On Health Care

We’re a few hours away from both the most significant and the most disappointing change in health care since Medicare.

Why is it significant? The following immediate benefits:

  1. The end of annual and lifetime caps on benefits — if you get something expensive to treat like cancer or HIV, you don’t have to worry about what happens when you hit your cap

  2. Immediate help for the uninsured who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions — you know, the ones that the insurance companies won’t help because it’s not profitable. In my world, people are more important than money, and this is long overdue enforcement of that simple principle.
  3. Coverage through age 26 for non-dependent children to get recent college grads through to their first job.
  4. Closing the doughnut hole in Medicare Part D, the $250 hole not covered for seniors.

These are all very good things, and the first two are long, long overdue reforms of customer abuse by insurers.

What’s coming by 2014 is extension of Medicaid to people who legitimately can’t afford health coverage — which, given my current situation, I’d like to see happen right now.

I don’t like the mandated coverage part. That’s shoving people at the insurance companies that are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Considering the high public approval ratings for the program, I support what’s sometimes called “Medicare Part E”: Medicare for Everyone (the idiot telling Rep Bob Inglis, R-SC to “keep your government hands off my Medicare” and then refused all attempts to explain to him that Medicare has always been a government program notwithstanding).

I don’t see a ban on drug companies advertising prescription drugs directly — I’m an extremely intelligent person, and I know I’m unqualified to make prescription decisions for myself. It’s a waste of money that could be used to cut the costs of the drugs themselves.

But, it’s a first good step. It starts us on a path that every other industrialized nation has already been on for decades. We’ll realize some day that health care is a fundamental right, not a privilege of wealth.

It’s also been illustrative of how GOP now stands for Grandstanding, Opposition, and Prevarication. They have offered nothing to the debate other than lies about “death panels” and “rationed care”, and scream bloody murder about even this watered down bill, and then complain that it’s not bipartisan when they failed to offer one single idea along the way other than to scream “NO!”

My attitude? Screw ’em. Cram it down their throats. We’re right, and they’re wrong.

Again.

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