This is an article my mom wrote 🙂 I love her!!!
THIS IS CRAZY
Health Care in America is in crisis. And I believe that in any crisis, you can count on a dedicated group of people willing to step forward and take charge.
These people are often insane. Dedicated people called Social Security a communist plot in the 1930s. Dedicated people called Medicare a communist plot in 1965. And surprise! Dedicated people are calling public protections for health care a communist plot in 2009.
They are dedicated market apostles. Privatization is their religion, and they only have one hymn: Public protections are a sin. Private profit is salvation. There are not many market apostles because their theology (Blessed are the profits of the insurance industry) is so absurd. They can only rouse the common multitudes to fight something that would benefit the common multitudes, by filling their apostle-owned airwaves with unholy lies.
They have an audience. A sizeable minority of Americans did not vote for Barack Obama. Some of them were the ones who filled stadiums shouting that candidate Obama was 1. a terrorist; 2. a foreigner; 3. a Non-Christian; 4. a traitor; 5. a reader of Marx and Harry Potter.
Those folks didn’t go away after the election. Hating Obama is a pre-existing condition for them. They willingly bite into every poison apple and swallow every lie the apostles dish out.
Town Hall Q. How can you support the Nazi plan of health care?
Town Hall A. Say what?
Not a Q. Obama is a Nazi, so his plan is a Nazi health care plan. Like his death panels.
Sincere A: There are no death panels in any version of the bill.
Rhetorical Q: How do you know? Do you read all 1,000 pages?
Sincere A: Yes. I did.
Pretend Debate: Did not.
More Debate: Did too
Final substantive Q: Oh yeah? Well, did I mention Obama’s a Nazi.
I’m not saying that future generations won’t get a big kick out of the whole town hall thing someday (I’m thinking a musical with lyrics taken from actual transcripts of Barney Frank’s meeting), but let’s be party poopers and send in some adult supervision.
I represent millions of teachers and school support staff with pretty good health insurance. So why do we care? From an altruistic point of view, a lot of our students and their families don’t have access to quality health care. A lot of folks in our own families don’t.
But there’s the self-interest side. Our insurance is pretty good. But not as good as it was ten years ago. And in ten years, it won’t be as good as it is today. It can’t be. What we have is not sustainable. Paychecks are smaller so that employers can keep paying bloated premiums to private insurance companies that spend 30 cents out of every dollar on a bureaucracy to avoid, deny and delay claims.
It’s not sustainable when too often, people with insurance find out what isn’t covered only when they try to use it. It’s not sustainable when people who have diligently paid premiums for years are cancelled when they discover they have breast cancer and the insurance company claims they neglected to report an unrelated but previously-existing hangnail.
Folks with insurance find out they can’t get insurance if they change jobs. One woman can’t get insurance because she’s young enough to get pregnant. Another because she’s old enough to need hormone therapy. Women are routinely charged 50% more than men for individual insurance premiums, and it’s perfectly legal.
The system (if you can call it that) of private insurance will continually shrink down to those least likely to use it, but the costs for those will mean sharp spikes as risk pools evaporate. It can go on like this for years, I suppose. But it will crash in the end.
Medical bankruptcies will impact more families and local economies. Wages will stagnate as more of our wealth is shoveled into the bureaucratic abyss of insurance companies.
We will end up, finally, with the motivation that allowed Medicare to pass. Apostles hated Medicare. But in 1965, they couldn’t rally masses with scares of Dr. Stalin. Why? First, private insurance companies didn’t want seniors’ business. Seniors tend to have bad hearts and bad eyes and bad hip joints. They are profit buzz-killers in health care, so the industry was not motivated to fund the massive misinformation campaigns we’re seeing funded today.
The motivated folks were the seniors who were in tears at being turned down by health insurance companies as a bad risk and who knew they would eventually become a burden on their families.
The motivated folks were the adult kids of seniors who were putting kids through college just as Ma and Pa were becoming borderline diabetics with no way to pay for doctor visits. The 50-somethings were desperate to help their parents or risk their own financial security.
The motivated folks were the hospitals that were often left with expensive end-of-life treatments and no one to pay the bill.
The apostles screamed ‘Communists!’ and motivated folks told them to sit down and shut up. People wanted a public option called Medicare. Without it, my mother would have lost her life’s savings when my father died from brain cancer last year.
I have a bias. I believe the health insurance industry has abused its position, putting profits before patients. I want an alternative to them. I want a public option for my family like my father had in Medicare. For those who trust the guys running our current system into the ground, fine. Choices are in the Obama plan.
Insurance protection for those whom the industry has rejected is in the Obama plan. Clear coverage without nasty surprises when you make a claim is in the Obama plan. An end to the game of pre-existing conditions is in the Obama plan. Retention of private choices of doctors and private choices of clinics and hospitals is in the Obama Plan.
I don’t want to wait until this non-system of ours crashes. I know that anyone who stands up with the truth will be called a Nazi; a communist; a death panelist who wants to pull the plug on grandma. But the brave truth will set us free. It will take brave men and women to stand up to the apostles and their distortion machine. Now is the time for us to be heard. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We must become that dedicated group of people willing to step forward and lead our great country out of this insanity.