Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Last Gasp for Health Care Reform

I feel great compassion for all of you who are enduring one snow storm after another. I thought I would show you that we desert dwellers are getting some, too. I took this photo late yesterday afternoon. If I hadn't been so lazy I could have gotten an early morning shot when the snow was all the way down to the foothills. By the time I ventured out the snow on the lower elevations had melted.

That's my house in the middle behind the street sign.

It's crunch time on health care reform and this is where we are now. As the current bill stands the following are the important features.
  • No company can ever deny you health insurance or drop your coverage for a pre-existing condition or if you get really sick.
  • If you get cancer or other serious illness, there is no cap on the amount of needed care that your insurance will cover.

  • No threat of losing your life savings to pay for care. Insurance companies can’t stop paying your claims and leave you with a lot of medical bills.Recommended preventive care will be covered without deductibles – checkups, colonoscopies, mammograms – no matter if you buy your own policy or get coverage through your job. Preventing illness before it becomes serious is the best way to save money!

  • Programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, with incentives for them to practice in rural areas, so you get quality care no matter where you live.

It's a far cry from what it should be, but it's better than the current chaotic mess that we have.


Today several groups have organized a real march and a virtual march on Washington telling our representatives to enact real health care reform NOW. You can join the virtual march by clicking on the link. The goal is a million signatures by the end of the day.



Tomorrow is the televised face off between the Republicans and the president. It starts at 10 am Eastern Standard time. Please put it on your calendar. It will be an historic event. You can see it on C-Span starting at 10 am Eastern Standard Time.

Robert Reich has written an excellent article on why the Democrats should pass health care reform with the 51 vote majority they have. The Republicans have made it very clear that they will do everything in their power to scuttle this legislation. Here is the link:


Excerpts from an Op-ed piece by Roger Cohen of the New York Times:

When it comes to health, we’re all in this together. Pooling the risk among everybody is the most efficient way to forge a healthier society. That’s what other developed societies do. And they don’t have 30 million plus uninsured.

Now, as I understand it, the Tea Party movement is angry about waste, bail-outs for the rich and spiraling debt. They detest big government. But if waste and debt are really what’s bothering them, how about the waste in the more than 1,800 daily health-care related personal bankruptcies, the 25 to 30 percent of some corporate insurers’ costs going on administration (versus 6 percent for Medicare), the sky-rocketing health premiums that are undermining U.S. corporations (and so taking jobs), the endless paperwork of private reimbursement procedures, and the needless deaths?

Americans don’t want a European nanny state — fine! But, as a lawyer friend, Manuel Wally, put it to me, “When it comes to health it makes sense to involve government, which is accountable to the people, rather than corporations, which are accountable to shareholders.”

All the fear-mongering talk of “nationalizing” 17 percent of the economy is nonsense. Government, through Medicare and Medicaid, is already administering almost half of American health care and doing so with less waste than the private sector. Per capita Medicare costs for common benefits grew 4.9 percent between 1998 and 2008, against 7.1 percent for private insurers. Why not offer Medicare as a choice — a choice — to everyone? Aren’t Republicans about choice?

The public option, not dead, would amount to recognition of shared interest in each other’s health and of the need to use America’s energies and resources better. It would involve 300 million people linking arms.


Betty said...

I believe the bill also provides for the gradual closing of the "donut hole" in Part D, the prescription plan. It'll be closed a bit at a time over the next 3 or 4 years.

Thanks for the info.

tnlib said...

Thanks for clarifying things, Darlene. I've been a little confused over what is and what isn't.

One Woman's Journey said...

I love your home - with no snow surrounding it. Sorry, guess I have snow on the mind!!!

Kay Dennison said...

I hope it goes through. It's overdue. And it's nice to see a place with nothing to shovel!!!!!!

Hattie said...

Yes, Darlene. Thank you for clarifying this. I've been too discouraged to follow the issue after my initial hopes were crushed, but it does look a lot better than what we have now.
And you live in such a pretty place!

Darlene said...

*Betty - You are so right. I should have included that. Thanks for the reminder.

*tmlib - It's no wonder you're confused with all of the misinformation swirling around.

*One Woman's Journey - I can see all the snow I want on the mountain tops.

*Kay Dennison - That's just the way I want it. Shoveling is not in the cards for me any longer.

*Hattie - You're welcome. I like it here and hope I never have to move again.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm hoping the bill goes through Darlene...thanks for clarifying things.

And thanks for trying to show us 'snow-ins' some compassion. It's hard to believe there are actually homes and streets out there that are "snow-free." Your house is lovely and the view so beautiful with the mountains behind you. Hugs, Joy

Darlene said...

*Joy Des Jardins - Thank you, Joy. You are sweet to say so.

Vagabonde said...

Thanks for clarifying the bill. I also like the links you give us to read interesting articles. The view behind your house is very beautiful. Do you ever drive to these mountains and how far are they from your place?

Darlene said...

*Vagabonde - Yes, I have been on the snow capped ones many times and you can see a post on my photos of the drive up. I think I wrote it last summer and the title is Mt. Lemmon. The start of the drive up is about ten miles from my house.

Darlene said...

*Vagabonde - I erred in my comment. I wrote the post on Mt. Lemmon in 2008 and not last summer. My how time flies when you're having fun !!!

Actually, I wrote two posts about the drive up because I was unable to get more than four photos on one post.

Here is the link to the first one and from there you can reach the second one.


TechnoBabe said...

You are who I want to be in twenty years. I am glad I found your blog.
I have one year till I am eligible for medicare. I haven't had insurance for so many years I won't know what to do with it!

Darlene said...

*Techno Babe - Thank you for your visit and kind words. Stay healthy.