Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Videos On Health Care, And A Question

I don't usually embed videos here, and maybe it's best not to try. They always seem to disappear or cause problems for somebody. Still these are a couple of terrific videos related to health care reform that should go as viral as possible. And frankly, I can barely keep a thought in my head when I think about this for long. I've written nearly everything that needs saying from my perspective. This isn't an impossible thing. It's just hard for the politicians, and they don't want to do it.

I think maybe they should try being these people for a while, having to watch their friends and relatives wither and die because they can't get health care that's readily available to others. And then let's talk about what's really hard:

It doesn't have to be this way. Every other advanced country in the world makes at least basic health care available to all its people for a reasonable price. Not here. Here, for some reason, we're supposed to believe it's difficult and complicated. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calls bullshit on that one today:

They've been talking about starting the public option, which at this point is being so watered-down that it's barely an option at all to anyone, in 2013. We have to wait four years for something that is, or ought to be, like Medicare for people who want it. That should take six months, not four years. Meanwhile, more than 20,000 people die every year here for lack of adequate health care, and that number is growing. We spent hundreds of billions fighting a useless war against terrorism, when 3,000 of our people were killed. But let 80,000 die and that's hardly worth Congress and the President getting out of bed to deal with.

I'm tired of the Reids and Pelosis who can't seem to do the necessary things even when their country's and their party's future may depend upon it. I'm tired of the con artist we have in the White House pretending to support something he clearly doesn't. But maybe most importantly, I'm tired of a country that seems to be so uninterested in what's going on, and so willing to let these clowns get away with what they're doing. The phones should be ringing off the hooks and the e-mail servers full to capacity with messages from angry constituents demanding that the government fix the problem, instead of making us buy useless insurance.

Maybe that's why I can't keep a thought in my head.

So, here's my challenge to anyone who's reading this. If you're not getting involved, why? What don't you know that you feel you need to? I know not all the information is out there, and some of it isn't all that easy to dig up. What's a mystery to you? I seem to work better by reacting, so give me something to react to. If you don't want to write it in the comments, then you can e-mail me at earthlink DOT net.

And while you're thinking about that, boukman70 has been collecting peoples' health care stories at his place. Drop in there if you want some more human perspective on this issue. I keep neglecting to mention the work he's doing, and now I've at least fixed that.

UPDATE: Commenter solerso over at FDL found this guide (PDF) to the House version of the health care reform bill, HR 3200. There's another bill, HR 676, that would implement a single-payer health care system in America, but that doesn't seem to stand a chance of passage.


newtonusr said...


SunnyN said...

Well done. Thanks.

Dana Hunter said...

What I don't understand is why this country is too stupid to go with single-payer. Oh, I understand that the health care industry has a lot of clout, but Jack and Jill Citizen should be screaming for it. Instead, they're howling about socialism and keeping the government's hands off their Medicare. And I have yet to figure out precisely how so many come to be so bamboozled by so few.

Dana Hunter said...

Addendum: damn you for the link. I was supposed to be in bed hours ago... Now I'm wanting to fly to DC and force politicians to read Boukman's blog until they scream for mercy.

Cujo359 said...

Thanks for dropping by, newtonusr and SunnyN.

Your question's a good one, Dana. I think there are two answers. For the politicians, the answer is that it split the difference between completely screwing the insurance industry out of the market, and completely screwing the American people. (Now that the insurance industry is making them choose, they are, all too typically, screwing us).

The other answer is best put as a question. Suppose you like the medical coverage you have now. It's not perfect, but it works fine for you. Are you going to trust that the same people who have mishandled the banking crisis, failed to provide a stimulus package big enough to do the job, and got us into an unnecessary war, and lost it, to set up an alternative? I think the answer to that question, for a lot of people, would be "no". It's hard to give up something you know works for something that might not, particularly when you depend on it for your health and your life. That's the bind many people would be in with single-payer.

Sorry you lost sleep.