Health Care Reform

As a small businessman, consumer, and health care / education provider, I am vitally interested in health care reform.  Get out of stupid wars, restore American integrity, and reform health care – that was the mandate I signed on for when I voted for Barack Obama.

I have lived under ‘socialized medicine’ in England.  Bring it on for America, as far as I am concerned.  The problems (and there are some, definitely, with any health care delivery) are minor compared to the problems we have; the government runs health care very well.  Those with the money are free to buy private supplemental insurance.  I grumbled about the NHS tax charges when I was there, but it was substantially less money than I pay here for substantially less coverage.

So it is inexplicable to me that Obama has been marching toward the right on this: taking single-payer off the table from the gitgo (bad move) and conceding again and again, most recently on a public option (even worse move – amounts to no reform at all).  And all for naught – not one Republican has deigned to show support or commit their vote.  Rush Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest of the thoughtless voices  – who have yet to offer any alternative – must be laughing at how easy this has been, the total derailment of any and all reform efforts.

Shortly after Labor Day, or when the Congress returns, Obama should:

1) Announce his own plan – he should separate his plan from the Democratic Party (in the toilet) and certainly from the GOP (in the cess pool), and it should have three key points (including the public option) and a good slogan.  He should also keep stressing the economic aspect: in order to compete with China and India in the coming century, we have to get hold of health care costs.

2) Mobilize his base around this plan, and use the mobilized base to stop ridiculous mischaracterizations like ‘death panels’, unplugging Grandma, and government takeover.

3) ‘Or else’ the congressional democrats to get this through.

When it’s done, let the chips fall where they may.  But caving to a right wing who knows not what it wants seems nonsensical – it gets no votes, it guts the intent, and the half-baked reform will be an albatross around Obama’s neck.  Stand up, live your ideals, now’s the time, get it done!

(And even if we do all that, we will only have begun to work toward a physically educated populace.  That would be a health enhancement program.  Stay tuned.)

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3 Responses to “Health Care Reform”

  1. Michelle Bellerose Says:

    Understanding morass of US health care racket is gonna be a heartache, but if I’m to be educated in the US, better come up to speed. Lucky me to read a sketch in overview like this …. cool, thanks.

    meanwhile

    … Canadian agents moving toward deconstruction of the net, no matter how paternalistic the rhetoric’s designed to appear. Tommy Douglas’s turning in his grave … hard not to come over all radicalized after reading Harris Coulter’s excellent account of the roots of institutional medicine … anyway, here’s a link that might be of interest from north of the border.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=1905981

  2. Linda Harmon Says:

    I’m with you on this, Tom. The GOP is interested in sinking Obama not in serious health care reform….and the way they are going about it is beyond despicable. A woman in a town hall meeting here in Massachusetts asked Barney Frank why he was supporting Obama’s Nazi plan. Barney asked her what planet she was living on.
    Obama’s trying too hard right now to be a statesman — it’s time for him to be a streetfighter and just go after what he wants and believes in.
    For further info, check out Wendell Potter (former communications director for CIGNA). He has since become one of the leading advocates for true reform and he has depth of insight into how the insurance industry is so effective at getting what they want.

  3. Joe Lubow Says:

    Here here. Tom nails it, as usual.

    Maybe the passing of Ted Kennedy will inspire congressional Democrats to get this thing done in his honor.

    And Ted was a sailor.

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