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Why I Support Health Care Reform

March 23, 2010

Many Americans believe we need health care reform. They are not sold on this particular reform bill, but much of the problem is that “talking heads” have been spinning this bill to be something it is not. There are no Death Panels, for example, and never were. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh… anybody who told you that this bill was an attempt to kill Grandma was lying to you. This bill helps ensure that Grandma can afford her life-saving medications.

This bill also prevents an insurance company from dropping people as soon as they get sick and need insurance. We pay our insurance premiums because if someday, God forbid, one of us needs medical intervention, we have that protection. Insurance companies take our monthly payments and, in return, promise to cover our medical needs. They get profit from our payments, and this bill prevents them from backing out of the agreement when they have to keep up their end of the bargain. It expects companies to honor their commitments, which is good, because we already expect this of our citizens. Reform is needed when insurance companies post record profits while dropping people who end up needing the insurance they’ve paid for.

This bill also helps insure adults and children with pre-existing conditions that currently prevent them from getting the health care they need. Right now, 45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have health insurance, and don’t seek medical care that they can’t afford. Our citizens are honest and hardworking, to the point that they die rather than take something they can’t pay for. It is right and good that we all do what we can to make sure nobody ever has to choose between honor and life just because of insurance.

This bill also helps save money. Right now, millions of uninsured Americans do end up seeking medical aid. They often go only in the most desperate situations, and when they need emergency intervention. If an American can’t afford insurance, they probably can’t afford to pay for preventative health care, and they definitely can’t afford to pay for expensive emergency care. Who ends up paying for this now? We, the tax payer already pay. We pay through higher insurance premiums and through our tax dollars. Health care reform just makes sense, because it does save us all money in the long run.

The problem with criticizing this bill is that there’s no way to do so without being a bit of a hypocrite. If you’re against government involvement in our health care, then you also have to be against Medicare. If you’re against government safety nets, then you have to be against Social Security. If you’re against huge deficits and big government, then you had to be opposed to Bush’s administration. This bill is less “socialist” than Medicare and Social Security. Should we stop those programs too? Some poor fools might say yes. It’s sad that they protest fictitious death panels, but are so willing to pull the financial plug on the elderly.

The Tea Party and Republicans might think they’re acting in the best interest of the whole country, yet they forget the value of human life, and think only of dollars. They might forget that our country is of the people, by the people, and for the people, and the people elected Obama. The Republicans are the minority, because the voters didn’t like the job they’d done, and voted them out. Health care was passed because people supported Obama, who promised it during his Presidential campaign. He is doing what we elected him to do.

I’ve heard Republicans complain about the lack of bi-partisan effort from the Democrats. It’s short-sighted to claim that Republicans were shut out of this health care reform bill’s creation progress. President Obama desperately wanted Republican votes for this bill, going so far as to meet publicly with Republicans to directly answer their questions. The bill itself is similar to Mitt Romney’s health care plan. The Republican Party had plenty of opportunities to negotiate, using their votes, to influence and help further shape this bill, which already uses Republican ideas as its very foundation.

When, in every instance, the Republican response to health care reform was to say no, to obstruct, and to blatantly lie, it’s hard to find much to commend them. Could a compromise have been reached? Could the reform bill have been better because both parties compromised? We can’t ever answer that, because it was never attempted. This didn’t have to be a conservative loss, but it ended up that way, and we as a country are sadder for it.

The US is the only industrialized country that treats health care like a service, not a right. That’s sad. 45,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have insurance. Talk all you want, but if less people die needlessly because of this bill, we all win.

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