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.