The President on Health Care Reform: “It’s not about Me”

July 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm 3 comments

“This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress. This debate is about the letters I read when I sit in the Oval Office every day, and the stories I hear at town hall meetings. This is about the woman in Colorado who paid $700 a month to her insurance company only to find out that they wouldn’t pay a dime for her cancer treatment ? who had to use up her retirement funds to save her own life. This is about the middle-class college graduate from Maryland whose health insurance expired when he changed jobs, and woke up from emergency surgery with $10,000 in debt. This is about every family, every business, and every taxpayer who continues to shoulder the burden of a problem that Washington has failed to solve for decades.”

– President Barack Obama, Press Conference, July 22, 2009

Health care reform is about the health of our country, both literally and figuratively.  It’s about the health of the people, and it’s about fiscal health. It’s about providing for people, not the insurance or pharmaceutical industries. And it’s about care, not just insurance. People aren’t cars, which might possibly have an accident. People get sick. Period. Not “might” get sick. Will. People need real health care, not just an insurance plan. The President knows this. Most of Congress knows this. So why are some fighting so vehemently against the truth?

 A Public Plan Will Work For You

Private insurers comprise a major for-profit industry. They serve their own interests and those of their stockholders before those of beneficiaries. First and foremost, insurers are in business to make a profit, not to take care of people. Their job is to calculate risks. Their goal is to maximize profits, which may conflict with providing health coverage. And they aren’t going to save the country money either, quite the contrary in fact. The cost of private Medicare has proven that.

Public coverage, on the other hand, saves taxpayers’ money. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund, a non-partisan health policy research group, indicates that including a public health insurance option similar to Medicare in any proposed reform would save almost two TRILLION dollars more than any reform that does not include a public option.

We need real health care reform.  With a public option and a standard set of benefits across all private and public plans, everyone will be better able to access coverage they can understand, at a price taxpayers can afford.  It’s about our health and our quality of life. It’s about all of us.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Can Blue Dogs Learn New Tricks? There’s a Way to Pay For Health Care Reform – If There’s The Will

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John  |  July 27, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    While our healthcare system needs some reform we do not need a plan that has huge costs that have not been addressed.(CBO) or leaves healthcare options being decided by bean counters instead of Drs. We do not need a plan that includes racial bias and favoritism. We do not need a plan that excludes private insurance from writing plans with new clients., or dictates anyone changing health care coverage must join the govt health plan. We do not need a plan that does nothing to increase the number of Drs and Care providers. We do not need a plan that is run through even though no one knows about all provisions of the bill. The plan being ramrodded through congress for political reasons contains all of these flaws
    What we do need is a plan that helps our citizens and contains the best ideas from all public and private sources. We also need a plan that can be sustained over time. Haste makes waste. Our government keeps proving it time and again. President Obama is right to say it is not about him. He should step back and let everyone work through this problem to it’s best conclusion. The current plans are about political power not national health. Members of Congress need to work together, with a common goal, to achieve the needed results. It’s about our country’s future, not about political gain.
    Quality care at a fair cost, to all people legally in our country, should be abtainable if the bill has properly written provisions emiminating favoritism and fraud.

    • 2. Pamela Olsen  |  July 31, 2009 at 3:23 am

      We certainly do need quality care at a fair cost, to all people legally in our country. And I agree, we need to do it carefully and thoughtfully.

      The problem is, the legislators who are cautioning us to slow down are doing it with red herrings and scare tactics, not facts. They refuse to look at the facts (e.g., that a public option is the only one that will really save us money, that Medicare works very well, that it is much more efficient than for-profit companies, and that we really don’t need to re-invent the wheel, especially state by state, with some “Co-ops”.). It’s not about saving money for them, although they keep saying so. It’s about saving their friends for their campaign contributions: the insurance companies.

      I’m a health care provider who has been doing my own billing for over 30 years. I experience every single day what a nightmare of nonsense and inefficiency our current system is. EVery company has it’s own rules, it’s own fees, it’s own telephone menus that don’t talk back, it’s own “credentialling” and “contracts”, etc. It’s a pain in the neck and very time-consuming to keep up with it all. Most doctors just hire someone to deal with all of that, and that’s one reason our costs are so high–because the hassle factor is so high and it takes so many people to deal with it.

      I’ve seen what has happened with Managed Care (the last time we put the foxes in charge of the henhouse). While health care costs have doubled, provider fees have been lowered in the last 15 years. Anyone who thinks that private companies aren’t “negotiating” lower doctor fees (they tell us what they’ll pay us. We take it or lose that network of patients) aren’t aware of the facts. The higher premiums are paying lobbyists, campaign contributions, outrageous CEO salaries , and stockholders, They aren’t paying for better care. Haven’t you wondered why you see your doctor for a total of 5 minutes these days? The very same doctor who used to spend 30 minutes with you? It’s because, with lower and lower fees and more and more hassles leading to larger and larger staffs, they have to see more patients in the same amount of time to be able to pay their own bills.

      The argument has been made that our health care for profit has stimulated a lot of research, and that we’re the better for it. Actually, it has stimulated research in how to make more profits, e.g., with more drugs, more sophisticated tests, etc. The countries that have a public plan and only a public plan do research on lifestyle issues, i.e., prevention. Not on things that will lead to higher costs and more profit.

      I very strongly believe that we need a private option. I don’t have a problem with them just letting younger people buy into Medicare. It can only help the program by letting younger, healthier people in. Right now it only serves those who are at greatest risk of chronic and long term health problems. Why not open it up?

      Personally, I feel that, since we’re all for freedom, we should allow people the freedom to choose a plan that doesn’t pay for lobbyists, campaigns, high CEO salaries, but allows them to pay into a plan that actually just provides health care. If people want to pay for a private plan instead, more power to them. But why shouldn’t people be free to choose a public plan if they want to? EVery other modern country has one, and it has been proven time and again that the outcomes are better and cheaper.

      I’d also like to work for such a system. Why? Because their rules are clear, they pay their bills without a hassle (some insurance companies take months! Their Mantra is: find a way to deny the claim), and save me time, even if they do pay me a little less. It is worth the simplicity.

      Pamela Olsen

  • 3. E C Stanton  |  August 23, 2009 at 7:49 am

    We don’t need to put our great grand children in a hopless debt to pay for health care reform. If a reforme to hapen the only one is the one our senators and congressmen have. When the wrote in the bill that congress was exempt I knew we were getting a 4th rate plan . were getting big-time SCREWED. I hope you all will wake up and vote the bums out of office. Health care is just the begining wait till CAP AN TRADE, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
    are pushed through two more budget busters that will finish destroying America. Some cities are feeling Substainable Developent like here in Bellingham and SeattleWashington just to name a couple


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