Why you remain unrepresented

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I have become increasingly fascinated by health care reform. Initially, I was 100 percent behind the president in his efforts. Then, I became a little less enamored by the whole thing. Now, once again, I am 100 percent behind the president.

Why?

Because the ongoing debate—government-provided health coverage or no government-provided health coverage?—is not one between elected Democrats and elected Republicans, or one between individuals of different, yet equally weighted, views and values. No, the ongoing debate is all about lobbyists, donors and medical facilities and companies that absolutely, positively do not want to see the system changed—and the politicians they pay off.

If you work for, say, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (my crap-ass insurer), the last thing you want is a massive overhaul. Hell, as things stand you can charge people whatever you wish for health coverage; you can reject whoever you wish; you can determine your own premiums. Why would you want change?

So what happens? Blue Cross/Blue Shield pays off hundreds of influential politicians, all but saying, “If we give you this money, you damn well better look out for us.” Trust me—whenever you hear a politician say, “Just because X Company donated X Amount to my campaign doesn’t mean I have any loyalty toward them,” well, he’s full of crap. That’s why nearly all of the Republicans have come out against reform—because they’re all receiving large wads for insurers. For that matter, so are the “blue dog” Democrats, whose convictions are no better than their political rivals.

The reality is, at this point in American history, there is no argument to be made against an overhaul. Too many of our people simply go without coverage, while other countries (Canada, Cuba, Malta, etc) use a government program to perfection.

I’m not saying the current Obama plan is perfect. It’s far from it. But this has to start somewhere, and it has to start now.

Fight the power.

PS: This, courtesy of Mike Lewis, is brilliant:

9 thoughts on “Why you remain unrepresented”

  1. Watching that video what struck me wasn’t directly related to health care in this country, it was the staggering need for serious campaign finance reform.

  2. you have some anger and hate issues to deal with. You are obviosly a very talented writer, but are very blind and not inclusive to other points of view.

  3. Six months ago I probably wouldn’t have had an opinion on this. But, in February I was diagnosed with Cancer.

    Fortunately, I have insurance.

    But, since February I have spent a lot of time in hospitals and clinics, and I mean a LOT of time.

    I have talked in waiting rooms with people who are without insurance or are underinsured.

    It’s amazing how different our treatment plans are.

    Could you imagine making the decision between the recommended protocols for your disease or the treatment you could afford?

    The funny thing is, I wasn’t talking to unemployed, government supported citizens. One, a self-employed plumber and long-time volunteer in my community.

    Another, a single mother with a child stricken by the disease. The mother worked part-time at Wal Mart. The child is too sick for her to work full time. The father…apparently he’s a no good SOB that left the family a few years ago for a hot blonde.

    The mother is on welfare, but has run into many obstacles to get the child the necessary care.

    I’ve heard many people talk about why “socialized” health care is a bad idea, and typically it’s racially motivated (or at least stereotyped).

    “Why should I pay for ‘their’ health care when they collect welfare, drive a Cadillac and smoke crack all day?”

    People really can be stupid.

  4. I wrote a blog about exactly this a few days ago.

    I swear I’m not just trying to plug my blog on here–I wanted to contribute to the conversation, and this is my lazy way of doing so instead of typing everything out.

    http://brandonsneed.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/health-care-and-its-rising-taxes/

    The blog is, in a nutshell: the responsible people in the world shouldn’t have to pay for the irresponsible. There are a lot of variables off of that. But when it really comes down to it, life is about priorities. Health insurance either can be a priority or can’t be.

    Now, I’m young. I just got married. Maybe my opinion will change in 10 years. But I do know that me and the wife, at 22, have been responsible enough to pay for our own health insurance while friends of ours 5, 6, 7 years older have not. It’s not that we judge them–heck no, nothing like that.

    It’s just that they made decisions that were detrimental to their ability to finance things in life like health insurance.

  5. Brandon:

    I didn’t read your blog, and I’m not going to. I garnered enough from this sentence:

    “It’s just that they made decisions that were detrimental to their ability to finance things in life like health insurance.”

    You know what, rich or poor, there are people that lie, cheat and steal.

    What’s worse, the multi-millionaire that defrauds the government on his taxes (maybe in the millions of dollars-range) or the lazy-ass who chooses to collect welfare instead of work?

    What costs the government more?

    Look at the government bailouts…we’re using tax dollars to fix the mistakes of the ultra-rich, who by the way got their bonuses, yet we want to complain about the people collecting $12K a year on welfare?

    People like you need to wake the F*** up.

    White collar crime costs us taxpayers more than any social program ever will, but nobody says a damn word about it. It’s always the welfare people we hear about…and most of it is simply displaced racism.

  6. I happen to have a lot of friends/quasi-family from the UK and a few from Canada, where as you know, they have single-payer systems and have had for decades (the dreaded “socialized medicine”). Educated, middle-class people, not on welfare. They all think we’re barbarians on this issue. That in a country as wealthy as the US (or the UK or any first-world, western nation) health care can be and should be a basic right.

  7. The biggest issue about government single-payer insurance versus for-profit insurance is the so- called “bureaucratic decision making” associated with government. The for-profit insurance lobby and its adherents’ mantra is “do you want a government bureaucrat making your health decisions?” Well, what they fail to tell you is that private insurance bureaucrats make those SAME decisions everyday of YOUR life. The question private-insurance stooges have to ask themselves is: When a bureaucrat is making a decision about your health care, would you rather he or she work for a profit or non-profit company? I’d rather have the latter.

  8. “Too many of our people simply go without coverage, while other countries (Canada, Cuba, Malta, etc) use a government program to perfection.”

    Really? You really want to with perfection? Sorry but that’s either a lie or idiotically naive. You want to argue it’s better, fine. But so long as there’s disease, injury and aging there is no such thing as perfect when we’re talking healthcare.

    This false dichotomy of characterizing everyone against HR 3200 as against healthcare reform is plainly dishonest. It reeks of the “If you’re not for us, your against us” crap that the Bush admin pulled. Find me one person protesting HR 3200 who is against all reform. The system needs reform – no question. Many of the problems can be fixed on their own without an all encompassing, thousand page ambiguous bill. HIPAA made it illegal to disqualify for pre-existing conditions in many cases for about 150 million people on employer plans. That protection can be expanded to everyone fairly easily. While we’re at it, pretty much everyone is in favor of separating healthcare from employment. That would pass easily. Targetted reforms that stand on their own merits could deal with a ton of the problems. But then you don’t get to add the increased power to Washington of an enormous entitlement and trillions of dollars in taxes.

    And I’m sorry but Olbermann is just such a self-important tool he’s really tough to listen to. But it’s good that every Republican is owned by healtchare/pharma and/or hospitals (WTF, hospitals?) but there are Democrats who can take money from same and not be beholden to them. Sure.

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