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This Is What Change Looks Like

Last night, the House of Representatives passed President Obama’s Health Reform Bill. Of course none of the Republican’ts voted for it. When it was passed, Obama triumphantly declared that, “this is what change looks like.” Oddly enough, it doesn’t seem to look much different.

I remember when Obama gave his big health care reform speech; he said that he wanted this to be the last time we as a nation had to address healthcare reform. Well, he hasn’t even signed this bill yet and there is already H.R. 4789 in the works. That is the Public Option bill which will actually deliver change. I should point out that Obama isn’t supporting that bill.

Some of my Democrat friends tell me that this bill is still okay since it prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preconditions. Technically it does do that, but it really doesn’t. Sure people with preconditions can now buy insurance, but at what cost? Insurance companies can charge those people millions of dollars. If they can’t pay, no big deal their tax dollar will pay it through the government subsidies for those who can’t afford it. That’s two middle men.

Also, even if someone with a preexisting condition can afford the now higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t mean that the insurance companies can’t use the dozens or maybe even hundreds of loopholes which allow them to deny particular procedures, tests, and specialists. In other words, this bill mandates that everyone has to buy insurance but there is no mandate on the insurance companies to actually pay out insurance.

Quick example, when my wife was pregnant, her doctor referred her to a specialist for something. Every doctor in specialist practice was “in network” except the one doctor randomly assigned to her. In other words, even though we had insurance the insurance company denied the claim on a technicality and we got screwed. We paid our premiums and still had to pay the doctors as if we didn’t have insurance at all. Will this bill change that? No, now we will most likely have to pay higher premiums and get even less service.

Without strong regulations and without a strong public option, this bill amounts to a book-door bailout for the insurance companies. It really isn’t anything to celebrate. Besides, the change that Obama is so proud of won’t even take affect for a few years. Most of the provisions don’t kick in until 2014. Some don’t even kick in until 2020. Between now and then, the Republican’ts might be in power and they might even reverse any positive aspects this bill might have long before those aspects take effect.

It really is sad that even when Democrats win, we still lose. So many people really thought Obama was going to bring change to the system. When he said that he wasn’t going to play the game, but rather change the game in Washington, people really believed him. I tried to tell them that Obama is not a progressive and that he is a middle of the road corporate Democrat, but Fox News was telling everyone that he was the “Most liberal Senator” and even progressives believed it.

Congratulations to the insurance companies who now can raise premiums as high as they like without fear of the free market. They now have the government forcing everyone to buy their crappy overpriced service.

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  • qwertyuiop

    O Canada. Our home and native land.

    Is Canada the only sane country left on this Earth?

  • http://dogmaticatheist.wordpress.com A-Dizzle

    I don’t quite understand why in Washington a bad bill is considered better than no bill.

    • qwertyuiop

      Because it’s not a bad bill… at least not for the corporate owners of America who will see a windfall of mandatory profits coming in.

  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    I wasn’t too sure of this bill when I first heard it had passed. But I had a negative vibe about it. I thought a public health care option would have been a much better idea. Now, I go from not having paid the medical industry a dime in 4-5 years to being forced to pay for insurance. I’ve ran the risk of no health care for years now and outside of not seeing a dentist in awhile, I am okay with that.

    So, the government is serving corporate interests once again instead of the people’s interest.

  • kat

    Could this be a better bill, Yes. But the Repugs are’nt going to let up.I think Obama and The Dems are lucky they got this much passed. If they hadn’t passed this, we would NEVER see healthcare reform..It’s pretty sad that in this country we have to except that SOMETHING is better than nothing. The Repugs aren’t going to ever agree. If they took every single repug idea and made a bill they still wouldn’t vote for it..That was very clear.
    What is in effect THIS year:
    Tax credits for small businesses
    All existing insurance plans will be barred from imposing lifetime caps on coverage
    Restrictions on annual limits on coverage
    Government oversight: Insurers must report how much they spend on medical care versus administrative costs
    Parents will be allowed to keep their children on their health insurance plan until age 26
    People with a medical condition that has left them uninsurable able to enroll in a new federally subsidized insurance program that is to be established within 90 days.
    Senior citizens would get more help paying for drugs (the donut hole)
    Insurance plans cannot exclude pre-existing medical conditions from coverage for children under age 19
    Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing

    And the bill also includes that Insurance companies will no longer be able to arbitrarily and massively raise premiums .According to the CBO, Without reform, the average family premium is expected to grow to $24,000 by 2016.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Like I said, they can’t deny you the ability to pay them money, but they can still deny you services. I am not aware of the provision that would restrict the insurance companies from raising premiums. If that is really in there, than that is at least a really good thing… if it doesn’t have loopholes. But the rest of the stuff you rattled off all have loopholes so that the insurance company doesn’t have to actually follow it. Sure they can’t exclude you for a preexisting condition, but they don’t have to cover your specialist visits or any tests, or even treatments. That goes for people under the age of 26 and under the age of 19. They don’t have to cover anything. All they are required to do is take your money and you are required to give it to them.

      • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

        I just read that there was a provision that would limit the amount insurance companies can raise rates, but it was taken out of the final bill.

  • http://www.myspace.com/diana_graves Diana

    I’m with Scott. I’ve never had insurance, i simply can’t afford one more bill. I’m hardly getting by as it is…

    I think it makes me a better driver though…

    I had hoped that this bill was going to make it easier to afford protection, but all it did was make it a burden, yet another burden on us.

    Not only MUST we pay home and car insurance, now we MUST pay health insurance….The only difference being that if I don’t want to pay home insurace I can rent, if I don’t want to pay car insurance I can take the bus…but health insurance is now a bill you’re born with, like taxes.

    In fact, if we all MUST pay for health insurance why don’t they just take it out of our taxes? We all have to pay it anyway, just like we all pay for the firemen and woman, policemen and woman and schools. What’s the difference?

    • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

      I am fairly certain that most other countries health care system is tax based. What we have happening is the states I suspect is most likely bribery. Health insurance companies probably paid for the democrats ad campaign is this is the democrats giving back in the form of making every US resident a customer.

      Many states are taking measures to block this bill. Even though federal law is supreme to state law, there is the example of 14 states using medical marijuana even though federal law bans it. So perhaps the lack of state cooperation with the federal government might protect us.

      I still can’t help but feel that the democrats sold us all out to the insurance companies. I might have to withdraw support of that party until it reorganizes itself into a better party.