They're all calling it health care reform, all those pundits and politicians who breathlessly gush about how much good it's going to do for the American people. If you're a regular reader, you may remember that my version of reform is more accurately called health insurance reform, and would essentially take the for-profit insurance industry out of the loop.
Because, really, why should anyone profit from human suffering? Insurance companies provide wealth insurance, not health insurance. As soon as you get sick or hurt, they drop you or raise your premiums (well, they do that annually – or semi-annually – anyway), or decrease your coverage, or raise your premiums and decrease your coverage, or … well, I think you now know how I feel about health insurers.
The legislation which passed last night has some good things in it, but it is inexorably tied to the for-profit health-insurance industry. While it may help some Americans, it will absolutely – guaranteed – help insurance companies. And while I was glued to the trainwreck that was Congress last night, I'm not convinced that the job is finished.
The miracle of cable news is that one can watch government in action, up close and personal, live from the People's House. Alternating between Republicans and Democrats, one-by-one they took the microphone, the men and women we've elected to represent our best interests, and told us the health care bill before them was either flawed or wonderful. It was the same bill, not two bills, but you couldn't have known that if you were from, say, Italy or Wales or Taiwan.
Only in America.
Republicans will benefit from this bill, just as Democrats will. Americans will benefit, no matter their political stripe, or if they drink tea or coffee. The Republicans, none of whom crossed the aisle in the vote, weren't voting against health care reform. They were voting against Democrats and a Democrat-led agenda. I have stronger opinions about this, but I'm not going to share them publicly.
And blogs are pretty public.
The passage of this legislation paves the way for real reform. Now is the time to work harder, to make the bill better, to improve and tweak, to add measures that will make this legislation a true landmark in American history.
Medicare for All (Medicare being one of our other landmarks) is the right way to reform health care. Do it incrementally or do it all at once, but do it. It's what I've been working for, and I'm not stopping.
A side note to the Stupak Dozen or Eight or Four or however many there eventually turned out to be (and one of them was my Congressman): Don't preach about the sanctity of life and abortion language while you, at the same time, vote to fund two wars that have killed thousands of Americans and many, many more Afghans and Iraqis. Don't. Even. Go. There. That is hypocrisy of the highest order. Life is life, and sending soldiers to die in an immoral war is killing human life just as surely as you claim aborting a fetus is.
In my not-so-humble opinion.