Have several blog posts in process that I can't seem to get to, but I want to share this video, in case you didn't get it already from MoveOn, and some thoughts on health care.
First - call Congress today - we need a Public Option in our health care system 202-224-3121
What the heck IS the Public Option? I couldn't tell you. The rhetoric is as thick as pea soup. I feel discouraged by Obama's backing off his campaign promises here. Is he just pandering to the Insurance Companies, so they don't give all their money to the Repubs next year? Where's that audacity Barack!?
Most public figures yakking about it are misleading at best. Does the Public Option include "government-run health care"? Well, some talking heads include that, but usually with a gasp of horror. There are these co-op things. There are reforms of various sorts, and "preserving competition" and "triggers" and blah blah blah.
Paul Krugman has a useful summary in this blog post.
Here at our house we are on the "Eat right, don't do any dangerous sports, and pray we stay well" type of health insurance. Have been for 8 years. It's worked so far. Some may call me irresponsible. It's not a simple choice.
Here's the thing - nobody is suffering from lack of health insurance. The people in that video, and millions more are suffering from lack of health CARE. WHY does it all have to go through the f*#%$ed up insurance industry, who obviously care NOTHING for you or me, but only about keeping their cush jobs. Am I misunderstanding something? Isn't it obvious?
One idea that Obama put forth last night - that all Americans would be required by law to have health insurance (like mandatory auto insurance) made me shudder. Especially if there ends up being no Public Option. I may be forced to pay for expensive crappy insurance or be penalized!
Some politician's idea of what is affordable to me is not going to work. Honestly I cannot afford it. I could afford maybe 150/month max. The cheapest I could find last time I researched it 3 years ago, was 650/month for a truly crummy plan. Now we're older and everything cost 30% more on top of that. If I'm lucky it'll be 900.00 with a huge deductible and no coverage of anything I would actually use, except in a dire emergency. There is no way I can pay that.
I like Thom Hartmann' idea: Medicare Part E: Everybody
"No need to reinvent the wheel with this so-called "public option" that's a whole new program from the ground up. Medicare already exists. It works. Some people will like it, others won't - just like the Post Office versus FedEx analogy the President is so comfortable with.
...any American citizen can buy into the program at a rate to be set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which reflects the actual cost for us to buy into it. Thus, Medicare Part E would be revenue neutral!"
Simple and efficient. And probably impossible to rally Congress to, in the current climate of misrepresentation and pandering. But we can still hope.