Maybe now healthcare debate can begin in earnest

Maybe now health care debate can beginin earnest

Now that the Democrats have voted tosend their health care plan to be debated maybe we’ll be able to resolve thehealth care issue, but it’s doubtful. We’ve heard a lot about how bad the planis from those that oppose it – but little in the way of how to actually, reallyimprove it. Those that don’t like it want to tear it down and bide their timein the hopes that the Democrats will lose more of their majority in themid-term elections. Even if that happens the Republicans won’t be able to bury the issue for another halfa century.

Why? Because health care costs willcontinue to rise as will the insurance rates. Businesses, which provideinsurance, will be asked to contribute more, as will their employees. Even nowemployees at companies with employer-provided insurance watch their deductiblesgo up and their coverage go down – this has happened across the nation whetheryou work for a large corporation or a small business. Without some kind ofhealth care reform there is really no end in sight. Soon, even the mostaffluent of businesses will have to make the choice between providing healthcare insurance to their employees and remaining profitable.

What little the opposition has offeredup as an alternative to the Democrat’s plan in the past has been proven to costmore, covered less and favored insurance companies over people like the under-and uninsured and those with pre-existing conditions. Asked to wait for theword on costs from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the CBO saidthe Dem’s plan would save more money than the GOP’s over the long term andcover more people. Yet many remain unconvinced.

Scare tactics like death panels andgovernment-paid abortion have been used to scare away support. The latesttactic says the Democrat’s bill amounts to a government take over of healthcare – the government will get between you and your doctor, taking away yourdecisions about your own health care. What do you think insurance companiesalready do? They are the last word on what they will and will not pay for -they frequently say no whether or not you and your doctor feel a certain courseof action is necessary to save your life or the life of a loved one. And if youcan’t afford insurance or have a pre-existing condition that makes you anuntouchable by insurance company standards, don’t think that you wouldn’t jumpat the chance to get some sort of health care coverage – government run or not.About that time government-run insurance, like Medicare, would look pretty goodfor you, your spouse or your child.

No matter what is decided we need tofind a way to make health care more affordable for those who don’t have it andfor those who will soon lose it because no business, large or small will beable to continue to bear the rising costs to cover their employees. Andemployees will not be able to afford to contribute more. Without getting somekind of control on the situation more and more people will go without and bythen it might be too late to ever rein in the situation.

So let the debate begin – let’s hearthe opposition’s ideas and hope that they stop paying lip service to theinsurance lobby and start really trying to find solutions to this crisis. Eventheir supporters who have been convinced that it’s all an evil plot by thegovernment need health care reform. Because those of us who aren’t fortunateenough to have the high-priced health care plans like those we give toCongress, Democrats and Republicans alike, get sick, we both love our familiesand we both want to see that they can get affordable quality health care.

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