Healthcare Reform-skiy Opportunity Missed

Hit it! [audio:|titles=Tony Babino -L’Internationale (from Capitalism A Love Story by Michael Moore)]Since I wrote about the healthcare reform last year the situation didn’t get any better. Whatever will be voted in or “shoved down the throats of the American people” – depending on which TV channel you are watching, it will not produce a meaningful reform in this country. If President Obama was even half as good as some people believed him to be, he would have used his position and Congressional majorities to institute a single-payer system paid for by an increase in taxes. That would have been the right thing to do. Sometimes the right thing needs to be done, even if it’s unpopular. Previous administration had no problem doing the unpopular and wrong things like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan based on the wrong information and misguided convictions. Obama seemed to have the right information and plenty of conviction but not enough courage, persistence, or desire to do what he promised or implied in his campaign appearances.

What will be passed soon is in no way a reform – more band-aids; few things that sound good but will be easily loopholed by the healthcare industry; few accounting gimmicks that will make spending increases look like savings; few giveaways and favors in exchange for votes with most of the changes delayed for years. Nothing here says “vision”, “courage”, “hope” and definitely not “change”. More like “lame”, “sellout”, “weak”, “dishonest”, “gimmicky” and “disappointment”. Any talk about this legislation opening doors for more reform or debate is just that. For years no one will dare to touch this subject, and there won’t be another chance of 2 branches of Government being in sync to produce anything meaningful.

The sad part is that most of the clowns protesting the healthcare reforms and spitting on congressmen are poor schmucks who are one or two paychecks away from begging for the government healthcare and other various forms of assistance, or are already using it based on income, age or previous military service. There may be problems with Medicare of VA but they are free or cheap and, most importantly, available. That’s the most important thing about the government services in general, they may not be the best but they beat not having any. Too bad that many protesters don’t understand that this is the direction we are headed in – not having enough/any coverage. Most of the workplace benefits disappeared or deteriorated and will continue to do so in the future, many people (including myself) now have to dig deeper in their pockets before the insurance payments even kick in. In this situation the failure of the President to pass the real reform is unacceptable; his attempt to mislead the people with the neutered bill they are about to pass is just disgusting.

After the election, when everyone was crying with the fake tears of joy even I let my cynicism down a bit to see if something really can happen. Looks like my streak of not voting will continue unbroken.

In conclusion, a few old photos of a socialized healthcare at work. As you can tell it looks worn out and poor. This is a small country hospital where my Father worked, you can see him making rounds with a group of colleagues (he is on the left in the top photo). The system wasn’t perfect and many times was just broken and inefficient but it was there. People were getting treatment, doctors cared, no one lost their possessions due to a medical treatment or a hospital stay. People who remember that time will tell you plenty of horror stories, but at the same time having this system available took away at least one thing to worry about.

The best chance to have a healthcare reform in this country was wasted months ago. Even when it gets passed there will be nothing to celebrate; it’s a failure at best, but is probably worse because it will allow the President to hang a “mission accomplished” banner of his own and act like the right thing was done. Too bad.

  • I agree with everything you said. We’re going to end up with a crazy quilt of compromise and selling out which won’t be attractive to anyone. So why did they wear chefs hats on rounds?

  • They had to cook as well. Actually they had to do a lot of stuff, doctors did their own temperature and blood pressure checks, etc, could do shots and other stuff. There were also a whole bunch of doctors who did house-calls.

  • I linked to this in a brief post. You are absolutely right, even the part about not voting.

  • midtown miscreant

    They dress like the guy who cuts the roast beef at sizzler. Come to think of it, the Docs at the VA should wear those, I’d be less terrified of them. You are right, despite my complaining, the VA is better than nothing or the ER at Truman. As for the spitters and name callers in DC today, I won’t say all of the Teabaggers are rabidly crazy, but more than a few of them are.

  • I don’t like it either, but I do think it much better than the alternative: A creaky status quo that will get worse and worse until the only people left with decent insurance will be those working for the federal government or successful software companies.

    Looking back, single-payer was never a serious option. The Republican caucus wasn’t going to vote for anything the Democrats proposed. The Democrats — for reasons good and bad — were divided on what they wanted to do. Progressives outside of Congress carped and moaned about the contents but never put significant boots on the ground to pressure the president and Congress from the left.

    The best part of this is that there will finally be a national policy in place. A national policy can be debated and amended and loopholes can be closed. It’s a start.

    Great pictures!

  • right,like they are known for closing loopholes.
    actually that’s my point,Democrats had people in place to pass whatever they wanted.they passed something no one wanted.

  • I travel for JOOLS

    I take exception to more than a few things posted here for which I know I will get slammed, but so be it. First, MM, I’ve been to two tea parties, the last one a few thousand people and there was nothing racist said or signed. The mainstream media couldn’t wait to jump on this story in order to discredit the whole movement..they have always been in the tank for Obama and will always be. How soon we forget the vitriol directed towards Bush and his…but I guess that was different.

    As for the VA, I guess it’s great if you don’t have to pay premiums and not travel more than a few miles to see a doctor. Not the case with my dad…he had to travel 120 miles to get to the VA where he was jerked around like a piece of meat and despite having served 4 years in the Army, contracting malaria and hepatitis and returning home practically a skeleton, they gave him a whopping 10% disability, not enough to pay for his gas to get to the VA. And not only that, they didn’t even successfully treat his medical problems.

    And, as for single payer, ask the 250,000 foreigners who come here for treatment from single payer countries each year to compare their care with ours. And recent reports of people in hospital in the UK dying of thirst aren’t exactly a glowing endorsement of single payer health care.

    And, finally, do people understand that we are on a path to bankruptcy in this country? SS is broke. Medicare is broke. Medicaid is broke. And we’re adding a trillion dollar entitlement? There are other ways to get our country on the path to solvency while also providing health care to everyone. Paul Ryan R-Wis. has filed such a bill with Congress but the Dems wouldn’t even consider it in Committee, much less bring it to the floor for consideration.

    So, in the end, we’re stuck with what we got. I guess that much we can agree on.

  • Nobody is getting slammed for anything. Obviously 250,000 foreigners have enough cash to pay for their treatment here. People go for cheaper/better treatment to other countries all the time,i.e. I may be considering a trip to Mexico for some cheap(er) dental work sometime in the future. However, I don’t think any of those people and the ones who can’t afford the travel complain that their system exists. If my company spends $600-800/month on my insurance premiums and suddenly doesn’t have to anymore, even if they give me a part of that amount as pay, it would cover any tax increase and possibly a supplemental policy if I want to have above and beyond coverage.
    The problem is that they lied about how much this will cost. They should’ve just raised taxes across the board to cover it.Instead they did some accounting gimmickry to cover their asses during the voting time. Republicans didn’t have much to offer, tort reform is really nothing in the big picture. And they don’t have any platform to be pissed off, they used the same procedures and spent a lot of money on wars and other crap, that didn’t have to be spent. So all the rage sounds pretty empty.