Well, they haven’t lost healthcare insurance reform yet but it’s been wounded. Feeling too secure about the Massachusetts’ Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, allowed the Democrats to choose a lackluster limp noodle of a personality, Martha Coakley, to run for it. Most everyone agrees she ran a poor campaign, taking for granted that she might lose. Her opponent, Scott Brown, erased her 20 point lead within the last two weeks and won, a remarkable turn of events. Most Americans agree that reform in healthcare insurance is needed but both political parties cannot agree on a plan, leaving the Democrats to forge a compromise between both houses of Congress. That potential will be a bit more difficult now that the Democrats are losing their majority in the Senate, which was never that solid to begin with. Should half of America and the Republican Party wish to keep the status quo in healthcare, that’s what they will have: consistent and arbitrary rate hikes by insurance companies; people barred from coverage because of pre-existing conditions; people not being able to afford healthcare coverage at all. I could go on, but you can imagine the rest because we’re living with it….and some are dying because of it.
Putting together such important and critical legislation like healthcare insurance reform is obviously difficult because for starters, Democrats cannot work within their own party much less with the other without making backroom deals and absurd compromises. Ben Nelson and Mary Landreau, two Democratic Senators, were more or less paid off for their participation in reform legislation. That just didn’t look good. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, did a much better job of crafting legislation but then again, with her majority, it’s easier than the more independent Senate. Once the Senate got involved, their ultimate goals in reform remained vague and allowed the Republicans to control the debate and fear inherent in such legislation that will have an impact on most Americans. In short, the Democrats should have been more clear as to the why and how reform will help reduce costs and increase accessibility.
I am for some sort of government administered place in healthcare insurance. There’s simply no other way to force conventional insurance companies out of their greedy behavior. Having a ‘public option’ via a government plan, might just push those private insurance companies into offering just a semblance of goodwill and reasonable pricing towards a populace which requires some basic coverage without going bankrupt. It doesn’t have to mean free universal coverage but one where most pay into a group plan but at a rate that won’t break the bank.The same tea bagger- types who scream about some socialized medical system don’t say a word about their own or their parents’ Medicare benefits which is, of course, administered by the government. Many seniors, since 1965, would’ve gone broke because of medical issues which would’ve been too costly without Medicare. The same will come true for the masses if we stay on this same course, it’s already beginning to happen. As that occurs, we can thank politicians who have their own (government paid) coverage and other people too ignorant to see what keeping the status quo means for the future.
Is it too much to expect our elected officials to work together for the common good of all Americans and carve out reasonable healthcare reform? Perhaps it is. Back in 1965, most Americans were against Meidcare but not anymore because it keeps seniors from going broke over medical issues faced when people grow old. Our current medical insurance system has grown old and is getting more costly every year. Has America become so polarized we can’t fix such an obvious problem? We’ll find out soon enough and many more will find out neglecting this most vital of issues will cost all of us eventually. The future is coming on fast and not facing that reality is simply reckless behavior.