Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No Campaign Solution for Health Care

By Stanford Matthews
Blog @ MoreWhat.com

Besides the title, the first sentence draws attention and interest in this AP report presented below. One can probably find plenty of examples of issues in this country being improperly handled. But health care is equally bizarre or absurd in the way it is mishandled coupled with the subtle but real consequences for this nation in the long term if we don't soon approach it intelligently.

In Health Care Debate, U-Word Is Back

By NANCY BENAC Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON Sep 16, 2007 (AP)
It's been 14 years since first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's health care reform plan sank like a stone ...

Hillary Rodham Clinton's past failure with health care should not be her reason for addressing it again. If anyone including Hillary Rodham Clinton had a viable, broad solution capable of winning support from both parties, special interest and the general public that would be great. But this report and other common knowledge most people possess about these matters would indicate neither she nor anyone else will be bringing such a solution forward.

Democratic candidates argue it is the government's job to make sure everyone has health insurance they cannot lose.

'Make sure' means an unlimited supply of taxpayer money to pay for whatever politicians think will make them look good. By the time the truth of the failure is published in the press, the usual anonymous suspects will be guilty as charged. Like a quote from a recent PBS program, 'everyone is guilty so no one's to blame.'

Republicans are pushing more limited incentives and subsidies to help people obtain affordable coverage.
Which will result in the same problem for different reasons than the Dems plan. Both political parties are missing the point on this issue. They both rely on government appropriations as the vehicle. This is an issue where we are all guilty but everyone is to blame. It is understandable that anyone who is satisfied with their current health care situation would be reluctant to change. But even those who are happy are at risk. The system cannot be supported by taxpayer funds forever and the costs will not decrease if we continue the way it is.

Both sides are trying to steer clear of anything resembling the 1993 plan.

A professor at Emory University named Kenneth Thorpe was involved with Clinton on her 1993 health care fiasco and has worked with her and the other Dems as well on their health care plans this time. So all the Democratic party candidates are offering a repackaged 1993 idea that failed. That is why the Harry and Louise ad depicted the fretting couple worried about the government running health care. No wonder, it has worked so well so far. The special interest money machine has molded the government program into a rubber stamp for pay as we say coverage. Why else would a 'patient' pay nothing for a motorized chair or Viagra or getting their stomach stapled? Both social security and Medicare are paying for all manner of things and people never originally intended to be on it. And some are surprised the golden goose is running out of money...... our money.

Clinton was described as 'adamant' that "we're going to get it done this time."

Hillary Rodham Clinton should choose her words more carefully. Who in their right mind would agree that politicians have gotten anything 'done' in the true sense of the word? Just look at a few examples of legislation in general. If you read the text of most bills you will find phrases like 'to modify', 'change' or in some way alter existing legislation. A bill is introduced and before it ever passes or fails it is swamped with amendments, lost in committee, languishing in some isolated outpost in Washington or being revised. Little gets 'done' in Washington. So please, Hillary Rodham Clinton, stop with the rhetorical nonsense, like suspension of disbelief. Which could have been used here to describe your statements.

The reason health care won't get 'done' is that the issue already has been reduced in the politicians' mindset to insurance coverage. The funny thing is Hillary Rodham Clinton was sliced and diced by the same insurance lobby that she has cozied up to since then. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So what type of reform do you think Hillary Rodham Clinton will get for you? With the other Dems drinking the same tainted Kool Aid offered by the same authors this time around, their plans will be substantially the same thing. And the GOP's sentiment is simply Hillary Lite.

Citizens who are currently satisfied even if that only means they have insurance but it is not adequate will not rock the boat for fear of things getting worse. Those who need or desperately need health care solutions will not be addressed or will decline to complain for all the good it will do. The politicians are either avoiding the mess or in the pockets of lobbyists and things have a better chance of getting worse for all consumers.

And we'll all keep drinking, smoking and eating ourselves into oblivion while avoiding sufficient activity as we couch potato and yell at the news we don't watch. There are those who will not exit the drug induced stupor or coma long enough to care or the infinite number of other high risk behaviors that helped get us here in the first place.

Patients will keep asking for popular meds that feed Big Pharma's coffers. Doctors will keep prescribing them and too often not listen to what their patients are saying. Nurses will continue to claim doctors don't save your life, nurses do and they might be right. But too many people will die in hospitals or other facilities for reasons defying logic. And TV news magazines will continue to warn us about the peril while their evening news broadcast partners are cluttered with ads for those popular drugs from Big Pharma with side effects appearing worse than the ailment they are intended to medicate.

The health care problem in this country is that no one, really, no one wants to address health care. At least not in any way that would truly solve it. Everyone offering a plan is expecting someone else to carry the load. In other words, go ahead and fix it as long as it does not inconvenience me or require any discipline or sacrifice on my part.

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