Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Like Peter Pan, But about Health Care

I usually don't feel like much of a grownup. I know I'm 46, have a husband, a child, a job, a house to keep, but in my head I'm still back in Sixteen Candles land. But in the case of health care reform I'm feeling like a sage. Some fear-mongering group called the League of American Voters is wasting my TV time with an ad that purports that under Obama's plan (apparently scary words in and of themselves) putting those fifty million uninsured into a health care system will overburden the doctors (already too few according to their spurious stats) will mean old people are ignored, left to die, all the money sucked from their Medicare by the hordes of new patients.

Really? Do I actually have to play the reasoned adult and explain how a public option could work? Larger pools of patients in any coverage system guarantees lower costs. Like WalMart selling prescription drugs for $4, they are a large pool, they get to negotiate. A large pool of uninsured, getting a non-profit, regulated option of coverage would guarantee lower health care costs for everyone. Probably pay for the shortfalls Medicare is experiencing now due to lack of regulation in the health insurance industry.

Bringing us to the next grownup point - no actual final bill has been written. So if we all put our heads together we can make sure that not only will it include a robust public option (favorite phrase ever), it will include stringent regulations of big insurance to prevent anyone from being excluded based on pre-existing conditions, dumped for large claims, and force them to work on making costs reasonable. The money-grubbing needs to be pushed back at. A bill could help with this.

And frankly, a good thing to add in to the bill might be more grants for medical school tuition to encourage more doctors in our system. Paying for qualified people to attend medical school and get their degrees wouldn't actually be that costly and the same people could be held to "serving" in particular communities that need them as payback.

Reform opposition has stopped even listening to themselves. They stand with their fingers in their ears, shouting death panels, pulling the plug, turning into Soviet Union at the top of their lungs without even understanding what they yell. Grow up, evil Peter Pan! Peter didn't want to grow up because grown ups seemed short-sighted, unimaginative, and to be honest, douche-y. All three describe the reform opposition. They can't imagine a world with any change. They can't picture how reform solutions would be better for everyone. They just want to yell and bitch and moan and be right.

They aren't right. They are childish little whiners who are against their own best interests. They think their slogans and chants are clever but they don't even understand the genesis of their thought. If any of them had the intelligence to actually parse out what they are yelling and if there is any real truth to it, they would actually be embarrassed.

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