Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on parts of the Healthcare Bill (nicknamed ObamaCare), the original bill fell short of its mission – to lower or slow healthcare costs and make healthcare available to everyone. Unfortunately, the Single Payer healthcare initiative was blocked by the Republicans as was many other parts of the bill.
Then the fear tactics were started to further diminish the effectiveness of true healthcare reform. Rumors (untrue) of “death panels” and “socialized medicine” that would ruin our high standards of care, and “refusal of treatment” after you reached a maximum amount… all lies and rumors to turn unaware citizens against actual healthcare reform.
What we ended up with was a hodgepodge bill, over 2,000 pages – mostly to clarify wordings to appease lawyers. The good parts – children can stay on plans longer, pre-existing conditions are no longer cause for denial of coverage.
For some reason, the requirement that everyone must purchase insurance caused an uproar. If you do not have insurance, someone has to pay for your care… why shouldn’t you be required to cover yourself, just like every driver must carry car insurance. What happens is younger, healthy people elect not to pay for insurance while older (perhaps wiser) people not only pay for their own insurance, but in the process, end up paying for those without insurance.
But the real shame is the bill does nothing to reduce the rising cost of healthcare and was a windfall for private insurance companies. So where are we now?
In typical Republican fashion, they want to repeal the entire bill WITHOUT an alternative bill that will truly reform out of control rising health costs. It is a lot easier to complain and find fault than it is to be constructive and find solutions.
Why not shore up Medicare, have higher fraud penalties and better fraud prevention measures… then open Medicare to everyone – for a premium. This would be optional opt-in insurance. It would be basic coverage. It would be affordable. If you want private insurance – get it. If you want a private insurance supplement – get it. But everyone MUST get health insurance. At the very least, get the basic Medicare coverage plan.
Socialized medicine? Not really. You still have choices of plans – private or government. The government will be filling the gap that private insurers are unwilling to fill; low cost basic coverage, portable insurance, available to all. Would this be the first step to socialized healthcare? Only if private insurers fall short in providing alternatives that appeal to the majority. Will private insurers have to compete with the Government? Yes – and vice-versa. There is no perfect solution. But if we do nothing (as many want to do), we will continue to slide into the abyss of the growing number of uninsured that are denied life saving medical care because they have no insurance or can not afford insurance. Then what kind of society have we become.