JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

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: