Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Care Reform Clears First Hurdle

Remember that "anchor" reference my husband used in this post?  He was referring to one likely reason the Nobel Committee chose President Obama for the Peace Prize.

Yesterday, Olympia Snowe and fourteen other senators cleared the Baucus health care reform bill out of the Senate Finance Committee.  It has much farther to go and there are big elements fighting it.  From  "The Daily Beast" this morning, an excerpt:

"The opposition party's hostility to this modest reform looks hysterical, and the interest groups fighting against reform don't really seem to grasp how easy on them Obama and Congress are being. Private-sector players, in particular, ought to recognize that the Senate Finance Committee’s bill is incredibly generous to their interests by international standards and that if that generosity isn't rewarded with political success, next time around they're likely to see proposals they like a whole lot less."

We still don't have a public option and, frankly, without it, what's the point?  We need insurance companies to compete with something other than themselves.  Whether or not they openly collude, there isn't enough competition for any of us to get a real choice.  This goes far beyond health care.  Have you tried re-pricing your homeowner's or automobile insurance of late? 

I am often struck by the comments of people living outside the U.S. who are satisfied with their government provided health care.  Are they totally satisfied?  Some are.  And some are dissatisfied.  For the most part, however, I tend to see more pro government provided health care than con.  In fact, much of the criticism of those other health care plans seems to come from within the U.S.

U.S. citizens need affordable health care plans and that includes a public option.  More hurdles to clear.


ellen abbott said...

I couldn't agree more. What I really don't understand about those who are opposed is why they want to consistently enrich the insurance companies while limiting their own options. Personally, I don't want insurance companies making my health care decisions even if I could afford health insurance, which I can't.

Anonymous said...

I hope this works and we get the public option and health care. This country can afford these trillion dollar wars can surely afford health care for all of us.

Pop and Ice said...

I heard there wasn't a public option as yet as this bill has to be merged with the bill from Congress. So there's hope yet, I believe!

lakeviewer said...

The conversation should be about providing universal health care, for everybody, at a price that we can afford. We, the people, not those who sell the services, but those who need the services. What we are hearing are arguments about profits for the poor insurance companies. What is that?

Ruth said...

I am sorry about the public option too.

The opposition's hysteria is created by a very well oiled machine, a cluster of highly intelligent people (I don't mean the politicians) who are brilliant at stirring up the hornet's nest of drones who need an enemy, pure and simple. It is delicious for them to have an enemy in the White House. It is what they want. I don't care what the topic is. They will always be agin it.

Marguerite said...

I've worked in Health Information Management for over 10 years, now, so I've seen it all! The abuse of the current system is unbelievable and is responsible for the situation that we face today. The drug companies, the doctors, and insurance companies are all getting fat, while "we the people" are required to shell out more and more, for basic coverage. Time for a change, yes, but it is an uphill battle, that will not be easily won. Great post!

Nancy said...

I absolutely agree! Forcing people to buy insurance is unbelievable if there is not a competitive environment. It is just more money in their pockets.

I agree with Ruth - this is bigger than the stupid tea-baggers. They are just being used by some very greedy insurance execs.

If there is not a public option - the roof is going to raised!

California Girl said...

Commentators: Thank you for thoughtful remarks. It's important for us all to keep the dialog going. You are the ones who can do that.

Baino said...

Without a public option, it's not nationalised health care or proper reform. I despair of Americans who criticise the socialised public systems of countries outside the US without ever having experienced it. If we travel to the us, without insurance and are injured or ill, the cost is prohibitive. If we travel to France and also have an accident or become ill, we're treated for free . . .no, public health is not perfect, far from it and yes, it's expensive to the taxpayer but it is universal. At least there's some headway being made which is good to see.

Susan said...

Without a public option, it has no chance of succeeding. The only true reform will come in the form of a government run single-payer system. Until then, we'e just batting at flies.


by Cole Scott