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Thoughts of the day on the Health Care Bill

March 23, 2010

Opinions, it has been said, are like assholes.  Everyone has one, and some of them stink. (This is one of my dad’s more favored sayings!)

However, the truth of this statement has never impeded me from sharing my opinion before, and so, here goes nothing.

I’m scratching my head over the hysteria associated with the health care bill.

The criticism that this bill is somehow going to undo the known universe by virtue of trying to find SOME way to get more people access to health care, seems ridiculous to me. This bill seeks to improve the lives of more Americans, not to tear  the fabric of society – but rather – to reinforce it. You know – healthier Americans and all that.

Two quotes come to mind in reaction to the recent hysteria:

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” – George Bernard Shaw (Thanks MOI!)

And this one: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Uncle Ben Parker, from Spiderman. (Yes – even Marvel Comics seems to get it better than some Americans do!)

We are a civilized nation (in theory), with access to great resources in terms of money and talent, and yet, there is no national compunction to improve the plight of ALL of Americans in our own country – only those who are deemed to deserve it. And of course, those who already know they deserve it (because, you know, they already have access to health care) get to define who gets to deserve it, and it appears that those folks have concluded that they better be just like us.

So while as a nation we feel no compunction to care for our own, we feel  justified to go to other countries to secure our own financial interests enforce human rights as Americans understand them.  (Which from the recent health care fracas leads me to believe that means protecting all unborn fetuses until they are born, at which time, fuck them and their ignorant parents for not being prepared to actually care for them by having enough money or health insurance, why didn’t they have the sense to be born a winner?)

Let’s remember what we are talking about…

Getting more people access to affordable health care.

Is there really anyone out there who thinks this is a bad thing?

With great power comes great responsibility. Does not the USA have a responsibility to our nation to provide reasonable access to affordable health care for all our citizens?  Or doesn’t our great nation actually have the power to do so? Are we not as great as we might think?

I understand the concerns about cost and delivery. I do.  There is no denying that health care costs money.  Health care providers need up to date training, staff, equipment, facilities – access to expensive technologies and resources – all things which require money.

Health care professionals need to be compensated fairly and adequately (note I say adequately, and not limitlessly)  for their education, experience and knowledge. There needs to be room for some financial reward for doctors who are actually dedicated, talented, and proficient.

But let’s face it, if your goal is to make huge amounts of money, you should go work directly with money – not people.  People have a nasty habit of getting in the way of making money, by being, well, inconveniently human, and having rights and stuff.  Besides, making a fortune off the backs of the health woes of others is a rather ugly thing to contemplate.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but the thought that it is likely as human beings that we will all face some health crisis before we die, and someone will benefit financially from our suffering leaves an icky taste in my mouth.

So health care needs to be funded.  What better way to keep funding then by getting more people to access services, and more money rolling into the health care industry through access to insurance?! After all, many people in our country (upon whom some of the wealthiest among us made and continue to make their fortunes) either have no access to health insurance or can’t afford what they have access to – never mind being able to actually pay the full cost should a moment of inconvenient humanity crop up, and they like, get sick or hurt. Having insurance (that actually pays claims, I’ll get back to this in a moment), will get MORE people paid, and leave less bad debts. Right?

If you are confused on what the health care bill ACTUALLY proposes, instead of the hype that the obfuscators on both sides of the issue are hollering, you might want to read here.

Back to insurance.

It needs to be more tightly controlled and NO it can’t police itself.  We don’t let little kids decide between broccoli and candy for dinner on a daily basis, because no matter how good broccoli is for you, candy is OH so tempting. So no, we can’t let the babies mind the candy store.

So while all the decrying of the end of the world is so much nonsense to me, I find the criticism that getting more people this access by providing more insurance, and then not really passing much meat in the legislation which reforms the insurance industry is a problem.  It basically insures an already capricious and self-serving money making industry a new revenue source, without then requiring them to actually provide access to those services by not allowing repetitive unnecessary claim denials, complex referral requirements and other industry tricks of the trade to hold onto the money without providing the service.

Yes…I understand the premise behind insurance is that the idea is to hold on to the money and NOT pay it out, so that the money can continue to make money, and continue funding (although I’m under the impression the more money gets turned into bonuses and such…I could be wrong…) the insured pool.  This is inadequate to the reality of the health care industry as Americans know it.  They need to scrap that model and come up with something new – better accountability and more customer service orientation (otherwise known as PAYING claims) then is currently in place at many private insurers.   It needs to be fixed – this is probably THE most broken piece of the health care wheel next to access.

End of my rant.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. susan s. permalink
    March 23, 2010 3:15 pm

    The fact that “Persons Obsessed With Steeped Beverages”(thanks Padre Mickey) do not understand that when people who do not have insurance go to the emergency room for each and every problem they have, runs up their(POWSBs) Insurance Premiums totally amazes me.

    I like your rant!

  2. March 26, 2010 11:59 am

    Good rant, indeed!

    I continue to be amazed that in this country which is supposed to be the most religious in the Western world seems to have no care for the plight of his fellow citizens. I think it has to do with the fact that we prize individuality so much here that we can quickly go towards an “i got mine, now you get your own” mentality.

    The Huffington Post’s religion section contains a couple of blog posts which talk more about this minset.

    This bill is not perfect by any stretch and contains a great deal of flaws, but the wheels are at least in motion to where it can be tweaked as time goes on IF the Congress can muster up the political gumption to do so.

    However, that will be very very difficult with one side of the aisle given over to fear mongering and especially since corporations now have as much free speech rights as actual people …

  3. March 28, 2010 4:42 pm

    Not too long ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Why should I pay for your health insurance,” and I thought to myself, “I bet that a-hole bills himself as pro-life.”

    That about sums up my thoughts. Wonderful breakdown here on both the lunacy of the criticisms as well as some legitimate concern about the insurance industry (that this bill will not put to rest).

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