Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Opt-In, Opt-Out, Co-Op, Trigger,
Medicare 'Buy-In'..with NO Public Option
Beware of the Health Reform

By Greg Jones
National Director

As the Senate health care reform debate enters it's ninth day, one can't help but to stop...take a pause for the cause...to ask oneself...what is the cause ? Why exactly are we in need of health care reform ? Then I'm reminded that reform is needed so that the 47 million hard-working Americans will finally have access to quality health care; something that should be a basic right, but in America is not. I'm reminded that the 47 million are struggling throughout life without the right to see a doctor for health care, not because they don't want to be able to get health care when sick, but in most cases it comes down to the simple fact that they can not afford it. That is why, during the past number of months, thousands of sick Americans have been forced to visit make-shift traveling free clinics for the rare opportunity to be seen by a doctor, a vision usually reserved to third-world countries. But, if they are not turned away due to overcrowding, sick Americans stand in the long lines for hours for the basic right to health care, in hopes of not becoming one of the 44,000 who die each year due to the lack of health care access.

From day one, this is whom health care reform is supposed to be for. Reform is supposed to create an affordable means of health care for the 47 million struggling without. But as we watch the reform debate unfold one can't help but notice that the supposed purpose of reform is becoming more and more watered down each day. With intentional 'plans' being proposed specifically for the purpose of not truly serving the needs of the struggling, we hear of new catch phrases like opt-in, opt-out, co-op, trigger, now there's even a new hammer...all designed to not meet the health care needs of the millions.

It has become obvious to all that the health insurance industry basically bribes our politicians through 'lobbying' (legalized bribery) and that most of our politicians, our 'servants of the people', are really in fact servants for the insurance cartel, which is why it is of vital importance that We The People stay focused on the true health care needs of our Country while not allowing ourselves to be hoodwinked and bamboozled throughout the process.

During the entire debate, one component of health care reform that has remained constant is the fact that there will be a mandate/law forcing all Americans to have or buy health care insurance or be penalized; absolutely fantastic news to the insurance profiteers. This would not be a terrible idea if a truly affordable alternative to the existing high priced insurance coverage was created. Keep in mind, the 47 million want coverage...they simply can not afford it ! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if a mandate/law is put into affect, but the rates are still unaffordable, the end result will still remain millions of Americans uncovered, still struggling without health care; but now they'll be under added stress because they'd also be labeled 'lawbreakers' for not earning enough money. And when they get so severely sick that they are forced to go to the emergency room for care will they refrain in fear of getting 'caught' ?

We're hearing about 'subsidies' (government covering part of the premium cost) which will be initiated to help insurance premiums become more 'affordable' for the struggling, but no one has discussed exactly how theses subsidies will work. If the government is going to pay the greatest portion of the monthly premium then that's one thing. But if the government wants and expects the struggling to pay the high monthly premiums out-of-pocket only to be subsidized through a tax deduction or tax credit come tax time in April, that would be disastrous, considering the fact that struggling Americans simply do no not have 5, 6, 7 hundred or more extra dollars a month to make the monthly high-priced premium payments. So they're bound to be forced to go without, still sick, struggling without health care, but now a lawbreaker. And without the alternative lower-costing plan in affect such as a strong, competitive public option, who knows how high the monthly payments could end up. So the key question that must be answered is how the subsidies will be administered.

As a new twist, we are now hearing this brilliant concept of allowing individuals, possibly as young as age 55 to 'buy-in' to Medicare; a plan being proposed instead of a strong, competitive public option which would drive down costs through competition. The key phrase here (which the politicians and the media seem to leave out) is 'buy-in'. As I listened to callers on CSPAN this morning saying what a great idea that more people will be able to 'get' Medicare, it was obvious that they were unaware that more people aren't going to 'get' it...but now a certain group of people (estimated to be approximately 3 million) will have the opportunity to 'buy it'. Before we jump up and down with glee over this new proposal we must ask but one simple question: How much will it cost ? If the cost is not significantly cheaper than what exists now through the cartel, what's so great about it it ? It would still be unaffordable.

And common sense should lead us to another question: What about everyone else...the care seeking struggling people who are under the age of 55 ? What...just no reform for them at all ? So if you're between the ages of 27 and 54 you're supposed to just be forced to pay-since there would not be a strong public option under this brilliant plan-the current high cartel rates, which are increasing rapidly, or continue to struggle, sick without health care access while, again, becoming labeled a lawbreaker. And to our politicians I ask, "You call this reform ?"

Mark my words, a health care reform bill is going to pass because our politicians are going to do everything they can to make sure the mandate goes into affect. (evident by the fact that not one Democrat NOR Republican is speaking out against the mandate) But we must ask ourselves, if there is no 'truly affordable' health care plan developed...should there be a mandate ? We must not be fooled into thinking that our objective is to simply 'get something passed' for political purposes, as we are hearing, but rather get something passed that truly addresses the health care needs of the struggling. In other words...true reform !

If we don't ask the right questions...call...fight...and DEMAND answers and true, affordable access to quality health care for all, then one day we could look up, and after everyone comes from under the ether from all of the bragging about the historic passing of the health care bill, we could actually find ourselves in worse shape than we are in now. Don't be hoodwinked. Ask the questions...get the answers as if your life depended on it. One day, it just might.

Greg Jones

Call...Fight...DEMAND !!!
STRONG Public Option ONLY !!!