Friday, September 18, 2009

Good question…

...from Paul Krugman...
How bad does a bill have to be to make it too bad to vote for?
The subject, of course, is health insurance reform, which is problematic to begin with. Nobody's really talking about health care at this point. That discussion would be about a single payer or national health plan. For folks like me, who believe that the private health insurance industry is a, if not the, central problem with our system today, all of the bills under serious consideration are "bad" bills to the degree that their central focus is preserving the private health insurance industry's profitability.

Perhaps an even better question is how good does a bill have to be to make it good enough to vote for? If the eventual bad bill includes elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime maximums and cost-driven cancellations, it would be, at the least, a better than nothing bill. If the same bill includes a personal mandate without a public option, would it still be good enough, for the time being, at least, to vote for?

Probably. As an uninsured worker still seven years away from our current single payer for seniors health care system, I don't really expect to get any personal benefit from anything under current discussion. Any premium I might be able to afford, publicly or privately administered, would almost certainly include deductibles and co-pays that would make it essentially worthless to me. While some fret about the healthy young who would duck insurance costs without a mandate, the simple fact is that most of us who live without health insurance or health care do so simply because at the end of the month there's no money left for health expenses.

Sill, while I'm an advocate for replacement, rather than reform, of the current system, there's no doubt that even elementary reforms like those mentioned above would be a benefit to millions, if not to me.

So how bad does a bill have to be to make it too bad to vote for?

Worse than most anything we're hearing about so far, I'm afraid.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sage said...

I'm so disappointed in the options that have been offered. Like you, I see it as merely efforts to maintain the profitability of insurance companies.

I pay $244 a month for insurance with a $3500 deductible. Like I have $3500.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Terry Parkhurst said...

Sometimes politics becomes such a transparent attempt to curry favor, people just give up hope. They see politicians voting for weak-kneed bills, just to be able to say to their constituents, "Hey, we tried, and look at what was left."

It reminds a person of the Myth of Sisyphus. The quest for change, especially in politics, can be akin to Sisyphus rolling that stone up a hill; only to have it roll back down upon him.

But like Robert Burns wrote, "A man's reach must exceed his grasp,or what's a heaven for?"

12:09 AM  

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