Thursday, June 25, 2009

One last gasp

Mark Shields had a great quote in his weekend op-ed piece. He asked the Representatives who have been ranting against Health Care Reform " If you don't like 'government-run' health care plans, why are you letting the taxpayers provide you and your family with one that's gold-plated?" An excellent question for anyone who uses those words 'Socialized Medicine'.

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.


Looking to the Stars said...

Darlene, I knew Obama would have a fight on his hands to get anything done. My heart is sick that the right thing will go to the wayside. I've always admired the Kennedys. I know Senator Kennedy will continue to fight till his last breath. I've always known politics is a dirty business that's why my dad refused to run for senator when they asked. It's a million times worse now. Hang in there, kiddo.

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I'm hanging in there, but it's by my fingernails.

Rain said...

The link at the top would not work for me, Darlene. I have said that a public option has to be there or this is going to be a financial fiasco. Nobody knows what it will cost and it's all speculation; but some of the cost will be paid for from things like charging working people taxes on their health benefits above a certain amount (unless they belong to a union) and decreasing how much the government covers on Medicare patients which is likely to either raise Medicare premiums or reduce the coverage.

I admit I am a cynic but I trust politicians as far as I can throw them and you know how far that is. They are in the pocket of business and there aren't many if any exceptions because of how we run our system. I thought Obama might be an exception, but it's not very encouraging if you look at other things he's doing right now-- things like rendition, not revealing the abusive photos, hiding who visits the white house etc etc. I watched Jon Stewart (Daily Show) last night list off the promises and current situation with them.

It could still change but it won't if those who support Obama, support him without a second thought. And I say that being in families who gave a lot to see him elected (money that is btw not tax deductible in case you didn't know which means truly is given from the heart). I haven't given up on him but I am sure watching the situation and the health care is one of them. If we end up forcing everyone to pay for health insurance, the insurance companies decide what those premiums would be and who pays, what it covers, and there is no public option for coverage, then it will just cost Americans more and Insurance companies will be rolling in the dough.

Darlene said...

*Rain - I'm sorry the link didn't work. It works for me, but maybe it's because it's so long. You can find the article in Rueters and Truthout.

20th Century Woman said...

I agree with you, Darlene. I think the government is in a state of paralysis because the only thing that matters is money. There will probably be no meaningful health care reform in our life time (yours and mine) because dollars from big drugs, big insurance, and rich doctors will prevent it. It will be short term gain for them, because, as you say, like the automobile industry, the system will eventually collapse. We will not be here to see it, but our children probablyn will.

Sylvia K said...

It is discouraging! I want to believe, but think I'm getting more cynical by the day! Will hang in for a while and hope for the best!

Betty said...

Why is it that when our representatives don't want to pass some meaningful legislation, they always use the excuse that it is "too expensive"? This war in the Middle East is too expensive. But, they keep ponying up for that, don't they? Bailing out the banks and auto industry were too expensive, but they managed to cough up plenty for that. Phooey!

Then, they complain that Medicare and Medicaid are too expensive, yet there is no plan to "bail them out." Double phooey!

Darlene said...

*20th Century Woman - Thank you for confirming my beliefs.

*Sylvia - I'm trying to hang in there, but my fingernails are getting very weak.

*Betty - I love your "Double phooey!" You got that right!

Henry said...

This headline just up at Huffington Post: "White House May Cave on Public Option." You don't say? Didn't see that one coming.