It feels like 1993 again, the debate over healthcare is a throwback only this time I’m 30 years old and actually need it. Newts back, Rush is there and Hillary is there. Just as before the opposition is using scare tactics such as the “Death Panel” bullshit to protect the interest of their corporate overlords. The issue has gone unresolved since the 1900s, when Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party included it as part of its platform. The only ones who will be hurt by health care reform are the pharmaceutical companies and insurance conglomerates that benefit from the current broken system. If you’re one of the estimated 46 million uninsured Americans just one illnesses away from financial ruin, reform can’t come soon enough. Critics denounce projected reform by citing the costs (that could top $1 trillion over the next decade). But what the naysayers fail to mention is that the current system costs over $2.2 trillion a year to stay afloat. If we don’t do something now, health care spending is projected to grow to $3.1 trillion in 2012 and $4.3 trillion by 2016, doing nothing will cost us four times as much as the cost of reform. Many insured people need just as much help as the uninsured. Premiums and out-of-pocket spending for health care have been rising faster than wages. Over the last decade, disparities between the uninsured and insured have widened in access to a usual source of care, annual check-ups, and preventive care, and are the greatest in disparities.
If you listen to those on the opposition there is no need for health care reform, yet according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2007 18 percent of the population under the age of 65 was without health insurance, that’s nearly 46 million Americans. If you ask the Glenn Beck’s, and Sarah Palin’s of this world we need not worry about the nearly 1.3 million full-time workers who lost their health insurance in 2006. A recent study shows that based on the effects of the recession alone nearly seven 7 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage between 2008 and 2010. But that doesn’t matter because Obama wants to raise your taxes. The Urban Institute research estimates that if unemployment reaches 10 percent, another six 6 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage. Taking these numbers together, it is conceivable that by next year, 57 to 60 million Americans will be uninsured. None of that matters though because Obama will use your already public information to take money out of your check and give it to illegal immigrants. The Urban Institute also estimates that under a worst case scenario, 66 million Americans will be uninsured by 2019. I suppose this is when the mythical death panels will be established.
The truth according to the Whitehouse website is that comprehensive health reform should:
- Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
- Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
- Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
- Invest in prevention and wellness
- Improve patient safety and quality of care
- Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
- Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
- End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions
Already they are taking a far more aggressive stance than the Clinton administration did on the issue. What many do not know is that reform has already begun. On February 4, 2009 The President signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act, which provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured. The President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, protects the health coverage for 7 million Americans. The Recovery Act invests $19 billion in computerized medical records that will help to reduce costs and improve quality while ensuring patients’ privacy. The Recovery Act also provides: $1 billion for prevention and wellness to improve American’s health and help to reduce health care costs, $1.1 billion for research to give doctors tools to make the best treatment decisions for their patients by providing objective information on the relative benefits of treatments, and $500 million for health workforce that will help train the next generation of doctors and nurses. Which is what is needed more than anything. The benefits of the White House’s plan far outweigh the negatives in any light. The question is can they overcome the Republican hyper-bole and avoid caving to the Neo-cons wall of lies. More importantly will Obama be able to avoid the right wing nuts that are showing up to his town hall meetings with guns. People like Beck and Limbaugh and that piece of human excrement Hannity, have riled up the lunatics so badly that people actually find it acceptable to show up to a protest carrying automatic weapons. Things are escalating to a point were all rationality is gone straight out the window. Why is it so bad that we try to have health care at least equal to or better than Canada or even Great Britain? Are we as a culture so selfish and closed minded that we can’t see the benefits to having a healthier society?