From what we understand , (this is december 23 2009) The senate is poised to pass a healtcare reform bill that would have the following features:
1. Health Insurance is mandatory to buy for all Americans with a penalty if they don’t.
2. the poorer americans(people who have upto twice the poverty wage of $ 11000 per annum) will get covered by medicaid – the state run bare bones insurance option with subsidy from the federal government.
3. Insurance is to be purchased from a federally regulated marketplace, which can set very strict (or very lax, depending on the administration) rules on pricing for preexisting conditions, age or other features offerred by insurers.
4. There’s a pricing cap of up to 8% of the Income of an Individual for how much he pays on a policy.
There is no government run insurance offerred.
Now, Imagine you were an Insurance company or a healthcare provider. All you really need to do is to replace the government and America becomes your oyster. you have 300 million people forced to buy insurance at whatever price (the regulater, remember, is now a free market supporter) . If you don’t do so, the government comes after you with fines or imprisonment. It’s Christmas, boys!!
The House bill is not so brilliant either.
It does have a public option but also contains such doozies as the stupak amendment.
Given that this is the state of affairs, do we have no choice but to boycott healthcare reform as people with a concience in the US, and call it for what it is- a legislated giveaway to the health insurance industry?
It has been argued, mostly by the white house that the alternative would have been more horrible. Would it? The alternative would have been that barack Obama would not have been exposed as such a weak president and that credibility might have allowed him to work wonders …maybe in a second term of his presidency. He might even have knocked off a couple of republican senators at the 2010’s . Now his credibility has taken a batterring and it looks like Democrats will lose the house and maybe a few seats in the senate. Blame chicago syle dealmaking for this.
Chicago is also home for some of the biggest pharma companies and wisconsin the home of many healt care providers. would I be a big conspiracy theorist if I suggested that the victory the administration has handed over to the the drug and healthcare companies was something planned by somebody all the time?
The Liberman issue.
People in the white house either saw liberman coming or they didn’t . If they did and let him act the way he did thats collusion(and who can accuse the white house of not doing dirty deals!) if they didn’t see him comin’ (and hes the perfect marriage- theyre the drug and medicare provider lobby, he’s the insurance lobby) then its nothing short of hubris, and who can accuse this white house of hubris! (j/k.)
In either case, We now have a state that anything resembling a public option , liberman will kill(please prove me wrong guys! if there is really a liberman deal please let him swallow a public option in the managers amendment!) and any bill without an immediately implimented public option is a toothless bill that will need an army of dedicated government beurocrats to enforce(like that’s even a possiblity!).
So we are at a point where , the people are screwed(again) and corporations are legislated into super profitability(again).
What would be an acceptable health care bill?
anything that has the following features:
1. A public option that provides a credible government provided insurance.
2. Paid for by the expiring bush tax cuts.
3. no mandate/ mandate funded by a deductible tax credit for middle income Americans.
4. globalizing care where people can go to approved medical facilities/ buy from approved generic providers from abroad.
5. Caps on premiums , no preexisting conditions, no caps on benefits.
6. A solid government health and medical research infrastructure, if nescesary by funding land grant and public universities.
All this must also kick in before 2012 when Obama goes up for reelection, so that the reforms started will become irreversible, and no palin/chaney reversal of this very basic entitlement is possible.
Obama can start on regularizing Illegal immigrants and decriminalizing felons (and reforming campaign finance) in his second term.(if he is really not the shill for drug companies that I accused him of being , above)