Where to start. Let me say first of all that this has all become so complicated and cumbersome that I hesitate to jump on either the “kill the bill” or the “support it as a starting point” sides. My grandfather could repair just about anything int he house or the car. But being of limited means, he couldn’t always do as much as he wanted to with any project. So his catch phrase became “Well, it’s better than it was.”
But I’m not sure we can even say that about health care in this country. No public option. No medicare buy-in. Politicians making the right to have an abortion suddenly not a right if you are a low-income citizen (who happens to be a woman). And while some say that this Senate bill can be improved upon after it has been passed, I have 4 words for you: No Child Left Behind. Piss-poor when passed, it has gotten no better over time; instead there’s a massive call for throwing it out and starting over again.
Can we afford to do that with health care in this country?
The wheeling and dealing going on to get this version passed does not make it any more palatable to me. Sen. Ben Nelson huffed and puffed and voila! Suddenly Nebraska gets the federal government to pay for 100 percent of the cost for expanding Medicaid in the state. It seems even Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom I admire immensely, has his price. In return for his support on the bill, the Democratic leaders promised to set aside $10 billion for community health centers nationwide, which Sanders has long been advocating.
And where has the Obama Administration been during the last 12 months of health care debate? Without leadership at the top, how can health care in this country ever be reformed. Did President Obama really think Congress could sort this all out on their own? When Congress is overrun with lobbyists from the health care industry?
NNU Co-president Deborah Burger, RN challenged arguments of legislation proponents that the bill should still be passed because of expanded coverage, new regulations on insurers, and the hope that it will be improved in the House-Senate conference committee or future years.
“Those wishful statements ignore the reality that much of the expanded coverage is based on forced purchase of private insurance without effective controls on industry pricing practices or real competition and gaping loopholes in the insurance reforms,” said Burger.
I’m wishing for some words from candidate Obama. Tell me what you think in the comments.