In the wake of the systematic butchering of the Senate version of the health care reform bill almost single-handedly by Sen. Joe Lieberman (Dem/Ind/Rep/Lib-CN), it has been suggested that not only Lieberman, but all Democrats should be sent to Reform School to learn the meaning of the word reform.
Let’s review. According to several sources, including the latest census polls, approximately 47 million, or roughly 1 out of 3 Americans, are without health insurance in this country. That isn’t counting the folks who are underinsured. Healthcare reform is not an issue of “should it be accomplished?” It is an issue of “when will it be accomplished?”
The original intent of health care reform called for by President Obama would effectively accomplish three important things:
1. Make healthcare insurance coverage affordable to all;
2. Extend coverage to all regardless of pre-existing conditions and not allow denial of coverage for certain procedures; and
3. Improve the quality of health care for all through investing in updated technology and focusing on preventive care.
Sounds easy enough right? Just give those pesky insurance companies a little incentive to become a little more competitive in their premium pricing by offering a public health option that would allow all those uninsured folks who can’t afford the more expensive private health insurance premiums to buy into a government program, allow folks with existing medical conditions to be able to buy affordable health insurance, and allow coverage for more than just being sick, i.e. coverage for preventive healthcare screenings. Right. And therein squats the toad.
Insurance companies like making their huge profits year after year and sitting on their piles of money. They weren’t about to take this lying down, well at least, if they did take it lying down, they’d want to still be on top. So what did they do? Well, they took some of those profits and they gave them to charities all over the world to show what nice guys they are so that the government would get off their backs. Ha ha, just joking to see if you are still paying attention. Actually, they are using some of those profits to buy themselves some high-priced lobbyists, PR professionals, and attorneys to ensure (not insure) that no one, especially some poor out-of-work slob, will get the opportunity to actually afford the product they are selling, because, God forbid, he might get sick and need to file a claim. And you know what? It’s money well spent because it seems to be working!
With the help of most Democrats, the lobbyists are winning with their lies and their deceit. They are systematically making a mockery of our legislative process. And the bill passed by the House is but a mere memory in the wake of what has become a Senate bill that, if it were to be passed today, would:
Hand over millions of premium-paying customers to the very insurance companies originally targeted as being the culprits who put us in this mess in the first place, by making it mandatory for all Americans to carry health insurance coverage, whether they can afford it or not. And no guarantee that the premiums won’t rise and it won’t be business as usual once the bill is passed.
Allow coverage for pre-existing conditions; however, allowing the insurance companies to charge much higher premiums for high-risk policy holders, making it difficult for them to afford the policies and once again, forcing them to remain uninsured and come under the ire of the government for not carrying health insurance.
And still no government option, be it public option or a buy-in to Medicare at an earlier age for those who cannot afford private health insurance, which would, of course, have forced the insurance companies to become a little more competitive in their pricing.
What a deal huh?
But here’s a word of advice, don’t let it get to you. The more you worry about it, the sicker you’ll get, and as it stands now, since you started worrying about it before you sought help for worrying about it, you will not be able to file a claim for your stress-related illness as it will be deemed a pre-existing condition.
So I say that unless and until we send those Senators to reform school to toughen them up and get them some lessons in what reform really means, we will continue the flawed process of seeing any bill, no matter how impressive it once was, not only whittled down to mere inconsequence, but built back into a stronger pro-insurance company bill by those with the fattest wallets and the biggest mouths.