First Hurdle in Health Care Reform Crossed: But is it good enough?

You know how some women say that “I’d rather have a piece of a man than no man at all,” crap? Well, that’s kinda how I see the recently voted and passed Affordable Health Care for America Act in Congress. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s the first major hurdle crossed by way of health care reform since the enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid Act of 1965. But I guess much of my excitement or lack thereof is due in large part to me being a supporter of a Single-Payer Health care system. The way I see it, through a series of compromises this “reform” is nothing but a huge market expansion for Insurance companies.

I’ve said this a time or two on this blog, and as I watch people celebrate this landmark vote, I can’t help but to think or at least be filled with disappointment that more people don’t see it the way I do. That would be: a gov’t sanctioned expansion of the interest of another corporate entity or industry. Sure some of the proposals are great as far as changing some of the current health care industry rules as it applies to pre-existing conditions etc. And yes, it seeks to extend an opportunity for low income Americans to purchase “affordable” health insurance. But it doesn’t sound like the proposals say or do much about controlling increasing premiums by creating a competitive market.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usYeah, what about being able to cross state lines to purchase insurance? Why not expand Medicare even as a lame Single Payer attempt instead of cutting it to help pay the cost for what’s currently proposed? I mean is there wastefull spending in Medicare? I dunno, maybe my Single Payer bias would have lead me to vote no on the bill like (D-Ohio) Dennis Kucinich  did yesterday as he too is a proponent for a single-payer system.

He had this to say:

This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America’s manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care. (Read more from Kucinich)

 Yep, and at the cost of who? The American public; not to mention low income women who would be excluded from federally funded abortion procedures. Something that I’m on the fence about – gov’t sponsored abortions, that is. But from the perspective of (D-Ill) Jan Schakowsky, the co-chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, I have to say that her plea to gain support against the amendment obviously fell on the ears of people who were more in tuned to the bible than the constitution. So much for the separation of church and state, right? Yeah, especially when you have to have Catholic Bishops in your electoral district that voting for the bill was appropriate before casting your vote.

Jan Schakowsky had this to say:

This amendment goes far beyond current law which already bans the use of federal funding for abortions. It goes far beyond the language already in this bill that guarantees no federal dollars are used for abortion. This amendment says that a woman CANNOT purchase coverage that includes abortion services using her own dollars; middle class women, using exclusively their own money will be prohibited from purchasing a plan including abortion coverage in every single public OR PRIVATE INSURANCE PLAN in the new health care exchange. Her only option is to buy a separate insurance policy that covers only abortion – a ridiculous and unworkable approach since no woman anticipates needing an abortion. This amendment is a radical departure from current law and will result in millions of women losing coverage they already have.

This health reform bill is about improving access to care, not further restricting a woman’s right to choose. Our bill is about lowering health care costs for millions of women and their families, not further marginalizing women by forcing them to pay more for their care. This amendment is a back door way of overturning Roe v. Wade; it is a disservice and insult to millions of women throughout our country. I urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment.
 Oh well, I guess the behavior exhibited towards Democratic Congresswomen in debate was appropriate as well [click here to watch].  I don’t know folks, it’s often said that you can’t please everybody. But it’s very apparent that in the eyes of some – that would be the people we voted into office – that something is better than nothing, and that this is just a start in future improvements to health care. Well, as long as it took to get us here, why not go the full distance and get it right now? That would be, getting it right for the people, and not the corporate interests who fund election campaigns. But hey, even House Speaker Nacy Pelosi has admitted that the proposal is flawed, so go figure. We’ll see how this jives with what the Senate brings to the table in the near future. Just know that from where I sit, I see no cause to start shooting off fireworks and bottle rockets just yet.