I've been stuck in the house all week with an attack of gout (I am an OldRockr) and have been watching endless news channels cover this pending legislation. I watched the President's press conference and I remain annoyed by the entire process.
Back in 1994 Bill Clinton and the rest of the left leaning democrats in congress tried to ram their version of health insurance reform down the throats of Americans everywhere. They reached too far, too fast and were ultimately removed from power.
Over the 8 years of the Bush administration, little was done to ease the burden of increasing premiums and loss of coverage suffered by millions of working Americans. In my opinion the Republicans did no better, they only were ineffective in different ways. Clearly congress, under the control of the right or left, is incapable of fixing this major problem. And make no mistake this debate is driven by the right and the left, not the center.
So now it is 2009 and Nancy Pelosi now thinks that she knows what is best for the rest of us. Speaker Pelosi is perhaps the most partisan and least qualified speaker in decades. The current plan that the House is debating is a disaster in waiting. This plan forces those with insurance they are happy with the have to settle for less which is plain wrong. Why is it wrong? It is wrong because it won't fix the problem.
We are talking about working Americans in need of health insurance. Insurance that is affordable. We are not talking about those who are covered by Medicaid/Medicare. What they Congress needs to do is slow down and take this on in increments. The first thing they need to do is make insurance portable and eliminate pre-existing conditions being a reason to deny coverage. This takes many of the uninsured into account.
President Obama campaigned on each American having access, in his words, to the same coverage as Congress at a fair cost. Well I don't know about you, but I think that what we are getting forced to accept is not that, not even close. President Obama has in fact not used this phrasing in any recent speeches on the topic of health care. I have to admit to feeling a little buyers remorse from the last election.
Slow down. Work this out. Stop attempting to re-distribute the wealth in America and get this right. We can cover most of those who don't have insurance by first making sure that insurance is portable and then making denying coverage for pre-existing conditions a thing of the past. Congress and the President can then move forward to try and include more folks in the future. You can't do this all at once.
Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the bank bailout, the automaker bailout, and on and on...government meddling is not the answer, it is part of the problem.