A friend had an encounter with a health care reform opponent and threw up her hands in frustration. I wrote and gathered a few things for her [thanks, Newmexiken, et al.]:
To opponents of health care reform: The word "socialist" means absolutely nothing anymore. It frightens a minority of Americans and makes just as many groan and roll their eyes. It has become a red flag that says "I’m not listening to anyone because I know what’s wrong with everything." So, what do you say to someone who isn’t listening? Nothing at all.
"Nobody in America is going without health care at this time. True, the current situation is inefficient, expensive, and to some degree unjust. Yet, there are not any people in this country who can not get treatment if they are hurt or sick."
Wow. How can anyone believe that. Normally, opponents of reform say that, yes, there are those without coverage, but most don’t need it, many don’t want it, and the rest are illegals. (and therefore, not deserving? even though actual criminals get state-funded healthcare).
Surely, reform opponents would agree that sending every person with any ailment into an Emergency Room is horribly inefficient. That inefficiency is expensive and we all pay for it somehow. People need to see doctors before they’re sick. People need access to
General, Primary, and Urgent care, not just Emergency. Do opponents really believe that everyone in America could schedule a routine annual exam if they wanted one? Or get a tetanus shot anytime? Aren’t we pissing away money on delayed and ineffective treatment and tests?
The person quoted above seems to think there is no need for any reform whatsoever, despite admitting the current situation is "inefficient, expensive, and, to some degree, unjust." Really? His own words seem to demand reform. Isn’t there a single issue about health care and insurance that the extremes can agree on?
As for the rush: I sympathize with this view, although I know for a fact it is a straw man for those who will NEVER support change. Why did we pass the odious "PATRIOT" Act so quickly? Where we these "slow down" people then? Letting fear rule them.
I hope somewhere there is a single opponent of healthcare reform who thinks, if only we’d taken care of this 17 years ago, we’d have saved billions and a ton of acrimony. But, holding one’s breath is unhealthy. peace, mjh
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Family Health – Health Care Reform Simplified and Myths Dispelled by President Obama | Health News
The reason of reform was laid out by President Obama in June during a speech to the American Medical Association (AMA). “Today we are spending over $2 trillion a year on health care—almost 50 percent more per person than the next most costly nature. And yet, as I think many of you are aware, for all of this spending, more of our citizens are uninsured, the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren’t any healthier… So to say it as plainly as I can, health care is the single most important thing we can do for America’s long-term fiscal health. That is a fact.”
The need for reform came from millions upon millions of Americans who expressed as much during the presidential campaign and since the Obama administration came into power. Not only are there now more than 47 million people in the United States known to be without health care coverage of any kind, but a growing number of people are being added to that list who have insufficient coverage, are on the verge of losing coverage due to unemployment and rising insurance costs, do not get treatment even when covered because of deductibles and copayments, and or have gone bankrupt due to medical costs. The demand for reform came from the majority of the American people.
Ezra Klein – The Actual Debate Over Health-Care Reform
[mjh: after two paragraphs of things legislators agree on or are discussing…]
Here are the things legislators don’t agree about: whether we should have a public option that is open only to the minority of Americans on the exchanges or a co-op option. How to handle abortion. How to handle geographic disparities in insurance costs.
Here are the things that aren’t under consideration but are alive in the public debate: socialized medicine. Euthanasia. Government-driven rationing. Death panels. Illegal immigrants. …
The Democrats conceded so much up-front that the actual range of debate is strikingly slim. The public option attracts most of the attention, but the reality of the policy, even in the liberal House bill, is that it’s limited to the insurance exchanges and isn’t expected to serve more than 12 million people by 2019.
In part, that’s why the debate has had to move toward fear-mongering and lies: There just aren’t that many scary elements in the bills, because the legislation is oriented toward preserving the existing system and avoiding points of controversy. You can make an argument that the policy is worse because of its modesty. A more ambitious approach could save more money and do more to fix the system. But that’s the way it is. …
I think I read about 50 or 60 pages of it, legal language with lots of references to other parts of the legislation and even standing laws going back to the 1950s. And I’ve got to say: this law is really well thought out. (Keeping in mind that it won’t get really cluttered with special interest crap until it goes to conference.) The protections in the law for people who don’t want to give up their private insurance are detailed and comprehensive.
It got to be kind of fun. My friend would email me a complaint, and I’d go find the relevant portion of the legislation and discover that the rightie scare story he was reading had the law exactly wrong. It’s going to forbid companies from offering private insurance! No, it’s not. It’s going to force me into the government plan! No, it’s not. If I have another kid, that kid will have to go into the government plan while the rest of the family stays in the private plan! No, it’s not. If I decline the government plan, I’ll have to pay a tax penalty! No, you won’t.
The legislation bends over backwards to let people and companies make their own choice, but to hear the opposition tell it, it’s a Nazi takeover. Instead of town meetings, politicians should host small-group readings of the legislation. I thought the afternoon was fascinating.
House Health Care Bill – H.R.3200: America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 – U.S. Congress – OpenCongress
And, as a thoughtful contribution from the other side:
Rep. John Mica (R-FL) told a Florida radio station today that the health care legislation being considered by the House of Representatives will authorize the creation of “death counselors“:
“They create a whole new category,” Mica, a Winter Park Republican, said on WDBO. “There are death counselors. There is authorization for reimbursement for those counselors for Medicare. You have a whole new cottage industry.
Mica joins several other conservatives in promoting the conspiracy theory that health reform legislation is secretly designed to kill old people.
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FACTBOX: How do healthcare proposals compare?
Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:11am EDT
(Reuters) – When Congress returns September 8, lawmakers will continue work on an overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system. There are three different plans in the works, all containing changes that would be phased in over a number of years.
In the House of Representatives, three committees have each approved changes to one House bill. The changes will be melded by House leaders into final legislation before a floor vote expected in September.
In the Senate, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has approved its version and the Senate Finance Committee is working on a separate healthcare overhaul bill.
The following is a comparison of major points in the various proposals. …