Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy's Healthcare Debate

I'm just about over the health care debate. It's just another example of the Republicans making outrageous charges (Pull the Plug on Grandma), and the Democrats immolating themselves. It is not a public debate that has any substance, and our politicians seem incapable of providing any leadership. No wonder the American people are upset (if misguided).

For the record, the Republicans (with a few exceptions) have sunk pretty much lower than a sewer beneath a whorehouse. This "public" outcry about a public option is a staged event by the Republicans to embarrass and demoralize Democrats. The Republicans have declared Duck Season on the health care reform. The Republicans don't believe in Town Hall Democracy; they just shout down the opposition. Folks, this is not a debate.

As for the Democrats, they are as dithering as ever. I'm not going to call them spineless in the face of the Republican onslaught, but in war, you fight the enemy where you find it, and the Democrats do not have a coherent message about reform. They need to get their act together.

So here's my take on it:

  • Socialized medicine

    Why not? Unsocialized medicine certainly isn't working. As for government involvement in healthcare, it's already happening. Medicare is expensive, and it needs to be revamped, but nobody calls it socialized medicine. I think the government has a large and important stake in health care, regardless of the insurance company lobbyists. I'm really pissed that our lawmakers are not even discussing a single-payer option. As for a government insurance option, it's a pale alternative, but really should be considered. The health insurance industry is out of control. It's a greedy middle-man infrastructure that is sucking cash out of the rest of us.

  • Rationed Health Care?

    Just about every conservative pundit is claiming that the administration plan will ration health care. I'd just like to point out that the current health care system rations health care. Millions of people receive no health care. Millions of people use emergency rooms, and leave the bill to the hospital, and ultimately the taxpayers. Millions of people pay for their health care out of their own pockets and can't afford treatments that would heal them. The fact is that we have a health care system that rations health care in arbitrary, injurious and expensive ways. I believe that that the insurance industry is afraid that the administration may actually try to rationalize health care, that the government might demand a system that is based on health outcomes rather than the number of procedures performed. The current system really is broken

  • Death Panels

    I can't finish this without discussing death panels. There's a lot to say here, first being that the Republicans raising the issue are lying through their teeth, and they know they are. Of course, a lot of gullible people believe the Republicans, too.... It's a scary world outside the Beltway. On the other hand, it would be nice to be able to visit a health provider and have that provider talk about palliative care, hospice care, and other kinds of end-of-life decisions, and have Medicare cover the cost of that visit. This whole death panel mess is about as low a debate as I've ever seen the Republicans go. They Republicans need to pull the plug on it.

I want to know what the final plan is going to include. I hope it is a real reform that heads us down the road to controlling costs and to providing quality health care to all Americans. And if that's socialism, I'm all for it.