The House of Representatives is poised to take a historical vote today on health care reform, the outcome of which could impact our health care system for decades.
Anyone else feel like we’ve been down this road already?
In a clear example of the GOP agenda coming before the people’s agenda, the newly Republican controlled House wants to begin the process of undoing anything done in the last two years, starting with the “Obamacare” legislation they so feverishly opposed over the last 18 months.
The Republican lawmakers will tell you this is what the people want, but I guess it depends on who you ask, and how you ask them.
Polls regarding health care reform repeal vary widely depending on the options provided to the people polled.
Polls taken with a simple “to repeal or not to repeal” query show a slight edge to those in favor of repeal. But in polls where there were multiple options, such as “remove aspects of the bill, improve aspects of the bill, leave the bill as it stands, or repeal the entire bill, results show that the true majority of Americans favor tweaking over trashing.
But now we are talking about details, and details aren’t supposed to be important.
Some important aspects of the health care reform bill have already gone into effect and made a long needed improvement to a broken system. Allowing parents to keep their children on their plan until they are 26, closing the ridiculous gap in the Medicare drug plan, and requiring insurance companies to cover, at no cost to the policy holder, wellness programs and routine exams for both adults and children are great steps toward a functional health care system.
Simple repeal of the bill would eliminate these benefits, and take us a clear and distinct step backwards.
Again with details, try to ignore those.
Some aspects of this bill need some serious reconsideration before they are implemented over the next couple of years. Maybe not before we address the debt ceiling or job growth, but in the not too distant future for certain.
The individual mandate would be a good starting point. Forcing people into a broken, extortion based system through legislation and tax threats without providing an affordable option is simply wrong, and needs to go away. Likewise, forcing businesses to carry group coverage with no mechanism to make that group coverage affordable for the business owners is a recipe for disaster. Tax credits mean nothing if you financially can’t survive until the end of the year to use those credits.
Six lawmakers, all Republican, have chosen to decline the benefit packages provided for federal employees. Indicating that lawmakers need to work for their benefits the way most Americans do, they are trying to make a symbolic gesture against what they see as a government takeover of health care.
Maybe it’s just me, but the last time I read the legislation that was passed, the government didn’t take over anything in health care. Through mechanisms like the mandates, government actually expanded the role of private insurance while trying to create better efficiency in the aspects that are managed publicly.
Under the new legislation, Medicare and Medicaid would create an outcome based incentive program that rewards practitioners who work to coordinate a patient’s care between multiple physicians, reducing the redundancy of procedures or the potential for adverse reactions to medications or treatments prescribed between physicians. This will reduce inefficiencies and the number of readmissions to hospitals due to poor patient care coordination.
Medicare Advantage will no longer be a vehicle for private insurance companies to milk the taxpayer monies without providing additional benefits. Medicare Advantage was a great idea that was miserably executed. This will save the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars without compromising anyone’s care.
There I go with details again. Forgive me.
Perhaps the noble six lawmakers could agree to have the salary equal to the average of most Americans, excluding the top 1% of course, as their massive wealth skews any real “average”. Then maybe the employee benefit package would seem like a better idea. Perhaps then they could see how a similar package could be put together that could truly cover Americans who have no affordable option in the private sector but do not qualify for assistance under current Medicaid guidelines.
In fact, while the GOP leadership has set the target for repeal, they have yet to define what they would replace “Obamacare” with.
At some point, someone has to pay attention to details, don’t they?