I intend this to be my last post on health care reform. One reason is the battle is drawing to a close in the Congress and I need to admit that my view point of this bad bill has lost out in the debate. I also want to express my disappointment not only in the Congress but also in President Obama. I guess the kool-aid has left my system for good.
Occasionally I post things on the website Daily Kos. The debate there has been pretty nasty as I mention in the beginning of the text. Here is my recent entry with some additions made after posting it there:
I’ve been caught up in the current policy debate over the Senate version of the health care reform bill. The arguments have been nasty on both sides throwing around words like denialists, stupid, moron, kool-aid drinker and so on. And there has been some good discussions over the points in the bill between Kos, Dr. Dean, and David Axlrod among others who take these things seriously. Unfortunately the debate has been missing the forest for the trees.
On the Daily Kos it seems that those who support the bill have the means to come up with the numbers to recommend crappy diaries that support their position or whine about others who don’t agree with them. And by crappy diaries I mean ones that don’t offer any debate on the merits of the policy but either resort to name calling or appeals to emotions. People know the bill sucks. Even the “villagers” support it – that should be a red flag.
Truth be told both versions of the bills are a change of the status quo. They change the status quo in that they both do something to the current system.
The difference is can you support such a huge give away to the corporate interests just so you can say “We won health care reform…” It seems many can. I can’t support it for that reason.
A few more reasons specifically why I can’t support the Senate bill and probably won’t support the final bill if it is close to the Senate version include:
1. The Gay Tax – it seems there is language slipped in that taxes the health benefits provided to employees’ same-sex spouses or partners. Yes even though it is legal to have domestic partner benefits, the Senate has decided to tax it as a punishment.
2. The abortion language – we have a “choice” between not allowing private plans participating in the exchanges from covering abortion at all to allowing it if the woman pays extra out of pocket. So abortion is legal but the Senate decided to punish women who need to have them.
3. In an interview on Tuesday President Obama claims he never campaigned for a public option for health care reform. Not only did he campaign for a public option he also campaigned against the kind of mandate that he now says is important in the current bill. There is text and video evidence.
See also this article.
Those on the left who emotionally argue that the bill will be a great victory for President Obama are ignoring the truth. Yes it will change the status quo but getting anything because it is “better than nothing” is a wimpy cop out especially when Democrats supposedly had a majority in the Congress and controlled the White House.
4. The Senate bill is a big wet kiss to the insurance industry. Forcing millions to buy from private plans is a windfall of epic proportions.
Back during the 2000 elections, Ralph Nader, running for the Green Party and darling of the left, said he was running as a 3rd party candidate because Republicans and Democrats were not that different. Both were bought and sold by the corporate interests in this country. The bank bail outs and now the health care reform debate puts the truth in Nader’s words. It also seems the stock market agrees.
I wish I had a billion dollars sitting around and then maybe I could’ve gotten a bill that helps the most people rather than one that preserves the monopoly of the private insurance industry.
Supporters of the bill have said “we’ll fix it in conference” or “we’ll fix it in another bill” but since this go round was such a hassle and in the end a big sell out and based on the history of this Congress – remember the FISA fight – I highly doubt we will see anything better or fixed once the Senate bill is passed as the final version or worse the bill is watered down even more and the anti-choice language is left in.
Sure the status quo will be changed but can we really afford the price it will cost the people it is suppose to help?
What frustrates me the most is I don’t see people acknowledging that the bill under consideration is bad policy and if the abortion language is taken out I’m afraid we are going to be back right at square one. Senator Reid might have to dump another load cash on Nebraska or to others if the abortion language stays in.
In full disclosure I do not have health insurance right now so one would think I would want any bill – I don’t. I want a good one instead. I’d rather fight this issue once rather than have to fight it each time we need to “fix” what is bad in this bill.