Health-Care Reform: Overview


The issue has dragged on for months, even years if not decades and multiple presidencies. Presidents have come and gone and yet no substantive health-care reform has taken shape. Hillary Care was defeated during Clinton’s time and Obama care is walking a political tightrope in the senate. There have been both legitimate questions and pointless bickering on both sides of the political divide. Regardless of political affiliation, we need to move forward on the issue. Here’s where I think the debate should go on the issues of cost, scope, public option and abortion

Scope

There are countless problems in the US health-care system. The simple fact that 46million Americans, 1 in 6, don’t have health care coverage is a tell-tale sign of trouble. Republicans have been whining about “doing too much” What does this really mean?
I think it’s the political right’s way of hoping Democrats will give up on key issues and try to get at least ‘something’ passed. Trouble is, Republicans are likely to try and filibuster or vote down every little section for different regions. Also, splitting the reforms into tiny sections would make the bill lose sight of its holistic approach.
Frankly, I fail to see how the problem even exists. Congress and Washington were voted in to ‘think big’, not balk at every obstacle. We want them to think holistically and make tough decisions. Take Roosevelt’s New Deal which consist of 19 pieces of legislation that covers everything. If the entire United States could be covered in only 19 bills, there’s no way health-care can’t, couldn’t or shouldn’t be fitted into one.

If there are controversial elements that should be removed or needs to be excluded in order to garner enough votes, fine. Thankfully, that’s how Politics works. But let’s open that up to debate, not stifle it before you even start considering the issues. Congress needs to think big, put it on the table and let’s consider everything.

Cost

With the US National Debt amounting to over 12 trillion, the cost of the health-care plan has been an issue for concern. Indeed, Republicans have long be running ads such as these :

If on any aspect of the health-care bill I disagree with the left, it’s on the cost. Ultimately, my principle on health-care is that “the bill must pay for itself”

That is to say it must at least save as much as it costs. In fact, wherever possible, the bill should cut costs, in some areas even giving up unnecessary policy for cost saving measures.

The reason is simple, because unless it is budget neutral or budge surplus, it will fail. Medicaid & Medicare have been losing money and it has lost political support and acceptance in general. Cost saving not only helps the country and helps sustain the program, it appears to be the status of the current bill. At least according to Politico.com‘s report

Public Option

A major sticking point has been the proposed public option. The concept behind it is a government organized service for those who can’t buy their own insurance. Even Republicans openly agree that the concept is good and that we ought to provide insurance for those who can’t afford it. In HK and Canada, a public option works brilliantly in sync with private insurer.

So what’s the problem?

Firstly, Republicans won’t like to lose the millions they get from business and the medical sector lobby. Not surprising given these statistics from Sunlight Foundation (http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2009/07/10/senate-finance-committee-health-care-influence-cluster-the-republicans/)

Republican Benefits from Health-Care Lobby

Republican Benefits from Health-Care Lobby

Secondly, they claim it’s tantamount to nationalization of the industry. They misquote portions of the bill without reading that the spirit of the public option is contrary and even if it were there, the text has a very different context.

Some moderates have proposed alternatives such as a trigger mechanism or the customer co-operatives mentioned. They have gained recognition but far less support than a Public Option. Even some Republicans appear to dislike these ideas. They appear as nice alternatives but certainly are less effective and accepted.

The concept and ideals behind the public option is correct. As long as the bill stays true to this and debuniks any false rumors, we won’t need to consider the less effective alternatives.

Abortion

It’s one of those contentions social issues that Republicans love to trot out every time they begin to lose. Nevertheless, it’s gained considerable coverage and air time; compared to it’s relative unimportance.
The republicans are whining about the health-care bill for funding abortion. That’s a slight exaggeration even according to what Republicans explain.
They say “it could” lead to funding of abortions which allows me to say almost anything, “it could fund terrorists”!
Quite simply, it’s nit-picking to the extreme.

Even if it were the case, which it isn’t, a possibility so minute it shows that Republicans have run out of things to complain about.
The Republicans may have forgotten the congressional agreement that no federal tax dollars will be used to fund abortions which is consistent with the bill.
If only to shut the Republicans up, we should just put the following sentence into the bill
“Under no circumstances shall any funds be used for abortions”

When that’s done, Republicans will have one less thing to whinge about and maybe we’ll actually get something out of Congress.

10 comments

  1. ARGH! You keep spelling ‘lose’ as ‘loose’!

    “Also, splitting the reforms into tiny sections would make the bill loose sight of its holistic approach.”

    “It’s one of those contentions social issues that Republicans love to trot out every time they begin to loose.”

  2. On the front page of you blog, the visible screen under the banner is split into three sections, each with a DIFFERENT TITLE, but EXACTLY THE SAME CONTENT. =.=

    1. They’re all different. It’s the three latest blog posts. It just so happens they’re all about Health-Care given that that’s the latest series.

      1. All three start with the same:

        “The issue has dragged on for months, even years if not decades and multiple presidencies. Presidents have come and gone and yet no substantive health-care reform has taken shape. Hillary Care was defeated during Clinton’s time and Obama care is walking a political tightrope in the senate. There have been both legitimate questions and pointless bickering on both sides of the political divide. Regardless of political affiliation, we need to move forward on the issue. Here’s where I think the debate should go.”

        And so the front page shows three of the same thing. =.=

        1. They’re all the same cause they’re all the same topic. Its the series intro. But if you click in and READ the content then the issues are all different. The overview was released after the four individual articles for those who wanted to read everything in one go. It’s essentially designed for the lazy people.

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