WARNING: The United States Senate's version of health reform may have serious side effects on our health care system, including:
" Failure to provide universal coverage for all uninsured Americans
" Creation of state-controlled "health insurance exchanges" that promote no actual competition between private, for-profit health insurance companies in those exchanges
" No enforceable oversight or penalty system to prevent for-profit health insurance industry pricing/policy collusion on the new "exchanges"
" Imposition of $750/$2,250 or 2% of income - whichever is greater - tax surcharges on uninsured individuals/families who don't buy coverage from private, for-profit insurers
" Allowance for 300% higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions, like old age
" Funding by 40% excise tax on high-end health insurance plans, and new taxes on Medicare recipients with income over $200,000, instead of across the board tax hikes on the very wealthiest Americans
" Failure to institute enforceable cost-controls for the health care industry as a whole
" No reform of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan giveaway to Big Pharmaceuticals
" No allowance for cost control through low-cost prescription drug purchases from Canada
" Failure to limit premiums that for-profit health insurance companies can charge
Allowance for states to opt out of including plans in new "exchanges" that offer women abortion coverage, and requirement that any woman with abortion coverage write two separate premium checks -- one for abortion coverage and one
PRESCRIPTION: Do not stop working, harder than ever in fact, to push the Democratic Party closer toward its Populist Progressive salvation and farther away from its compromising corporate doom. Do not, not quite yet anyway, go to the ER of the Green Party. Take a dose of electoral reality, and take a minute after the holidays to get everyone you know to call their Congressional reps and demand real insurance industry competition through the U.S. House Public Option Plan, and socially just funding through higher taxes on the richest of the rich - Senate filibuster be damned - BUT FIRST, HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY!!!