Thursday, March 29, 2012

Obamacare may go down? Oh well, that's life!

The Supreme Court has been listening to about 3 days of arguments for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as PPAHCA or,  "Obamacare." There's also the whole debate as it comes to us on the street level to consider: The side favoring the Obama/Democrat plan is framing it as a fight for "Women's Health." The Anti-Side frames it as a moral issue. I never have been particularly moved by "morality" talk, preferring instead to  focus on practicality. And the whole method of framing it as a "Women's Issue" smacks of so many other Feminist arguments  that makes every fucking thing a "Women's Issue." Domestic Violence was made a Woman's Issue, despite the fact that overwhelming evidence points to both women and men as the perpetrators of abuse.

Here's a clue for you on my take on this: A pox on both your houses!

Yes, I agree fully that we we need Universal Health Care.

But I am much more of a believer in the system currently used in Canada known as the Single-Payer Health Insurance system than Obamacare.

Some factoids to consider when you listen to the whole debate:
You won't be told this, but the Republicans had the Individual Mandate 1st. It was part of the plan they floated against Hillarycare in the 90's. Yep. That 1993 proposal included the requirement to buy Health Insurance, subsidies for the poor, and restrictions to keep Insurance Companies from discriminating against pre-existing conditions. What happened to the part where the poor get helped? Well, it was called the "Public Option"  part of Obamacare, and it recieved such bitter opposition that the President pretty much conceded it before he was even in office! But the entire plan, including both the mandate and the public option has been supported in the past by two of the current GOP presidential candidates (Romney and Gingrich) as well as by many other marquee Repubs and the Heritiage Foundation to boot!  

Most of the Big Insurance companies. Big Pharma, and Big Medicine were behind Obamacare, just like they were behind the 90's GOP plan. Please sow me the website that is maintained by any major hospital chain (Kaiser for one example) or Insurance Company, that really opposed what the Democrats were doing. I was getting emails from the Kaiser Foundation at that time, and I never saw anything that even remotely resembled the alarmist attitude over the PPAHCA being expressed. In fact, when Obama first got in office, he met with Industry Pro's, and not one Single-Payer advocate over the issue. Listen to Ralph Nader discuss the issue:



Nader and Dennis Kucinich also discuss Health Care Reform in a 6 part Democracy Now series beginning here.

 The taxpayer is already subsidizing 60% of Health Care costs as it is. With what we are paying now relative to the whole GDP, we could actually get Universal Health Care. I don't see PPAHCA really doing anything to eliminate that. Not when it also leaves 23 Million uninsured

If you look at the Romney/Massachusetts model that the PPAHCA is modeled after, the only thing that makes it work - if at all - is the so-called Public Option. Remember that? Remember how the Democrats acted like they needed a 60 vote majority in order to keep that on board? That was a lie and the Mainstream Media parroted that ad nauseam. You don't need 60 votes to pass anything in congress. Medicare D was passed with less than 60 votes, and a Republican in the White House to boot!

 The plan originally contained 3 parts, which are in the Romney/Massachusetts version:

1) Regulation of costs and rules barring Insurance Companies from discriminating based on Health History or a Pre-Existing Condition.

2.) The "Individual Mandate" for everyone to have Insurance of some form (otherwise, the Insurance Companies would largely get out of the business altogether, since the stuff in point 1 would make it no longer profitable.)

3. The "Public Option," or a Government-Run insurance system as an alternative for those who would not be able to purchase health insurance under the proposed reforms.

Without the Public Option in place (which the Obama administration didn't fight for,) the benefit to the poor, disabled & elderly basically does not exist. 

Single-payer on the other hand, takes care of the pre-existing conditions, co-payments, covers EVERYONE: Everybody in, nobody out. It would also limit and ration care, something that we're taught is bad, but look at how much unnecessary testing done to avoid malpractice suits would be eliminated, which is a factor in driving up costs. It would cut out administrative costs, the cost of running billing departments, dealing with Insurance Companies - all that gone under a Single-Payer system!  

With all that in mind, why would anyone want to stick with this mess of a system that we are having foisted on us under the PPAHCA?

Only reason I can think of is that, as Kucinich has pointed out, the failure of the plan to be kept intact would be seen as a referendum in people's minds of the who concept of "Socialized Medicine."  

Not a pleasant set of choices to be faced with. Me, I'm in no mood to bail out Obama's hide on this. Not while he continues to wage war on the Medical Marijuana industry. As well, there are other things important to me, such as making our college campuses a fairer, safer place for young men who could be accused of sexual assault. Obama appears bent on trampling those civil rights as well.
I could seriously care less if Obama gets re-elected or not. Beyond just blatant disregard for the principles he said he stood for as a candidate, the man has now made it all  a personal matter for me.

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