Forget Republicans – Pass Healthcare Reform Now!

As each day passes one thing becomes more certain to me – Democrats need to stop trying for a bi-partisan solution to health care reform.  Plain and simple, it’s not going to happen – at least not with the current slate of Republicans leading the pack.

President Obama needs to forget about trying to appease Republicans and demand a bill based on his campaign promises, INCLUDING a PUBLIC OPTION.      The Republicans have done a great job and spreading myths and lies about the current proposals.  45% of those surveyed think they will be forced to pull the plug on grandma. 

The bottom line is that a public alternative to private insurance is the only way to force true competition in the marketplace.   These so called co-ops will not do it.  They will not have the large volume of memberships or a sustainable amount of cash to help drive down costs and after 5-10 years we could be right back to where we are now.

I am tired of people who think that the government will make medical decisions for them should they go on the public option.   True, some employers may opt for the public plan if it is cheaper, but as long as the government can ensure that the level of care is as equal or better to that of private insurance, what is the problem?  The problem is that we all get caught up in labels.  Republicans want to shove the big “S” word – socialism down our throats as if we’ve never had any socialist type programs in this country.  I suppose Social Security, the VA, Medicaid, and not to mention local police and fire don’t qualify under the “socialism” umbrella. 

I read a post from someone else recently that really hit the nail on the head for me.  It said:  If Canada has such bad health insurance, why aren’t Canadians demanding American style health insurance?  The reason is because Canadians know they have a much better deal than we do.  In Canada, everyone is covered.  There is no worrying about meeting deductibles, or deciding if you should see a doctor or buy a loaf of bread.  As one Canadian posted recently, “We are not dying by the millions.”   That’s not to say that their health care system is perfect.  There are longer periods of wait times for certain types of procedures.  But, consider that that often happens in this country too as many patients have to deal with getting referrals from their doctor and having an HMO decide whether they want to cover it.

Furthermore, ask a Canadian, or a French person what a pre-existing condition is, and they will give you a blank stare.   Ask them if they worry about losing coverage if they change or lose jobs, and you’ll get another blank stare.

I don’t understand for the life of me, why we in  this country consider health care to be a privilege and not a basic human right.  For me it should be right up there with police, fire, and education.     Because with health insurance being a for-profit business as it is in this country, why on earth would they want to cover anyone who would actually need their services? 

My wife is currently pregnant with our second child.  If I lose my job or decide to work for myself, I cannot get new insurance because pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.  My only choice would be to take COBRA coverage which would cost me more than triple of what I am paying now.  And that is just for the monthly premiums.  I still have to come up with 15% of the remaining hospital,radiology,etc charges. 

It galls me that Republicans in Congress are opposed to a public health option, when they themselves are technically part of a publicly funded health plan.     But then again, pretty much everything the Republicans do galls me one way or another.

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