I have to apologize for the rant. I don’t mean to be strident or negative, but I believe the corporate giants in the health care industry are trying to derail meaningful reform, and it’s incredibly frustrating.
I am trying to make something good come out of something awful and I get passionate about it.
Although I’m trying not to be political, when lobbyists control the political process, I feel the need to expose what they’re doing.
Their Harry and Louise commercials of 1993 and 1994 derailed meaningful health care reform then, and their talking points are threatening to do it again.
“Government takeover” is NOT what will happen. Choice between a private and a public plan is what will. If you choose to use the post office over Federal Express or UPS, that’s what I’m talking about.
“Rationing of health care” is what’s happening now, and people die every day because they get nothing.
“I don’t want some government bureaucrat deciding on my health care.” Would you rather have some corporate hack looking for a bonus doing it?
“I won’t be able to get the drugs I want.” Well, if the drug isn’t on your insurance company’s formulary you won’t get it either.
I covered the reform efforts in 1993, and 16 million people were uninsured. Today, it’s 52 million and rising. About 30,000 lives are lost every year because of a lack of access to emergency care.
We at Life o’ Mike will never endorse a candidate, but we might produce a report card with politicians’ voting records.
We don’t even all agree on what the fix is — we all do agree, however, that reform has to happen.
I believe if the private, for-profit sector is to take it on, the government has to regulate it very strictly. I’ve been alive long enough to see the private sector promise and then do nothing before (in the 1960s, when Medicare began and they were afraid the whole system would go public, and in 1994 when they were afraid the Clinton plan might be adopted). All we got was higher costs and fewer people getting covered.
We now spend one in every $5 of our gross national product on health care. In 20 years it will be one in 3. We spend a larger percentage than any other industrialized nation in the world and we cover the smallest percentage of people.
As the big corporations promise change yet again, I don’t believe them. It’s like watching a train wreck about to happen and I can’t do a thing about it.
Forgive me if I get a little pissy sometimes. I honestly don’t mean to. I just get frustrated because I don’t want other families to have to go through what mine did.