Robert Reich has an article that should answer the questions of those who are still doubting the wisdom of Obama's health plan. If you want more answers before endorsing Obama's health reform plan and his Public Insurance Option I urge you to follow the link and read it. It won't take long and it addresses some of the arguments I am hearing. The biggest argument against it is, of course, how it will be paid for. I believe Reich sheds some light on that.
The alternative of doing nothing is to have health care, which is now unsustainable, continue to escalate in cost at triple the cost of living. The naysayers have no answer to that.
After years of climbing on my soap box I really thought the timing was perfect to get a universal health care plan through Congress.
- The economy is in dire straights and the escalating cost of health care is helping to sink it.
- We have a popular president who has put his prestige on the line to get meaningful health care reform passed.
- A whopping 72 - 76% of the voters want it. In addition, over half of them are willing to pay higher taxes to get it.
Then I read the following article in the Huffington Post and I was ready to throw in the towel.
Reality sank in. No matter how wonderful universal health care looks to the majority of the people (Remember a government of the people, by the people and for the people?) our representatives are tied to the deep pockets of the AMA, Insurance lobby and Big Pharma. With a few exceptions, our Reps have forgotten why they were elected in the first place and only see the dollars needed to get re-elected. It has become a government "of big business, by the lobbyists, and for the greedy".
There are as many reform plans floating around Congress and the Senate as there are representatives. Most of the plans are wolves in sheep's clothing; disguised to look like reform, but actually designed to sink it. Senator Ted Kennedy, bless him, soldiers on with the help of his friend, Chris Dodd. But I am afraid they are voices crying in the wilderness.
I watched the President last night as he answered questions on health care. I was dismayed that no questions came up about the single-payer system. I assume they were not to be allowed. It is off the table. Okay, I have given up on that, but the next best option is a Public Insurance program and it is rumored that Obama is even ready to throw in the towel on that. If that goes, all that's left are a few band aids like preventative medicine and following the cost saving methods used by the Mayo Clinic and others. While those are worthwhile goals, they won't begin to save the money needed to cover everyone and are only delaying tactics. Beside, how will we force those reforms through without a government insurance program?
I am growing cynical and think we will never have meaningful reform in my lifetime. Like the auto industry, the Insurance agencies will have to go bankrupt before there will be another shot at reform. Good luck with that - I won't be around to see it.