Healthcare Reform is Not About One Individual

The conservatives have taken control of the airwaves and are scaring Americans into believing the current healthcare reform bill will bankrupt the country.  They want to start over.  Sadly, when Republicans ran Congress, nothing was done to reform the healthcare system.  Sure we got prescription drugs covered for Medicare beneficiaries, which is incredibly important, but in general, we saw an increasing number of Americans become uninsured and a continuous rise in the cost of providing healthcare, including insurance premiums.  How can we stop now?  We cannot and we should not allow this to happen.  This country can no longer afford to wait or even start over.  No matter who is in charge, nothing will ever work perfectly.

Unfortunately, this is not solely about healthcare reform.  As is always the case in Washington, politics plays an equal, if not dominant role.  Sadly, politicians, like all of us, are humans.  Frequently, they find themselves in the difficult position of compromising their beliefs or the good of the country to satisfy an individual constituency or a narrow belief that is at odds with the overall objective.  Whether it be a government option or funding of abortions using federal dollars allocated for insurance plan subsidies is really not the point here. The point of this legislative exercise is to start the process of insuring all Americans and bringing costs under control.  Quite frankly, we can still pass meaningful legislation without a national plan.  We can also pass meaningful legislation if federal dollars are segregated and not used for abortions – let’s just hope that our elected officials keep their eye on the prize.  That is fixing this mess.  It’s easy to scare people into believing this is an expensive government take over of healthcare.  It is not.  Certainly the government is getting more involved – we need their help – look at the mess we have created with the private health insurance markets.  If we start over or do nothing, it will be far more expensive in the future.  Many more will go uninsured and bankrupt.  Call your elected officials.  Tell them to pass healthcare reform and look at the big goals.  Work with your colleagues and compromise.  Strident opposition does nothing to advance a noble goal.  Meaningful dialogue to work out  conflict is always the best approach.  That is what I was always told.

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