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A Political Health Care Rant

Posted by on Nov 11, 2009

The last time I did a rant of some kind, I touched upon a lot of issues that really weren’t related to each other. This time, though it might not seem like it, it’s all mainly about one thing, health care, though I might go off the range a couple of times. It’s time for this, though; I’ve written about it often enough in posts on my other two blogs, but not this one. I just need to clear the air, so here goes; and no, the image has nothing to do with this post, as we all know by now.

Nutrition in the 1,000 Days
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On Saturday night, the House Democrats finally pushed through the first stage of what will be a very massive and comprehensive health care bill. Well, at least they pushed through a bill, on a vote of 220 – 215. How comprehensive it will be is still in dispute by everyone outside of the House of Representatives.

Why? Because we have no idea what’s really in the bill. What is it going to cover? We already know it’s not covering abortions, but we have no idea what it’s going to cover. We’ve heard that it’s going to be funded by fees and cuts to Medicare. What kind of cuts to Medicare, and why? What kind of fees? I know that if it still has that stupid provision I heard about back in late September about charging individuals $900 and families $3,800 if they decide not to get onto a health care plan, I don’t support that at all. After all, the President said that any health care bill he signed wouldn’t hurt the middle class; just who do we all think those fines, or fees, will be laid upon? The rich have enough money to not have to worry about it, and the poor have Medicaid.

What I have heard is that they won’t allow insurance companies to not cover someone for preexisting conditions, which is a biggie because I got caught under something like that back in 1984 (and still have my tonsils because of it). They also won’t allow insurance companies to drop you if you’re already sick under the plan, unless insurance premiums stop being paid. That’s actually another good thing. I tell you, in general I don’t trust insurance companies and it’s because of stuff like this. However, in my mind, they should have passed these laws years ago, instead of tying it to a health care plan.

Okay, let me go on the record by saying this; I do believe this country needs to have a health care plan to protect everyone who doesn’t have insurance. Having said that, without knowing what this plan is, I don’t know if this is the plan we signed on for. The President said in his 8 principles that any plan Congress came up with has to NOT increase the deficit. Suddenly, this plan is coming with a $1.2 trillion price tag over 10 years; how the heck is that not going to raise the deficit?

Now, raising the deficit is something the Republicans seem to be hanging their hat on, but those phonies and hypocrites were responsible for getting this country into the mess it’s in now, with unemployment finally reaching 10.2% and more than 15 million Americans out of work. They say that they’re worried about the financial burden on our kids; yeah, they’re worried about the money but they could care less about the environment, which they say doesn’t matter to them and that they don’t believe there’s anything wrong with, as Greenland is about to lose its ice mass and glaciers, Alaska has already lost much of its glaciers, ice is melting at both the North Pole and Antarctica at alarming rates, and the snows of Kilamanjaro are disappearing rapidly. Sure, there’s no threat of global warming; please!

And, why is it that these same Republicans, the party of NO, the party that just today supposedly came up with its own version of a health care plan that not only isn’t a health care plan, but is something that half the states in the union have already had in place for nearly 30 years, couldn’t decide to work with the Democrats and actually voice their concerns about portions of the bill while the debate was going on? Why didn’t they offer anything? Oh yeah, because their lobbyists would have had a field day and their political funds would have dried up (I just dropped receiving email from the lobbying from my local Chamber of Commerce because these people obviously have no compassion for anyone except businesses). Someone tell me how rich people are supposed to care about anyone else being able to have health care? Heck, months ago a Republican representative said health care was a privilege, not a right; who elected this moron?

Also, just who were these idiots (yes, I’m name calling) who were showing up at these town meetings over the summer and screaming about the potential for a health care plan instead of engaging in some kind of civil discussion. Here’s the thing; no one took you seriously except for the Republican politicians who were hoping that some kind of public outcry would scare people off this plan. Most of you who were being convinced that a health care option would be a bad thing are the very people who probably need this health care. Rich people don’t march, so they didn’t care. You made jerks out of yourselves and no one heard a single thing you said. I tell you this, it’s certainly a good thing I’m not a politician because I’d have walked right up to you, got in your face, and dared you to keep screaming at me. Threatening? You bet! People tend not to act stupidly when they’re called on it.

