Wednesday, July 29, 2009

3 Senators Support Public Option


Three Senators are standing tall in support of a public option. Senator Chuck Schumer has been outspoken, clear and unequivocal on national TV. Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Dick Durbin have recently joined him.

This week as other Senators and Blue Dogs seem to be retreating from the onslaught of the Insurance Lobby, these three are showing courage and commitment. Let's support them. They have created a website where our support can be counted. You just have to "sign in" with your email, first and lastname. Simple.

The numbers have grown by about 10,000 since yesterday. Let's show the Blue Dog cowards and any other quivering politicians that the American PEOPLE want a public option. We should let them know that they ignore us in favor of the Insurance INDUSTRY at great risk.

The Insurance Lobby is pouring $1.4 million into DC every day. These Senators who are standing for us, will need a lot of evidence to sway their peers. Please give it to them. Send off the address to your friends and family.

Now, for those who are curious about what a public option is, I'll explain as succinctly as I can. However, just as the President is very vague and general, so are we all since we don't have a bill to speak about yet.

Right now, the US is the only industrialized country that doesn't offer health care to all citizens. We have doctors and hospitals and everything you might need if you have:
a) Money
b) Health insurance
c) Medicare
d) Medicaid

If you don't have one of the above, you are among millions of Americans who just don't go to the doctor and try their best to avoid needing a hospital. This ends up being costly, because if you should end up in a hospital, and are seen, someone will have to pay. Everyone now agrees that this is more expensive than it is to offer preventive or early intervention care before your health is seriously compromised.

The question is how to do it. In Canada, they have single payer care for everyone. The government pays the doctors and the hospitals and the testing sites, etc.. None of those providers have to ask about insurance, and they all bill one source, the government.

President Obama has made it clear that since 16% of our economy is now tied up with private insurance, he is not going to put them out of business. This is a lot of jobs and some healthy taxes from the only industry that is posting record profits during this economy.... oh, and the recently resuscitated financial industry.

So, he is hoping that the Senate and House can splice together a combination of private insurance and public insurance as a health life line that will insure that everyone is covered. This needs to include some stipulations or regulations for the private insurers who have been getting rid of any of their clients who begin to cost them money. There will be new rules that will require any private company who has taken money to insure you, to actually do so. These are a very good start and we support them.

Yet, preventing the abuses of the private insurance companies only helps those who have insurance. We still have millions of Americans, and small companies who can't afford health coverage. Small companies are charged more than large companies, so independent business people are often out of luck. Other Americans: freelancers, artists, writers, florists, nannies, shoe repair people, dog walkers, house sitters, elder care semi-professionals, substitute teachers, lawn mower repair and sharpeners, handymen, small contractors and part time workers across the country are uninsured. These are people who make our lives more beautiful, or more possible as they take care of those we leave at home when we go to work.

The public option would be a low cost medical insurance plan that would cover these folks. If they can't pay at all, it would be at almost no cost. But, if they can pay a reasonable premium, they would contribute.

There were many suggestions on how to pay for those who can't pay anything that I believe we've covered in previous articles. President Obama suggested a cap on the deduction for the most expensive houses. Why he asked, should a middle class businessman get a $5000 deduction and a wealthy corporate officer get a $70,000 deduction? Either the wealthy man doesn't need to buy a house that expensive, or, he can afford to pay more of his own mortgage. Another suggestion was to reverse the Bush tax deductions for the top 1%. They would still pay less taxes than they were at the end of the Reagan term. This would allow us to provide health insurance for all Americans.

The one thing the President has promised is that this will not be paid for by taxing the middle class!

The other promise of the President, is that anyone who has insurance that they are happy with will be able to keep their plan and their doctor(s).

So, please, there is no reason not to do this. There is no reason not to do this. There is every humane reason to do this. And, it makes financial sense since doctors, hospitals and other providers are burdened with tedious intakes and tedious phone calls to make sure that each sick person can somehow pay for care. If everyone is covered, there's no problem!

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