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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/13/09

How Not to Reform Healthcare

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Most Americans know there is something wrong with our healthcare system, and it needs to be fixed. This past summer, a New York Times poll (6/21/09) found that nearly three-quarters of Americans favored "offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans." That is the kind of plan that Congress should be working toward.

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It couldn't be simpler. If the American people want a healthcare plan like Medicare, why not just include everyone in Medicare? You're born--you're covered. Unfortunately, our government doesn't do anything simple--especially the US Senate. The self-proclaimed World's Greatest Deliberative Body can't just do what the American people want. It has to hold hearings; ask tough questions; get straight answers and then deliberate.

And so it began...

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Since the task was to reform the American healthcare system, the Senate naturally assigned the job to the Senate Finance Committee. I guess that is because the American healthcare system has a lot more to do with money than it does with health. Or maybe it was because committee chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MN) has received more campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical industries than any current Democrat in Congress--thus making him an authority on the subject.

Senator Baucus, knowing that a majority of the American people want a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare, invited witnesses to testify before the Senate Finance Committee from just about every group interested in healthcare--except one: advocates of a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare.

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
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