One final point; this idea of a public option. Folks, let’s just call it what it is; a government sponsored health care plan to compete against other insurance companies. I’m not sure whether I’m for it or against it, but I don’t think it’s needed. Instead. what would spur competition of prices would be to lift the lid on insurance companies across the country to be able to market their insurance in any market they saw fit. Too many communities have only 2 or 3 insurance company options at the most from which to choose from, and all of them have somewhat inflated rates. For all these people griping about how much the government health care plan is going to cost, who hasn’t at least a couple of times this decade had double digit insurance premium increases at work, where the average seems to be at least 8% every year, and the cost of pharmaceuticals going even higher? With more competition, prices would naturally have to come down, and that might solve some of the problems instead of the government funding their own insurance plan, which they already do through Medicare and Medicaid.

Now, if people were complaining that, instead of a health care plan, we should have been concentrating on improving the economy, I’d have gotten behind that. Sure, we had this stimulus package, but most of that was undercover, to the point that some people are just getting their stimulus money, and others have used it in ways that weren’t its purpose. This wasn’t supposed to save jobs; it was supposed to help create new jobs. But, in my opinion, most of these politicians had no idea how to create jobs. I had my ideas on how to create jobs, but no one ever asked me. What happened to our money czar? Oh yeah, she couldn’t take the job because she had illegal help that she didn’t pay any taxes on; sheesh (okay, we actually do have a new money czar, but I was on a roll here)!

By the way, I had my own version of a health care plan that a colleague consultant didn’t like, saying it wouldn’t be effective, and he came up with his own health care plan, which would have been effective. However, in retrospect, my plan over 10 years would have come to $500 billion at the most, while his would have come to $2 trillion; I still win fiscally.

Morally, this country needs a health care plan. Only the United States and Italy don’t have one for its citizens. Financially, I’m not sure we can afford this one, especially if the figures I mentioned earlier are still a part of the plan. And also, if it’s taking money away from Medicare, which is going to end up closing hospitals at the same rate, eventually, that banks are closing now, a health care plan won’t matter because we won’t have anywhere to go. That plus there’s already a shortage of doctors and nurses in this country because reimbursement is too low and malpractice insurance is too high.

I keep wondering if I were in Congress how I would have voted on this bill. This is something that most people don’t think about; these bills that get put before our elected officials almost never have everything we want in them, and sometimes have stuff sneaked in that has nothing to do with the bill. That’s how the anti-gambling statute got pushed in, through another bill that protects our borders, and why every American who’s paying to play poker online is actually breaking the law. With the little bit I know, this bill wouldn’t be close to my first choice. I might have had to hold my nose, but I think I’d have probably voted for it in the end.

Nope, glad I’m not a politician. Certainly glad I’m not a Republican (I’m not a Democrat either, by the way), since it seems that, so far, in this year they haven’t come up with a single proposal to try to advance something. Think that’s the wrong way to look at it? Prove me wrong. At least they did come together last week with the Democrats to vote for an extension of unemployment; can you imagine how bad that would have looked?

Okay, off the soapbox now. I’m not expecting this one to be read that much, so back to the lighthearted fare most of us are used to tomorrow; whew!


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11 Comments »

This bill won’t be the one that passes if one does. It now goes to the Senate which will work up it’s own bill, then the two bills will need to be reconciled and voted on and passed before going to the President to sign into law.

So, start writing your Senators now and give your opinions as to what should or should not be in a health care bill.

Oh, and I am with you, all these sneaky things that get tacked onto bills is stupid. If it doesn’t relate to the major point of a bill, it should not be there. They do this all the time with appropriation bills to keep the government going or funding for wars. That should be outlawed.
.-= Scott Thomas´s last blog ..Assignment 4: November =-.

November 11th, 2009 | 10:36 AM
Mitch:

Thanks for the commentary, Scott. As it stands right now, the Senate has no chance of passing a health care bill now that Joe Lieberman has said any bill that has a public option won’t get his support, but will get him to join a Republican filibuster. My main gripe isn’t it’s cost, but it’s funding on the backs of the middle class, if that option passes. But really, something needs to be done, and it’s going to take some real debate, not just saying “no.”

