Sunday, December 20, 2009

Forming Reform

Who thinks it’s OK for the insurance companies to be able to cap the cost of a devastating disease, like cancer. Who thinks that the American public will be happy about the kind of ‘reform’ that we are about to suffer. It’s always fun to look at the real definition of something and then to try and connect it with what is the reality.

According to reform is defined as “correct, rectify” with Synonyms such as: “ameliorate, amend, better, bring up to code, change one's ways, clean up, clean up one's act, convert, correct, cure, emend, go straight, improve, make amends, make over, mend, rearrange, rebuild, reclaim, reconstitute, reconstruct, redeem, refashion, regenerate, rehabilitate, remake, remedy, remodel, renew, renovate, reorganize, repair, resolve, restore, revise, revolutionize, rework, shape up, standardize, swear off, transform, turn over a new leaf, uplift.” None of these sound like what the health care bill will be.

Admittedly, I did not read the bill. I was waiting for the Republican Senators to read the 2000 pages to me as a part of their filibuster. What was I thinking? None of them can read. Well, maybe a few can read, but not all those words. All you have to know is that insurance stocks are rising. What does that say. That the insurance companies are expecting a windfall. That the insurance companies are not worried about being controlled. Or that the insurance companies are not afraid of government competition. My skepticism is probably a consequence of thinking like a progressive. You remember the progressives? We’re the people who helped to elect Obama because we believed that he would end the war and make sure people who didn’t have access to healthcare would finally not have to choose between food and medication.

The progressives have been told over and over that we are not going to like this bill. What’s to like? I’d like a list—even a short one. We have also been told that while there is no public option, and the insurance companies really don’t have to cover preexisting conditions, (wasn’t that one of the points of reform?) there will be yet another ‘fund’ to do all of that. What I now realize is that the Obama Administration, which turned health care over to the Congressional lobbyists, instead of writing their own plan, really did want to reform health care and not health insurance. I kept writing about how important words were. And people did not understand what health care meant, so how could they support changing it. But now I see that I was wrong. As long as no one understood what the Congress and the White House were reforming, the likelihood of supporting the status quo while giving lip service to ‘health reform’ was precisely what they intended to do.

Today they announced that there were enough Senate votes to pass health care reform. And so they will. But no one, including the people who wrote or mangled the bill, will understand what they have done until it is too late to see the consequences for all the people who need help (and most of those who don’t.) Then, I guess, they will have to reform the reform. That should be another 2000 pages or more. You can be sure, however, that the insurance companies will pay no penalties and suffer no hardships or God forbid, competition.

If I were the President, I would do exactly what Howard Dean suggested. Just throw the whole thing out and start over again with specific goals. Things like ‘you have to be able to read and understand the bill within an hour or two’—and that’s reading and comprehension. And how about, the health care offered to the pubic has got to be equal to the health care offered to our elected officials. Or, conversely, that the Senate/House coverage would have to mirror that which was passed for everyone else. They would never tolerate what they have now foisted upon a distracted public. The real shame is that President Obama now appears not to care about promises made, or, what was that word….. Oh yeah, Change. Some would say same old, same old. We’re just sayin’… Iris


Rich Gensheimer said...

Iris.... you are absolutely right on. But after sitting in the Senate gallery a few weeks ago and seeing our elected officials in action, I hold no hope that they will accomplish anything of substance. It's all about getting re-elected.

Iris and Clay said...

It's always about getting reelected but they used to do it with some sense of dignity

Anonymous said...

Sounds good in theory. But, something more progressive would never pass. They just don't have the votes. Everyone rags on Obama for not doing more. But, I think the fact that both the right and left wing commentators don't like it, is actually a good sign. I think Obama is pragmatic and knows how to compromise to get something done. Bottom line, this bill does insure many more Americans, not everyone, but many more. It also places restrictions on rejecting people for pre-existing conditions. It's far far far from perfect. But, it is better than nothing. And, it's more than has ever been done before. Just my two cents worth.