Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We Must Pass Health Care Reform Now!

I am not crazy about the Democrats bills for health care reform. The problem with Health care in the United States is that so much of it is left in the hands of for-profit companies. This is the reason Health care costs so much (just look at the administrative costs and the regular jacking up of premiums) and the reason so many are denied coverage and claims. The bills passed by the house and the senate leave these companies with far too much power. They should be removed from the game entirely.

To quickly illustrate the problem. For-profit companies cannot maximize profits by providing good coverage. The best, perhaps only, way to maximize profits is to raise premiums absurdly often, deny care to those who need it most, and then deny every possible claim you can for any reason at all. That's really very simple. This ends up bankrupting families, causing home foreclosures, tremendous personal debt, high administrative costs (takes a lot of paper work to deny claim after claim), lack of treatment, death, misery, and ruin. No one should doubt this. Those who do are either inexcusably ignorant and/or willingly blind.

Our health care system is (by far) the most expensive on earth (for citizens and government), the only system in advanced countries that fails to cover everyone (47.5 million uninsured and rising), and the result is higher infant mortality, a shorter life-span, more chronic illness, more bankruptcy, more home foreclosures, and more personal debt than any other advanced democracy!! No one can rationally defend so broken, perverse, and corrupt a system. Ideology is useless here. The facts cannot be denied; the system cannot be defended.

Because of this there are some liberals who argue that we should oppose the passage of these bills and give up health care as "lost again this round." Part of me agrees with them. Until profit is removed from health care coverage, the United States will continue to have a health care system that is cruel, barbaric, and inhumane.

The problem, however, is that too many people can no longer afford their premiums. Too many Americans are losing their jobs and therefore their health insurance. Too many people are denied care because of "pre-existing conditions." The situation is frankly intolerable and inexcusable.

The current bill does at least alleviate some of these problems. The bill would eliminate denying care for pre-existing conditions, regulate (albeit insufficiently) how much insurance companies can raise premiums, and expand coverage - and crucially government aid to afford coverage - to millions who are currently denied it.

This bill, in short, is essential. It is not only imperfect, but poor; and yet there are parts of this bill that will really help many people.


Make no mistake, the passage of this bill is not a final solution. Health care coverage in this country will never be acceptable until the profit motive is fully removed from insurance. Until we adopt a system like Germany and France have - highly regulated, NON-PROFIT, but private health insurance - or simply go to a single-payer system (not my choice, but light-years better than a for-profit system), our health care will remain a cruel joke. We must return to this issue again.

But the passage of a bill which eliminates pre-existing conditions, expands coverage, and slows down the rates of rising premiums will at least do some good. This might even be the first step to a functional health care system.

Republicans will rant and rave about "big government." Let them. Idiotic and uniformed morons who foam at the mouth about "socialism" should be given no more attention than lunatics on the street who pass out pamphlets informing us that "the end of days is near."


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1 comment:

Comments from many different points of view are welcome. But I will not publish any comments that are hateful, insulting, or filled with profanity. I welcome and encourage dialogue and disagreement but will not publish any hate speech.