November 11th, 2009 | 1:41 PM
Blake Raab:

I agree with some of this. I consider myself a conservative. Actually, I would say that I’m a Libertarian, but I don’t contribute to any political party and don’t like lumping myself into a category when all of my views don’t fit.

“…a Republican representative said health care was a privilege, not a right…” I think people are confusing health care and health insurance. I think that if you go to an ER, you should have the right to be treated, regardless of coverage. I think that all Americans should have health insurance too, but I see huge problems with putting that responsibility into the hands of the government instead of letting free market competition “regulate” the prices by its own mechanism.

November 11th, 2009 | 12:29 PM
Mitch:

Thanks for chiming in, Blake. Every person in America does have coverage if they go to the emergency room; that’s the law. However, almost every hospital in America loses money because people go to the emergency room for everything, when many of those people should be going to the doctor or a clinic. So, they all have emergency health care, but if we want people to be able to go to the doctor’s office and have a chance on being able to pay that doctor, they need health insurance.

I’m not necessarily crazy about putting it in the hands of the government either, mainly because very few of these people have a health care background, and they’re the ones voting on it all. However, if they’d just get out of the way and put it up for bid with insurance companies that already know how to get things done, we might at least have a chance to get something done right. The thing is at this point, someone has to do something, and we need ideas instead of some folks just saying no.

Great stuff; thanks.

November 11th, 2009 | 11:55 PM

Sounds like a very complex issue Mitch – good old Mr Bush’s administration has really dropped your economy and the worlds in it – Obama would have had a fighting chance with this system if the economy was in better shape.

– and I thought we had huge problems in the UK, oh yes we do! – start with an unelected Prime Minister who as chancellor has let the banks run riot and go bust by taking away the Bank Of Englands regulatory powers and giving them to the FSA etc, created reams of red tape so businesses move overseas, sold most of our gold reserves and bottom $, inflamed a benefits culture so more and more people take the easy option as they get benefits thrown at them.

The sooner we get rid of this bunch and start moving forward again the better….
.-= Peter Davies´s last blog ..Does anyone have any knowledge regarding worldprofit.com? =-.

November 12th, 2009 | 5:34 AM
Mitch:

It seems things are the same almost everywhere, Peter. The only difference is that your country has health care for everyone and ours really doesn’t. Still, the question as to whether we can afford it right now is a big one. And, unfortunately, this is one we can’t blame on Bush; it’s been an age old question over here.

November 12th, 2009 | 8:36 AM

A point worth considering and is part of where I am trying to come from is that if Bush and Blair hadn’t been so ready to embark on illegal wars (Iraq) and kept an eye on the banks domestically then the current incumbents would have more in the pot and less other problems to deal with so they would be in a much stronger position to deal with issues such as healthcare
.-= Peter Davies´s last blog ..Does anyone have any knowledge regarding worldprofit.com? =-.

November 12th, 2009 | 9:03 AM
Mitch:

Good point, Peter, since both of our countries are still paying for it.

November 12th, 2009 | 1:50 PM
Mitch:

We might at that, Dennis. Had a great conversation with this guy on Facebook who stopped by for a quick look. Tried initially to rope me into some conservative logic, but then I pointed out things that, had he read the post more fully, killed his argument. I may be liberal in my politics, but I’m also very much a realist when it comes to things like this.

November 13th, 2009 | 9:47 PM

Ugh… I’m so furious at the Dems – blue dogs in particular, but also the progressives for caving in on health care. Single payer is the only answer that makes any sense at all. Sure it would kill the health insurance industry – so what? Industries go under all the time when they outlive their usefulness… consider buggy whips.

The ever developing ever selling out bill making its way through congress is a mess… and when they finish adding who knows what to it that has nothing to do with insurance or health it will be even worse.

We truly have, as Thom Hartmann (http://www.thomhartmann.com/) says, “We have the best congress money can buy.” That’s our real problem. sigh
.-= Anne Wayman´s last blog ..About Freelance Writing & Suite101 =-.

November 17th, 2009 | 9:49 AM
Mitch:

Great stuff, Anne. The thing is that health care is a tough issue for people to figure out; I’ve been in it 26 years, and I know it can be difficult. Leaving it all to politicians doesn’t help at all; look at how they’ve messed up Medicare. I haven’t quite figured out who I’m more upset with just yet.

November 17th, 2009 | 11:38 AM