Healthcare Reform-skiy Opportunity Missed

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.