Tuesday, September 01, 2009

start over

I'm more than a little frustrated at the way things have gone with the health care reform initiative. The bills are too complicated, they have left too many easy targets for the Republicans who have no reason at all to pass a positive reform bill, and the dems have allowed the discredited losers - ie the Republican Party - to set the terms of the discussion. They have done so in a way that is marked by misinformation and outright lies, aimed at frightening people and stopping needed reform. As things are, I don't see a way for the dems to change the discussion short of starting all over again.

I think Obama should sit down with the democratic leaders and say, "OK, scrap everything that was done and start over. Here are the non-negotiables: the bill must be simple. everyone must be covered and nobody can be excluded nor can conditions be excluded. whoever does insurance, it must be not-for-profit. The rules must be the same across the board, ie. there must be a simple system for reporting/billing/sharing information. Administration must be simple and cannot cost more than X% (something well under 10). Whoever pays, it must be affordable. Here's what it would look like if I was writing the bill (and he hands them an option). We must pass this or nothing. Any bill that doesn't meet these non-negotiables is not acceptable. If the right bill fails, so be it but as Bill Moyer said, 'a half a loaf of bread still doesn't feed the people.'"

"We need to frame this as a moral argument. It is immoral for this nation to have people who are uninsured or underinsured. It is immoral that some Americans do not carry their part of the load we must all bear as a society. It is un-american to allow a neighbor to suffer when we can do something about it. And we must remind people that even those with insurance under the current system are at incredible risk. Medical expenses are the #1 cause of bankruptcy. Lack of portability hurts our competitiveness as do the incredible costs of health care on responsible businesses that provide insurance to their employees. The current system is unacceptable to me and it should be unacceptable to everyone in our nation."

"As a second bill, we must address the need for physicians and deal with their concerns around malpractice insurance, cost of education, and job satisfaction. Then we need to do the same thing with other medical practitioners - nurses, technicians, etc."

My preference is for a govt. run single payer, but I can see other ways to accomplish the non-negotiables. Get this kind of a bill out there and then let the Republicans fight it if they want. Let them defeat a bill that this nation critically needs and then let them explain why they acted in an immoral way, but do not allow them to set the terms.

Start over. Define the terms. Present a simple bill. Get it done, President Obama. I voted for you, in part because I wanted to see this change take place.

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