Wednesday, August 12, 2009

National Healthcare, My Two Cents

I'm not a doctor. I don't work in the insurance industry. I have not read the bill. I need to get that established right away, lest you go mistaking me for some expert and try quoting me at the water cooler.

What I do know is that 40-50 million of my fellow citizens are currently without any type of health insurance. What I do know is that without insurance, your chances of adequate medical treatment for injuries or disease is somewhere between slim and none. What I do know is, even when this recession (depression) is long gone, there will be unemployed and part-time employees who do not qualify for their employer's insurance plans.

Much has been made of the recent attempts to get a national health care plan pushed through. Wrangling on both sides has made for good theater, but in the end the only thing that matters is whether something gets done that actually addresses the problem.

In this, I am a pragmatist. I do not expect any bill, should one get signed into law, to be perfect. I do not expect it to address every little problem. I do think that there will always be people without insurance, and this will be their choice. Maybe they don't trust the government, maybe they simply can't afford it, and maybe their religious dogma sees modern medicine as rebelling against God. Who know, and who cares. Remember that the ink on our Constitution wasn't even dry before they concocted ten amendments to it. And it's a good thing for us that they did. We've added dozens of amendments to what was already a pretty good document, and we were right to do so.

Whatever the final version of the healthcare bill includes, you can expect to see amendments proposed to it forever after. As our understanding of the issue broadens, as industries adapt to this new legislation, as the needs of our uninsured shift and morph, so to must our laws.

What I have found interesting during the theater of debate is the people insisting on perpetuating lies in the interest of sinking the legislation. Here's a safe bet: these people (A) already have health insurance and (B) have no trouble affording it. I also suspect the ones protesting the loudest are the least likely to have actually read the damn thing. There's nothing like ignorance to get the blood boiling. Just ask the Klan.

And speaking of Klan, what's with the people carrying swastikas and racist protest signs to the town hall meetings? Do they really think this is furthering the cause? Is this attracting people who would otherwise have been undecided? Look: if you have a problem with something your government is doing, the First Amendment guarantees you two very important freedoms, the freedom of peaceable assembly and the right to petition the government for a redress of your grievances. But these boondoggles at town hall meetings are not "peaceable assembly". And shouting down your elected officials just because you chose to believe whatever lies Fox News is telling does not constitute a petition for the redress of grievances. If you already have insurance, and have no plans to avail yourself of the government option, then you have no grievance. None. Anyone who tells you differently is lying to you, and trying to heat up your blood.

Stay tuned, faithful readers...