By Brian Dann
Today I was listening to the radio when I heard a gentleman from Texas, and by the way I have a feeling this is the first time this person has been called a gentleman, refer to the president as a Marxist because of the “Socialist ObamaCare”. Before I go on let’s point out some indisputable facts. First fact, Marxism, according to Websters dictionary is “the belief that the struggle between social classes is a major force in history and that there should eventually be a society in which there are no classes.” C’mon don’t we all remember when then candidate Obama gave that speech where he said “YES WE CAN…create a society in which there are no classes”?…(long pause…aaaanyway…) Second fact, Socialism is defined by Websters dictionary as, “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.” Now remind me again, what were the names of all the insurance companies that the government bought and took over to create the Socialist ObamaCare? OHHHHHHH, that’s right, none of them. In fact, if I remember correctly, President Obama wouldn’t even support a government run insurance plan, like Medicare for example, as one of the options or as it was known a “Public Option”. Every option available under the Affordable Care Act is from a privately owned company. You cannot even choose one that is government run because it does not exist. President Obama when proposing the ACA refused to even consider a public option. Doesn’t sound too Socialist or Marxist now does it? Third fact, no matter how many times some “journalist” on FOX “News” or some idiot who listens to nothing but FOX “News” wants to call ObamaCare a Socialist, or a Marxist, or whatever other ‘ist that they have no idea what “it” means, it doesn’t change the fact that the Affordable Care Act is the biggest financial boom for privately owned insurance companies since, well since private medical insurance began. With one signature privately owned insurance companies were guaranteed millions more customers. If you notice there has not been any insurance industry CEO’s on television complaining about ObamaCare. They happily adopted all the new regulations, sat back and waited for all the policies to start rolling in. I guarantee you, insurance CEO’s have no problem with the Socialist, Marxist President Obama. Finally, the forth fact, the only ‘ist that President Obama can be accused of is Capitalist.
Now you may think from all this ranting and raving that I am the biggest fan of the Affordable Care Act. The truth is I’m not, but I look at it this way. If the ACA had not become law, with the health insurance system that we had before the ACA, both me and my wife today would be uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions. In fact years ago when I was unemployed and my cobra was running out, I was turned down by every health insurance company I went to. Even though my wife could get insurance at the time, any surgery that she had in the past, any allergy medicine that she was currently taking would not be covered and we would have to pay completely out of pocket for those items. Our family was able to get insurance through the State or Illinois but it cost almost as much as our monthly mortgage payment, and being unemployed I knew that we would not be able to afford it for very long. Then we would have been left, like millions of Americans, with no health insurance at all. Luckily I found a job within a few months and was able to get insurance through my employer. Before the ACA, insurance companies could put caps on how much they would pay out, regardless if a person needed a treatment to stay alive. Insurance companies could and frequently would stop paying for life saving treatments causing millions of Americans to make choices like paying their mortgage or paying for health care, like feeding their families or paying for healthcare, like choosing to file for bankruptcy because there was no way they could afford to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars for healthcare costs. Cancer patients who needed chemotherapy, patients who need dialysis, were told there treatments would no longer be paid for. Children with disabilities, who needed assistance with things like breathing or eating, whose parents couldn’t work because there child needed 24/7 care, were told there child had reached his or her life time cap on payments. Young adults who had just graduated from college, who had thousands of dollars in education debt and could not find a job, were told they were too old to be on their parents insurance.
