Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Healthcare Reform - One More Time

I had the opportunity to dine with friends last week. And as we were traveling to dinner, it became clear that we are on opposite sides of the current health care reform issue.

Fortunately, not a problem. They were gentle with me.

What a great country, and what great friends. We can disagree about a very important issue and still be friends.

And I obtained some clarity on some of the real health care issues facing many people and why the current healthcare reform bill--while imperfect, is necessary.

It is a first step to guaranteeing all Americans some form of healthcare access. And that is definitely a good thing. I live in a somewhat insular world when it comes to some issues and I got so focused on what is wrong with this legislation that I overlooked the obvious intended benefit.

I was so in tune with larger constitutional and states rights issues, that I missed the idea that the bill will actually be helping people who need help. What a concept.

I was able to watch some of "Meet the Press" on Sunday and witnessed a lively debate between Senators Graham and Schumer.

Senator Schumer pointed out:

"The positives are going to start weighing in. Senior citizens will get much better opportunities to buy prescription drugs, which we know they care about. Small businesses will get tax breaks so they'll be either able to cover their employees--many small business people want to but can't afford it--or keep the coverage if they have it already. People will be less likely to be--have their insurance policies canceled when they get sick. That's a big thing to people."

And I hope so--I am still worried about the cost, the erosion of personal freedom, the increase of taxes necessary to maintain this bottom heavy giant, and the federal mandates directed at the states without funding to support them--which will be another tax bite.

Senator Graham later spoke to some of my fears during the show:

"You spend Medicare money twice. You take $570 billion out of Medicare to pay for the healthcare bill, then you're using that same $570 to say it lowers the growth of Medicare over time. It's a giant Ponzi scheme. You create a new entitlement called the Class Act where you sell long-term health insurance to the public. You take the premiums and you don't keep them in the system, you pay for this healthcare bill. Where does the money come from when they need the health care? So it's a house of cards. It is a Ponzi scheme of the first order. It's going to blow up the deficit. It's going to affect every business, every family in this country."

During the Reagan administration they called it "Voodoo" economics.

So, let's roll out the increased access and the guaranteed coverage and the good aspects and trim the fat a bit and maybe we have something workable here for the millions of people in this country who do not have the access to healthcare that everyone should have.

Thanks guys--for getting me to look at this again and see the good start which with a bit of tweaking and a tad of reform can do something really good for many many people.

1 comment:

Bob Doan said...

By the way--I know I'm a rotten political commentator--I am too opinionated. Sorry to all who are offended.

My Zimbio
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