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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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