Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Health Care and America

I've spent a good amount of time working my way through H.R. 3200, enough of my time to know that whatever else I find in there is trumped by what I've already read. It's scary to me - it's not the kind of health care I'm interested in, and honestly, I'm surprised anyone would be.

Sadly, the idiots in Washington have allowed the passing of this bill to be dominated NOT by careful scrutiny of the facts, but instead have incited name-calling among every faction of Americans, taking the focus off of reform and onto.... well, anything they can to make Americans do less analytical decision making using their own brains!! Basically it's come down to:

1) You're a selfish, conservative, rich money-mongering Republican who doesn't care to provide entitlement to the poor.


2) You're a liberal socialist who wants to rob from the rich and have the government provide for you everything that you need.

Seriously, in my opposition to this bill, I've had people tell me that I'm against health care for poor people (not true), that I am just a Sarah Palin fanatic (not true at all), that I don't think my tax dollars are worthy of being used to help those in need (couldn't be farther from the truth!) and that I don't understand government run health care (you got THAT one right, at least!).

First of all, I'd love reform in the health care industry - in fact, we need some regulation, especially of discriminatory practices, such as "pre-existing conditions" clauses. We should be putting limits on malpractice suits that make medical practitioners in turn pass along their medical malpractice insurance costs onto us. We should be issuing federal guidelines on controlling costs and profits on pharmaceutical companies, not enough to stifle innovation of new and useful drugs, but enough so that we can afford medications necessary for life. We should be assisting those in need with our federal tax dollars. We should be overhauling the already existing, imploding and poorly administered government run medical programs already in existance. If this bill addressed these (and I'm sure there are more) issues, I'd be sending nice letters to my congressman.

The fact is that this bill does little, if anything at all, to address most of the issues that we should be addressing, and instead creates a "Health Choices Commission" that scares the pants off me!! Under the guise of creating a public health "option", this commission, the head of which and over half it's members, are "appointed" by whoever is the sitting president, will include ONE doctor and will have control over every tiny detail and aspect of health care for those who "choose" to participate. Not only that, IT will create and administer the government option AND decide who can compete with it. If your private insurance chooses to abide by all it's rules, you can choose that option... with all the new, guaranteed lower prices outlined by the commission. You may not have dual coverage, you cannot have insurance AND government assistance and if you choose not to have medical insurance, you will have to pay a penalty.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that this government option is not your typical medical "insurance" company. It's not for profit because all it's expenses will be paid for by your tax money - whatever it chooses to pay it's commissioners, it's medical suppliers, it's own pharmaceutical company.... no competition, just own it all and charge a price (in a tax that they will not call a tax... that's what it says, anyway!) that you will pay. What is that price? Well.... nobody has bothered to tell us yet!! And those who want this option have maintained that it's worth "any price"..... really?? Well, if you haven't already guessed where I'm going with this, if you allow yourself to think beyond the end of this year, when this bill may pass and be put into practice, it won't be long before the competition can no longer compete, when Americans and the private companies they work for will no longer be able to afford paying for the private insurance coverage of our choice AND for the government run option tax that is not a tax.... and the private insurance industry will collapse. Along with it, millions of jobs will vanish over night. I don't really consider myself an alarmist, but I'm going to sound the alarm here. This is serious... and there's no turning back.

Once we have this "single-payer" system with no competition, then what?? That's what Americans who are "organized mobs" are asking, and the response they are getting is, "I don't answer to a mob." In fact, is anyone in Congress or the White House ever going to be expected to explain exactly what is in this bill???? or is each and every American going to have to actually read it and try to understand it on their own???? I don't hear anyone explaining it, only trying to discredit the critics. We've all been so busy accusing each other of being the unthoughtful crazy ones that we aren't asking real questions and expecting real answers.

I want reform. I don't want it this way. There has to be a better way and we need to let Washington know that we're tired of their temper tantrums when they don't get their way... we want reform and we want an American alternative... not something that we know from history isn't going to work. Along with being the "richest" nation in the world comes the understanding that we didn't get there by letting the government run everything for us - in fact, quite the opposite. We did it by being given the freedom to be creative, to be innovative, to be on the edge... I would hate to see us give up our freedom, creativity and innovation because our elected officials were busy acting like toddlers. For me... this is just infuriating. But I guess you already know that! and this is all I will say on the matter.

Looks like someone else has this on their mind today... sort of.

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