Today the House officially released their Health Care Bill. Frankly I do not have the time to read the full bill since it is 1990 pages long, but I did have time to read the official summery that all of us have access to. The summery is only 4 pages long. I have placed links to these at the end of this post. Upon hearing that the Official House Bill was released I have to admit I was skeptical. This is not the type of reform that I would have preferred. I am a supporter of Single-Payer Health Insurance. Single-Payer is when there is only one health insurance company which is sponsored by the Government. It is commonly called Medicare for everyone. Just like Medicare it keeps the doctors and hospitals private just like they are now, nothing changes, no socialized health care. (Socialized Health Care is when everyone who works in the health care system is employed by the government. Nothing like this has ever been proposed by any bill in this country.) Just like Medicare it allows everyone to choose any doctor they want, no matter where the doctor is located. It eliminates pre-existing conditions, caps on coverage, and cancelation of coverage due to getting sick or losing a job. No one would ever go bankrupt because they can’t afford their mortgage due to medical bills, and businesses would not lose profits due to high insurance premiums for their employees. It is Guaranteed Health Insurance coverage from birth to death whether you are employed or not. But why won’t this happen here. One reason, it would put the health insurance companies out of business, and that is way too big of a change for most of this county and way too risky for politicians who want to get re-elected next term. But the question I have is why aren’t there riots in the street over the practices of these insurance companies, people with torches marching towards the homes of insurance executives who have denied everything from cancer treatments to coverage for rape victims. Why do we need companies in business that cancel our coverage when it is costing them too much, deny coverage if they determine that a pre-existing condition isn’t in their best financial interest, exponentially raise rates to the point that some Americans can no longer afford their coverage, where business have to drop coverage or limit what is covered in order to be able to provide coverage to their employees, all of this while salaries of the top executives at these insurance companies have skyrocketed over the last 10 years. The one thing that has been undeniable by almost everyone on both sides of the playing field is that reform is necessary. We can’t go on like this. How any Senator of representative of Congress could justify not being for some kind of major reform, regardless of what party they are part of, is beyond me. How many stories of suffering at the hands of insurance companies do they have to hear? How many people have to die because of no health insurance? How many families have to lose their homes because they can’t afford their medical bills before they are going to simply do what is best for all Americans, and stop putting their self-interests first?
But for the ones that understand that reform must happen, the debate has been over what form the reform should be. So here we are today with the announcement that the official bill from the house has been released. It is not a bill for Single –Payer Health Insurance, but I did not expect it to be. It is basically what was expected, a major health reform bill that includes the next best thing we could hope for, a Public Option. And after reading the summaries about this bill, I have to admit, it’s a good bill, not perfect, but good. It does what it should do and accomplishes the goals laid out by President Obama. I’m not going to go into what those goals were or the details of this bill. If you want to know that you can read it yourself, but what I will say is that the insurance companies should be jumping for joy, why? Because they dodged a bullet big time. They got lucky and I don’t think they really appreciate it. You see this could have gone a whole other way for them. If the cards fell differently they could have ended up with a bill that presented America with a Single Payer Health Insurance solution, and these giant insurance companies would have been out of business. Instead they have been allowed to keep their jobs, their profits, they’ve been given the opportunity to insure more Americans, and given the opportunity to truly serve their customers instead of what they have been doing which is treat them like dogs. This industry has no shame and now they are going to be held accountable and it is about time. These companies have been handed a new lease on life. It’s the equivalent of giving Charles Manson probation for life and an ankle monitoring bracelet for committing murder instead of life in prison. The only difference is that Manson killed less people. This is just the beginning. We have a long way to go before this is passed and becomes law. Whatever is passed will have its critics. But in the end they will be silenced because they will see the benefits health insurance reform will have for this country and for their lives. Yea, I’m talking to you Joe Lieberman.