A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Friday, April 06, 2012

Whither Healthcare Reform?

The arguments for and against health care reform have been heard in the halls of the Supreme Court, and the Justices have retired to their chambers to ponder and write up the law’s fate. How will they ultimately decide this momentous issue? Will they throw darts at a dartboard, glide that pointer-thingy over a Ouija board, or pluck petals from a daisy...who knows? Some pundits are acting like a few of the justices have a direct hotline to Tea Party founders, the Koch Brothers. No matter, because several politicians are putting their two cents into the debate, and most likely it is their actions that will affect all us more profoundly rather than the yea or nay from nine robed individuals.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has stated in a recent interview that the health care law should be replaced with more incremental steps. Naturally, he didn’t go into any great detail beyond mentioning tort reform, which hasn’t had the desired results in a few states where it was implemented. Well, never mind that, conservatives seem to be saying. It’s almost as if they believe that whatever won’t work on a small scale will surely work on a national level.

No, I can’t follow this logic either. The GOP seems to be following the same path on the budget front, betting that trickle-down economics offered by the Paul Ryan budget plan — passed overwhelmingly in the Republican saturated House — will be the plan that will save our country from crushing debt. This too was tried before during the Reagan era, and as I recall it didn’t save us then. So why should it work now?

Going back to McConnell, I’m skeptical about his use of the word “incremental”. He makes it sound like the answer to the country’s health care crisis is a series of small, carefully calculated steps. McConnell makes it sound so easy.

Okay, if it is that easy, then why didn’t the GOP put forth their incremental steps approach in 1993, when the Clintons tried to get their health care reform through Congress? Oh, wait; they did have some sort of idea about mandated insurance coverage for all Americans. Gosh, isn’t that the same idea that they are fighting tooth and nail against, and shedding blood, sweat and tears over now? They were for it then, now they’re against it.

Republican Presidential nominee heir apparent Mitt Romney also has sharpened his attacks against Obamacare during his recent campaign stops. He vows to repeal and replace the health care reform law if elected. Okay, Mitt, replace it with what? The same plan you brought to life in Massachusetts when you were governor? Oh, wait! That plan was the model for Obamacare. Gosh, Mitt, how can you escape that past?

Personally, I don’t trust Romney. My feelings don’t stem from his religious beliefs; I’m ambivalent about his Mormonism. If the rumored backlash by the evangelical community against his beliefs is true, then it casts a poor reflection on the tolerance among Christianity in general. The dog on top of the car story was an interesting illustration about Yankee ingenuity gone horribly wrong. After all, he did fashion a windshield to protect his pet before lashing the pet carrier to the roof of the car. Still, this shouldn’t disqualify him from being President.

No, Romney is unsuitable to me because he is the embodiment of Cold-hearted capitalism (the capital “c” is not a misprint). He quipped on the campaign trail that he enjoys the idea that he can fire people. At another point, he thought a story about his father shutting down a factory - throwing thousands out of work and denying them the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families — was “humorous”! Whatever!

He may be a good business man who has shown he can make the tough decisions, but I can’t see him making a good decision about the health care problem. His signature achievement in Massachusetts was what is now being derided by conservatives as Romneycare. We can all see how much he cares now!

Some opponents of Obamacare believe it should be left to the states to solve the health care problem. Okay, let’s see how the states are faring so far with providing affordable health care for their citizens. Let’s take, for example, Pennsylvania. Under the present leadership of “No Taxes” Tom Corbett, the state is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit before the Supreme Court. Okay, so they disagree with Obamacare, and should by all rights have other ideas on how to solve the problem. Fine, governor, what ideas are you putting forth? A comprehensive plan to rein in soaring costs among health care providers? Tax incentives to major health insurance companies who keep their premium rate increases below a certain percentage so that the poorest citizens can afford their plans? Or investment in new medical technology which will streamline care, costs, and therefore the amount that everyone – insurers and insured — pays out?

No, the governor’s answer is to slash Medicaid, which by one estimate has thrown nearly 90,000 of the state’s children out of the program. No health care for these children at all! No way for them to pay for exams, immunizations, or emergency treatment. Once again, the cost of those procedures will be spread out by the health care providers to everyone else who can afford it.

Somehow the social Darwinists in the conservative GOP on the state and national levels believe that this payment arrangement is totally equitable and fair. Go figure!

(Thank you for reading, and oh yes, happy holidays!)


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December 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM  

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