I don’t believe many people in the United States think we don’t need some reform or changes in health care. Anyone who has changed or lost their job knows the dilemma of health care. How do you take care of your family during these tough times? COBRA was touted as the answer to this problem however If you have actually had to use COBRA knows that it’s not affordable. The monthly premium can run anywhere from $500 to $1200 a month. This is nearly the same as purchasing your own private insurance without any help. The decision to just forgo the insurance altogether and use the money to pay things like rent, food and utilities is very often made. Not knowing when work will be available it is often more practical to go without health insurance than to spend what savings you may have on the chance you get sick. It’s a game chance and while a young single person can often afford this risk a middle aged married person with kids can’t take this risk. So why is there resistance to the current health care plans? There are few answers to that question and it’s not that people just don’t want others to have good health care.
What’s the plan? This I believe is one the most important issues people have with the current debate. We don’t as citizens know what the plan is. We hear lots of rhetoric but not many specifics. The President says one thing while those that actually write the bills say another. Is there a single payer option or isn’t there for example. President Obama campaigned on the promise that bills would get 72 hours online so the public could read it and have an idea what their representatives where voting on. Now that doesn’t seem possible. It seems it’s easier to claim Republicans want people to die than to scan a document and upload. Does this instill confidence? Nope, this simply propels the belief that something is hidden in the bills. With that, the general public or and least those of us on the more libertarian / conservative side don’t believe our representatives will read the bill and actually know what they are voting on. If we all could read the bills it would be much harder to include pay offs and pork.
The second concern is the government running health care more than it currently does. I doubt anyone doesn’t want some regulations. We all feel a need to make sure that the care we get meets basics standards and the care of the general public is being looked after. This makes sense to even the most libertarians of us. But we don’t want the government with its bureaucratic infrastructure running the whole system. I don’t think anyone who has dealt with this system has lots of faith in civil servants usually with little or no experience in their fields taking care of us.
Then there is the question of how we pay for it all. Again I don’t think the public is against paying for health care but we can’t afford to let waste rule the day. That is exactly what many of us believe will happen the more the government gets involved. The claim that taxes won’t go up simply doesn’t ring true. President Obama claimed much of the money would come from fixing the waste in the system. Well then fix the waste right now. We don’t need a health care bill for that. Fixing the waste now would build confidence in this administration’s ability to actually administer something.
Another issue I heard mentions this weekend was that we are afraid of change. This is true for everyone to some extent. But is that bad? Shouldn’t we be cautious when dealing with such large issues as health care? Do we want to get in a hurry and create a monolithic institution that can’t be fixed later? I don’t think so. So while this concern is real it’s not a reason to hurry through a legislative bill.
What is wrong with line by line open debate? What would anyone who is only trying to get the best bill forward fear? We all know the answer to that question don’t we?
Until I see a clear understandable document and the open debate needed to produce such legislation I will not support a health bill.