Friday, July 31, 2009

Dogs and Health Care Reform

Every American has a dog in the fight for health insurance reform. The United States, still the richest country in the world, has almost 50 million people without health insurance, and in this country, health insurance equals health care. Providing every single American with basic health care is a moral obligation, just as seeing to it that every American has a shot at a decent education.

One of the ironies with several of the lies that come bubbling out the health insurance industry is that they use what is happening now as examples of the horrible things that will or might happen if the government is involved. Examples:
  • “You'll have an unelected government bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor.” If you have health insurance, you already have an unelected company bureaucrat standing between you and your doctor, or maybe even between you and having an insurance policy (ever hear the term “pre-existing condition?”). And because the bureaucrat works for the insurance company, she has a good reason not to authorize a particular procedure or to deny your claim:her paycheck.
  • “A government health insurance will cut off old people from life-saving treatments, so they will die.” The health insurance companies have done this for decades, refusing to cover “experimental” or “unproven” treatments not only for the elderly, but also for young people whose health falls below of certain necessary level. The latter situation is based on medical protocols, so that will not change. Can you imagine the outcry if the government allowed everyone to have every treatment they thought would make them better, even over the objections of their doctors? The “tea-baggers” would have a field day.
  • “A national health insurance would allow for abortions.” This is true, and it infuriates the so-called “pro-life” folk because their efforts to stand between women and their doctors when it comes to reproductive health would be for naught. Ah, the irony.
  • “A single payer national health insurance would never work because the government would be running it.” Ever heard of Medicare?
It has been said that a nation deserves the kind of criminals it has. The same can be said of health care.

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