Circus Giganticus

A Slanted Look at our Twisted World

Circus Giganticus header image 2

Health Reform Bill: Here’s the Explanation

December 24th, 2009 · No Comments · Politics

People are getting tense over talk about the Senate Health bill. They are finally clueing in to the reality that it’s going to be mandatory insurance and that they are going to have to pay for it. People are cash strapped and fearful of an expense they cannot manage. People also know insurance companies are dishonest cheats that are politically connected and act as monopolistic predators. So people have put two and two together and realized they are going to have pay insurance premiums to insurance companies and that is what the Senate bill means by health care reform. Like I say, people are nervous. But what is really up with the Senate health bill? Pat Waak, chair of the Colorado Democratic Party, endeavored to explain it to me in a recent opinion piece.

Democratic mouthpiece Pat Waak offers her bona fides that we are in good hands. “Health care is the issue that brought me into politics, so I have written, educated, campaigned and used every tool to listen to the public and in turn fight for major health care reform. By the time you read this we will be so close to achieving one of the most important and historic advancements in social and economic policy in the country’s history.” The majority of Americans want single-payer, government-sponsored health care. Americans want Medicare for all. Pat Waak and her party know this, they are quite familiar with the polls.

And if she is the Democrat she paints herself to be, she would be championing single-payer, government run health care which has been the central policy plank of Democratic voters since Harry Truman. Well not so fast.

“And despite the fact the fact that large majority of Americans want health care reform, they still do not understand what is in the bill. So here are some points to remember,” Pat Waak informs us. Let’s stop right there. The bill is 2000 pages long. That suggest two things: there is a lot of lobbyist written chicanery in there, and also, maybe Americans’ confusion over the bill is because Democrats are deliberately dissembling about hidden specifics within the bill and how they will affect paycheck Americans. Maybe this is because Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama already cut a deal with big insurance and the Senate bill is just the paperwork? A whole hell of lot of bad business can be buried in 2000 pages. But let’s not jump to those conclusions but instead give Pat Waak her turn.

“The health reform bill in the Senate will extend coverage to 31 million Americans. Although it is not universal care, it makes a serious dent in those who are uninsured.” What does this mean? Seriously, what the hell does this mean?” Coverage? Does this mean premiums? Take my wife for example. She stays home to care for our autistic son. She does not and cannot work. She’s already delinquent on her student loans. Is she going to be hit with  mandatory insurance premiums to get “coverage”? Hello? Show me the money! And what does “…it is not universal care” mean? This is not starting out well if the point is to allay my fears and help me  “understand what is in the bill.”

Next we get this: “The bill represents the largest single expansion of Medicaid since its inception. Working Americans struggling to make ends meet are going to be able to access health care coverage for the first time in their lives.” Think about that “…working Americans struggling to make ends meet.”  How many tens of millions of Americans meet that definition?  If there is a large scale need to expand Medicaid isn’t that statement itself  argument for government sponsored insurance for all. Vague terms like “Americans struggling to make ends meet” could literally mean any American family making under $80,000 a year. I’m not feeling better informed here at all. In fact, I’m feeling nervous.

“The bill put an end to some of the insurance industry’s worst and most abusive practices.” Please! We are so deep into bullshit territory here it is as though Pat Waak is treating us like mental defectives. The only way to stop the insurance industry’s worst and most abusive practices is to remove them from the health care picture altogether. It is through their worst and most abusive practices that they make  their biggest profits and they don’t own Democratic politicians to just give up that revenue stream. Every American can tell you that! And isn’t it telling that Pat Waak does not identify for the reader just what government regulatory agency is going to be magically empowered to stop the insurance industry’s worst and most abusive practices? The only thing I infer from this is that the insurance industry is deeply and favorably represented in this Senate bill.

“The bill is going to create health insurance exchanges. An exchange allows consumers to have control over their health coverage and decide what type of insurance works for them.” No it doesn’t. I want what I can afford. I want government sponsored single payer insurance with no premiums and very affordable co-pays for my entire family. I want Medicare. That sure as hell won’t be offered on any exchange so real choice is non-existent. Insurance industry policies will be all I’m offered. Some choice. Also, I’m told, “The bill is going to lower premiums for families The Senate bill could lower premiums for the overall population by 8.4%” So what if this mandatory insurance we will all be forced to purchase costs $10, 000 a family. What if you can’t even begin to afford that? Won’t that $70  in monthly savings make you vote the Democratic Party for years to come? And remember one other thing: every time the Democrats talk about insurance prices they talk about prices being affordable for “subsidized enrollees.” Great! But who the hell qualifies? What’s the salary cap? How much will the subsidy be? How will it work?

Pat Waak continues enumerating the wonderful virtues the Senate health bill will offer small business. I know small business owners. They can’t afford to offer any type of insurance to any employee at any cost. Solution: Medicare for all. The bill will improve Medicare. The bill will lower the deficit. The bill will blah blah blah blah. At no time does Pat Waak tell the reader what the financial costs and legal consequences of noncompliance will be. What if millions of Americans who don’t qualify to become “subsidized enrollees” must choose between the car payment and high deductible mandatory insurance? Or the student loan? Or the credit card bill? Or the mortgage? Or food? Or utilities?

Now, do you feel better informed and less nervous about how this Senate health bill will affect you and how much it might cost you? Do you feel confident that your health care needs will be better served in the future? Do you feel this bill will force insurance companies to actually provide medical care to those who pay premiums with no denials or limitations or compromises in actual care? No you don’t and neither do I. When the Democrats send out trained public relations flacks like Pat Waak to sell this snake oil to us and this is the best she can do, be nervous. Be very nervous.

Tags: ·····

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment