Sunday, August 16, 2009

Obama & Health

New York Times

Obama says insurance companies holding US hostage
BELGRADE, Mont., Aug 14 (Reuters) - US President Barack Obama, pushing for healthcare reform during a trip to conservative Montana, said on Friday the country was "held hostage" by insurance companies that deny ...
Obama in Montana, liveUSA Today
Obama to Make Case for Health Reform at Montana Town HallWashington Post
Obama Heads to Montana for Healthcare Town HallU.S. News & World Report
The Associated Press -Boston Globe
all 948 news articles »

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This is something that is completely confusing me at the moment. Virtually every American honestly believes that our health care system is in serious need of major improvement. Most of us have had many experiences with not being covered, or having to fight with insurance companies to give us the coverage that we thought we were paying exorbitant amounts of money for. Millions of Americans do not have access to health insurance and can be financially devastated when sickness strikes. Yet, Republicans in the House and Senate are standing up to say "No!"

What are they saying "no" to? Taxes increases? Yes. Government control over health care? Yes. Responsibility of insurance companies? You got it. They have taken great strides in standing up to say no to anything that the Democrats of put forward. That makes sense. After all, this is a two-part system of government. Great! So what is there plan to help the millions of un-insured people and the greatly declining quality of American health care? This is the crazy part: they want it to stay they same. Republican Tom Coburn (Senator from Texas) said on "Meet the Press" this morning that the U.S. has the greatest health care in the world. Talk about out of touch. We are ranked lower that any other indrustrialized nation by the World Health Organiztion. Ouch.

I really do not want to let Democrats completely off of the hook either here. Democrats, the leaders in health care reform advocacy since the early 1990's have also dropped the ball. With a huge majority in both the House and the Senate, one might think that it would be a little bit easier to create a reform bill that actually reformed something. Now we have the White House saying that they might be OK with dropping the Public Option on the bill. Taking that single provision away from health care reform turns this into just health insurance reform. Will it lower prices? Maybe a little. Is it a solution to the problem? Its a small bandage. In my opinion, a public option is only a slightly larger, small bandage.

What we need in this country, is the change that we all voted for. We need our elected officials to stand up to the screaming, lobbying, bought-and-paid-for "No!" and do what is right. Money should not be the difference between having good health care or not. Human beings should be more important than money. If Republicans are seriously worried about protecting unborn children, then why are they saying no to helping pregnant woman and children in poverty health coverage? Why are Republicans against health care?
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