Granted, the healthcare.gov website, the most visible part of the Affordable Care Act, the main vehicle for those who need to find an insurance plan through marketplace, is at this time a complete flop at startup, but this is a short term problem that will be fixed. Yes it should have been working from day one but being an I.T. professional for the last sixteen years, this is not the first time I have seen this and I’m sure it won’t be the last. On a side note, all of the state run health insurance exchanges are working just fine. The only states that need to use the Healthcare.gov website are those where the politicians in those states choose to fight the federal government and not to follow their advice by refusing to set up their own state run health insurance exchanges. If they had then hardly anyone would be using the Healthcare.gov web site. And once Healthcare.gov is working it will be nothing but a blip on the health care reform radar. What it is not is “Obama’s Katrina”. No one has died because a web site is not working, in fact the ACA has saved countless lives so far for people who in the past may have had their insurance plans canceled or who were considered uninsurable and now can have the lifesaving healthcare they need and cannot afford to pay for it themselves. Whether people can or cannot choose a plan from the marketplace, the fact is no one can be turned down for pre-existing condition. No one will see their payment stop because they have reached a life time cap. No one will be told they have to pay more for insurance because they are a women or have a disability. Preventative care such as physicals, mammograms, pap smears, screenings, and birth control, in many cases will cost the consumer nothing at all. How anyone can justify wanting to take this away from us is baffling to me. Health care is not a luxury that should only be available to those who can afford it. It is essential to a healthy life just as food, water and shelter is. It is something that every other country in the world considers a right not just for some but all. And even though as I said before I seem to be the biggest fan of the Affordable Car Act, I will say it again, I am not.
Even though the ACA is a vast improvement from the previous system it is still far from the solution that we need, far from the solution that would put us on par with what the rest of the industrialized nations of this world provide to their citizens. The fact is we spend more than any other country on health care costs and are ranked only 37th in the world for the quality of our health care. The fact is even with the health care reforms that the ACA put in place, millions of American will remain uninsured and will die because of this, and the fact remains that even with these reforms thousands of Americans will file for bankruptcy because the portion of medical expenses they will be asked to pay for a catastrophic illness far exceed there means. And the fact remains that those who still cannot afford to buy health insurance and will not be fined for not purchasing health insurance because there income is too low, will not receive the healthcare they need because they will not be able to pay for it. I said it before, health care is not a luxury that only those who can pay for it should receive. It is a right that all of us should have. We are one of the richest nations in the world yet we still refuse to guarantee health care to every one of our citizens. Countries far less prosperous then us offer this guarantee to their citizens but we don’t. The only solution that would guarantee that every U.S. citizen has full comprehensive health insurance coverage from birth to death, employed or unemployed is Single Payer Health Insurance. To be clear, Single Payer is not socialized health care. Socialized health care is what England has. In England all health care workers are employed by the government. All hospitals and treatment centers are owned by the government, and the government picks up 100% of the costs. The government owns, operates and employees everything and everyone associated with health care. That is what socialized health care is. With Single Payer Health Insurance the current status of private hospitals, private physicians’ offices, and private treatment centers does not change. They remain privately owned, non-government institutions just as they are now. The employment status of health care workers, doctors, nurses remains the same just as they are now. If they do not work for the government now that status would not change. The only thing that would change is that every American instead of having their medical bills paid by one of a thousand different insurance companies would all use the same insurance company, one that would be sponsored by the U.S. government similar to Medicare. Well that’s not the only change. No one would have to pay a monthly premium for health insurance, or a deductible, or a co-pay. No one would lose their insurance because they lost their job. No one would have to take a job they don’t want simply because they need health insurance that won’t exclude them due to pre-existing conditions. Sure you would have a tax taken out of your paycheck each week that goes towards health care but if you currently have health insurance through your employer then you are already having a few hundred bucks taken out each week already if not more. Actually studies have shown that most individuals would have less coming out of there weekly paycheck to cover single payer health care then currently have taken out for private insurance. No one would ever go bankrupt because they can’t pay a medical bill. No one would lose their homes because they can’t pay their mortgage due to health care costs. No one would be making a choice between food and medical bills. And businesses would no longer be paying billions of dollars a year to provide health insurance benefits to their employees. Instead businesses would pay a health care tax that would be billions of dollars less than what they are currently paying to provide health insurance to all their employees, and they would have billions more than they have now to reinvest in their businesses and employees. In effect every single person in this country would automatically get a raise in income because they would no longer be paying for premiums, co-pays, deductibles, uninsured percentages of medical bills, and because of this everyone would have more money to spend on goods and services, which means more money would pumped into our economy, which means, businesses would see an increase in sales, which means an increase in manufacturing, which ultimately means an overall improvement in our capitalistic economy.
Or we could keep what we have. And if some ignoramus wants to call ObamaCare Socialist or Marxist or what ever 'ist that they have no idea what they're talking about, well let them. Then one day they will realize this thing actually works...well, works better then what we had.