Did we Really Get Health Care Reform Today?

by francine Hardaway on December 19, 2009

Remember me?  I'm the person who has been arguing that any bill is better than no bill at all, and that we have to start somewhere on reform. That doesn't mean I can't have mixed feelings about this particular piece of legislation, or that I can't see it as part of a bigger, sicker picture of our nation.   Not only did I listen to Bill Moyers' Journal last night, on which he had Matt Taiibi and Robert Kuttner, but I saw the Democrats patting themselves on the back on CNN, after they made the last great compromise on abortion language to pull over Ben Nelson. What sacrifice of women's health did we make?  I don't even know. Do you?
Not arguing with any of Karoli's points in  her health care history lesson, either. Obama took his plays from Clinton's play book; if Clinton did it, Obama wouldn't, because Clinton failed. I'm not against the reform, but I am against the fact that a deal was made before the discussion even began, which means single payer was never on the table, and any re-pricing of drugs was never on the table. The big costs in health care, outside of those from waste and fraud, are non-standard billing and clinical systems due to multiple insurance companies, non-standard non-outcomes based clinical practice, and the approval of prescription drugs that aren't effective and are costly to produce and sometimes even unsafe. We didn't fix any of that. 
Instead, we will hand the insurance companies 30,000,000 new customers that they can overcharge, knowing our tax money will pay for them. We have asked nothing from the insurance companies, and nothing from pharma. 

What will we get in exchange? We will get pre-existing conditions allowed. And Obama will lose big in the next election, because his failure to step up and be transformative in a time of crisis will embolden movements like the Tea Partiers. Everyone in middle America now knows the fix is in. This isn't "change." This is the party of the people giving in to the same big money interests that the Republicans do.

The difference between Clinton's and Obama's times in office is that we are now in a fiscal crisis. We weren't then.  Then, we didn't have nearly as many uninsured, and we didn't have to contend with the jobless recovery. I maintain that it was wrong to just use history as a guide. In a crisis, you can be more aggressive. But we haven't been. Watch what happens to the taxes and the deficit when we start subsidizing health care that insurance companies don't have to cut costs on. 

I tend to see a bigger picture than just #hcr. I think I am seeing the future of a corrupt country rule by money instead of a desire for independence, greed instead of compassion. And because I read economics as well as health care, I see us heading off a cliff. Unless the tax on medical devices is high enough to support the cost of reform.

Posted via email from Not Really Stealthmode

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

lindacostello December 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

And what happens when we go off the cliff? That's what I keep wondering. Do we end up in small neighborhoods with grass roots efforts and rely on bartering, local produce for food, and walking to work? Will we end up somewhere healthier, albeit not as comfortable?

Francine Hardaway December 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm

You know, there's a real possibility that would be the unintended consequence:-)

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