and far more viable. For the people who are uninsurable, what good is health care reform without the public option? Absolutely none. What good is it for someone with pre-existing conditions to purchase health insurance at a drastically increased cost because of the condition, yet they must omit that condition from being covered by the insurer because they don’t cover pre-existing conditions? It’s absurd.
20) The public option is essential. Those who believe in capitalism, yet do not support a public option are only fooling themselves. We can see right through you. While I don’t agree with big government as it relates to a lot of things, I do believe that its involvement is necessary and essential in regulating and providing health insurance for all Americans.
bonus) The current bill that passed the House is virtually dead on arrival when it reaches the Senate. The Senate is working on it’s own version of the health care bill to put up for vote. If/when it passes, both houses will likely merge aspects of each bill to suit the others purpose. Liberals seem to be united on including a public option no matter what revisions are made. It all remains to be seen.