So the health care “debate” is coming down to the wire, or so it would seem. President Obama is expected to give a strong speech tomorrow on the importance of health care reform. There has been talk and speculation that he is no longer steadfast in his conviction for there to be a public option. I, for one, hope that isn’t the case, but what I really hope is that the US gets a single payer, government run health insurance plan. It is not that I am for big government; it’s that I trust the government more than private industries on things like protecting the citizenry from fires (fire fighters) crime (police forces) and making sure that everyone has a fair shake at medical procedures that they need. Why? you ask. Well because the government is not generally in things for the money. Sure, members of the government contract out to friends (BushCo, anyone?) but the government itself is not in the business of adhering to the bottom line. If motivation to make money off of unfortunate souls who get sick can be abolished then America might actually have a chance at becoming a healthier and more cared for country.
See the thing is that with a single payer (the government) option, doctors would still practice privately. They would still have their patients and they would still perform their duties. The government would not be taking over treatment, but rather ensuring that those who need help get it, and without having to mortgage their (and their childrens’) future. Take away money as a motivating factor and research firms might actually start working on bona fide cures to diseases rather than simple treatments. After all, if you cure somebody of cancer or diabetes you will no longer get the money they would have spent on drugs and other treatments. However, if cash was not the driving force, things might change in how diseases and research are treated. There is no guarantee to be sure, but one thing that is guaranteed is that our current system is not working. People are going bankrupt (and some are dying) due to lack of health insurance. It is time for the government to hear what the majority of the American people want and give us a single payer/public option.
Sure, it will be difficult for the administration to get a single payer system, especially considering how much wavering the Democrats have been doing in their quest for bi-partisanship and to look good to their constituents, but it is not impossible. One thing the Obama administration needs to do, though, is stop trying to work with others on this issue. I understand the appeal of working together and finding a common ground (I have advocated that very thing several times during this so called debate) but when members of the opposition say things like: “It doesn’t matter how much compromise is made on the bill, we still aren’t going to vote for it,” and “even if something passes, when we next control the legislature we will revoke it,” then it is time to stop talking with them. Most opponents to health care reform have shown themselves to be unreasonable and unmoving. Where is the advantage in trying to talk to someone like that? Obama is a smart man, and he should be able to recognize that talking to his opponents is like talking to a wall. No matter how much he talks, begs, pleads and compromises the opposition (like the wall) is not listening. It is time for him to accept that and just push the plan that he thinks is best for the American people. If he did that, all this talk about Republicans gaining seats in the 2010 elections and Obama being a single term president would go away as he would have proven to his supporters that he can
A: get things done
B: keep promises he made on the campaign trail
I respect that Obama wants to include everyone in the debate, but sometimes that just is not possible, especially when the other side refuses to use or see any kind of reason. It is time for Obama to step up and take action.
On a matter related to health care, I found this article on Yahoo! News and it scares me. Basically it states that health insurance may become mandatory (much like auto insurance) and that steep fines could be imposed for not having insurance. See, this is not cool. I understand the necessity of compulsory insurance for automobiles (driving and owning a car is optional) what with the dangers involved and all, but health insurance should not be mandatory, unless it is provided by the government. Living is not really an optional thing. Sure, we can always check ourselves out, but it is not like we choose to be born.
The article is unclear as to who is proposing this preposterous idea, but the source does not really matter. What does matter is that people should not be punished more than they already are for not having health insurance (and if you don’t think they are punished now just go talk to some people without insurance who have had to visit the ER to insure that they are treated for whatever medical problem they had to send them to the hospital).
The simplest solution is for the government to reform health care, and provide it to its citizenry. Sure, taxes might go up a bit, but I do not think overall income would be affected because instead of paying a private insurance company (one that could, if it wanted, raise premiums and deductibles and co-pays for any or no reason) for insurance, that money would go to the government. It would be a shifting of income, not necessarily a loss of income.