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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healthcare - my humble position.

"Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got them."

Democrats saying Republicans are just being difficult. Republicans calling Democrats Nazis and Socialist for wanting to the the little guy just a bit more power with health insurance companies.

I'm stunned over the misinformation from both sides on this issue. We have the extreme right talking about coverage for "illegals", "death panels" and "rationing" of health care. We have the extreme left trying to sound like this is an instant fix for all of society's woes.

Real health care reform, if by health care, we mean health insurance, not the actual care, would need to be much bolder. Like making health insurance compete like other industries do. Health insurance companies are exempt from antitrust laws, and redlining, as well as price fixing is perfectly fine in their industry. Take those luxuries away, and those motivated by profit will have to work harder for the consumer - better pricing and benefits - to get the consumer's money.

The bill is a very small step in the right direction. It addresses some things that have to be fixed before much else gets done, and sets precedent for more citizen-favorable legislation. No pre-existing condition clause, and no cap on care. AWESOME. People won't be afraid to get preventative care and drive the expenses down, along with overall cost.

The bill specifically excludes people in this country illegally. Saying otherwise gets people angry, but it is an outright falsehood and unproductive argument.

The "penalty" of $625 a year if you don't get insurance is to offset the fact people who don't get insurance by far have more emergency room visits because they wait too long because they don't have health insurance. If one can't afford reasonable premiums, how can they afford hundreds if not thousands in unanticipated medical bills? A lot of this doesn't get paid, and goes back to the taxpayer. Not having coverage costs more tax money, so it makes sense. Guess what else? $625 is maximum. It's tiered or even waived outright for people making under $40k.

If starting the process of taking care of human beings properly is in any way what Hitler wanted to do, I really have to re-read history books.

The arguments against that make any sense are 1) cost and 2) it doesn't do enough. Cost is speculative at best, and years of research, not to mention common sense, indicates preventative medicine will lower cost and increase productive quality of life. No bill as the first healthcare change in decades could do everything at once, nor should it. It will take time and patience. The system hopefully will adapt, people can be more productive as we work towards the rest of the changes that are so badly needed.