When docs prescribe a placebo, they expect the gullible patient to believe it will work and that the symptoms will go away, especially if the symptoms have been psychologically caused or exacerbated. The problem is, Americans are struggling, going bankrupt, even dying because of our failed health care (really illness care) system. Placebos don't work when there is real illness, yet it seems that is what the house of representatives has offered in its first draft of legislation.
A first look at the house of Representatives plans for health reform suggests that they are not offering substantive health reform. Sure, they are offering a few fixes that should have been made a long time ago, like ending "existing illness" insurance exemptions or surcharges, and recision-- where insurers take subscribers money for years, knowing there's been a flaw in the agreement, then, when the bills get big, during an illness, they throw the subscriber, who's often paid thousands into the plan, out.
But those are easy fixes that should have been dealt with long ago. They are not the big reforms that the nation desperately needs to adequately care for all Americans and to compete in a global economy where all other major nations offer universal single payer health care to all citizens, taking the costs off of their industries, making them far more competitive than struggling US industries.
Those easy fixes don't help the 600,000+ people, WITH insurance, who go bankrupt each year-- about 1400 constituents per congressional district, on average.
Those fixes won't help the very conservatively estimated 20,000 people who die every year for lack of healthcare-- about 50 constituents per congressional district. That's 50 people who died because their legislator sold out to health insurer or big pharma lobbyists, or lobbyists for the orgs that benefit from the current system by selling insurance, like the chambers of commerce, AARP, some unions that only have health care benefits to offer union members...
So now, we're starting to see what the house of representatives is going to offer we the people. And it flat out sucks. For starters, the public option doesn't go into effect until 2013. That's right. It's like one of those balloon mortgages... if you believe that it will actually happen. Frankly, if the bill, as currently written, is signed by Obama, he won't deserve to be re-elected and Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney or whatever right wing extremist replaces him will surely stop the public option from going into effect.
Seriously, do the house dems who have proposed this insulting, despicable piece of legislation really think this will fly? It is a gesture, a symbolic gift to the lobbyists. They do that, you know. They will fly a bill that they have no intention of ever passing, just to please some lobby group that contributed to a or many campaigns. I figure they'll give this gift to the lobbyists if we let them, or, if we push back, they'll consider their first draft as an initial negotiating offer. Reminds me of when I was in Tangier, Morocco, where I went into a rug store and was given a price of $200 for a small rug. I replied w ith an offer of $2.00. We dickered back and forth and I ended up buying it for $10.00. The House has put out their first, insanely, outrageously bad offer. We have to come back with an offer that drives them to settle on something far more reasonable.
We're talking about a legislating a solution to a cancerous affliction upon the American people and American industry-- a healthcare oligopoly with faux non-profits and a small, powerful group of for-profits that are sucking the lifeblood out of the economy, corrupting our politics and corrupting the long noble practice of healing.
But wait. It gets worse. The senate hasn't weighed in yet. The senate ALWAYS takes a more conservative bent than the house, so expect the senate to reconcile the house bill to something even worse, unless... Unless you and I and a hell of a lot more Americans scream our bloody heads off (bloody is a Brit or Canadian term-- you know, countries with real health care for all.)
And we need to do it right away. You need to go to the office of your congressional rep with a few hundred people and tell him to stuff that four year wait-- any wait of more than six months-- up where the sun doesn't shine. You need to drag the people from your church, mosque or synagogue, every activist group you are connected to, and go stand with signs, shouting at your congressperson, telling him or her what nerve he/she has even suggestin there be such a wait. Because if they don't geta clear message that it's not good enough, you, my friend, will be royally screwed. And don't expect help from some of those big-mouthed voices in the middle, like HCAN, which likes this despicable bill and is paying its workers to sell this.
Throughout history, there have been sellouts and cowards and then there have been co-opters-- people who are the next thing to total sellouts. Co-opters try to talk people into settling for too little, for marginal, inadequate reforms or change. Even Obama is talking now about providing healthcare for all. But the Public option plan supporters all say the same gutless thing-- settle for this lousy bone or don't expect to get anything. Of course, if all those co-opters-- those big, faux progressive organizations, like Moveon, Acorn and some of the biggest unions which sold out for the public option, had actually held tough for single payer, the Dems, in total control now of the house and senate, would have been forced to do the right thing. And have no doubt, the right thing for America is absolutely Universal single payer. It's right for individuals, right for the budget, right for American industry and the economy.
Because let's face it. The reforms, the health care revisions and plans currently on the table are there because our elected legislators have sold out to Healthcare Insurer/Pharmaceutical complex and their enablers. These plans-- the full, though short range of the vision for these plans-- do not do the job American citizens and industry deserve. Now is the time that there is an opportunity to make the big leap, to literally kill the for profit and pseudo non-profit Big Blue health care industry-- to virtually dump the dinosaur in the ashcan of history, where buggy whips, horse carriages, slavery, torture (oops, not so fast on that one) child labor, sweat shops and feudalism have all gone. It is time we respond to this slap in the face the house of representatives has presented us with and demand the real thing-- universal health care for all AND the end to an industry that is a huge threat to America.
I've repeated myself a bit here. It's time we all get out in the streets, literally, and shout from the rooftops, repeating, "we want real health care reform. We Want Universal health care for every American." And we need to repeat it loudly, with enough of our neighbors so every legislator, in both parties hears it. And we need to start doing it today.