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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Health Care...

We are a better nation than what we've got now when it comes to this Health Care thing.

We're rich. Powerful. Pretty successful. 

But we've got problems in our posterity.

Millions are sick. Millions more scared they'll lose what they count on. Lies from the left and confusion from the right.

And all of it is  confusing. 

None of it is easy to understand. 

But we need to have the conversation. I think we all believe in this. 

And I believe in our American Character. So trusting in our innate resiliency and our ability to overcome, let's start down the path of writing the next chapter in our great American history. 
I really believe that this health care is a fundamental right we all have. For those who have, it's not broken because we pay for what works. We're not the ones who have to worry. For many who can afford it, this is just a conversation which is fleeting. 

But for many more, there's nothing fleeting about it.

It's about life and death. Sickness and health. 

If you're reading this, chances are good that you have health care. It may not be perfect, but you probably pay your co-pay and get your meds, see your doctor and go about your business. You probably pay for it through your paycheck pre-tax and you probably make your selections via your company at the end of the year during open enrollment. You've probably had premiums rise and maybe if you've been lucky, you've even had a few years go by when your premiums didn't go up.

Now imagine that you don't have any of that. 

No $10 dollar ambien for your sleeping disorder. No $10 birth control. No really cheap generics for things that are genuinely wrong. 

For millions of Americans - this is life in our great society. 

They go without. 

They don't work for a big company. Or they did, and had great care, but when they lost their gig they had to choose between paying for the roof over their head or their car payment.

Paying for COBRA was never an option.

And - like in my situation, my daughter is covered through my care... but her mom, who is in a much different situation - can't afford care and doesn't have it. 

That's unacceptable to me. Because part of my responsibility as a parent means I need Kyla's mom to be at the best she can be. Without health care, I wonder aloud if she really has a fair chance to be? And it's not her fault. The system is broken and too expensive as it is now for her to even fathom.

With that as the canvass, let me try to paint. Even though I don't pretend to have all the solutions to the many equations which makeup this complex problem. 
So imagine you're a mom, and you get sick. 

A single mom. And you get sick. 

And you're on a fixed income.

What do you do? 

Go to the ER and take on debt which will never get paid and drive the costs up on the rest of us? 
Take money from your food budget for your kid and go to the urgent care and pay the fee only not to see a doctor? 

What do you do? 

That's why we need the President's plan. Because there are too many stories like this story. Too many people would would if they could but can't because the system now doesn't provide for it. 

Because having to make that choice is just not what America is all about. 

Competition fuels the economic engine in a democracy. 

So unleash it for those who need it. Let the people who want do like they do with car insurance. Create a
system which lets them compare plans and fight for the best price much like GEICO versus Progressive or State Farm. Or Esurance. 

Or like travelocity or priceline do for plane tickets. 

Or banks even with mortgages and whatnot. 

When health insurance providers compete, we all can win. 

So let them compete. And let those who need it go and find what they can need and afford in their situation. 

Now, the public option. Something for those who can't. Who have hardship. 

Why shouldn't we have something which gives access to fundamental care to those who can't for whatever reason? And if the President is right, and we can do it for a fraction of the cost of funding the war in Iraq, why not? Why not hold those who need for a time to thresholds which say to them "hey, we'll give you this help now, but when you're able to sustain yourself... when you again find work which provides... when you make enough to be able to find some great care for yourself... you'll go get it..."

I bet we can make it work in the framework of our existing health and human services. Sure it might not be as perfect as the marquee plans, but if it can be cost effective, and patient oriented, then I say go for it.

And I have a feeling it will pay for itself. After all, this is a vast new market for an existing industry which probably already has a business model for it tucked away somewhere. 

I think we all agree that we need it. What was proposed tonight casts the vision to making this happen.

The details will be worked out. Finding the money will happen when we take a hard look at what we've already got and make responsible decisions about how we need to spend our nation's money. 

Like families do with their own money. 

We owe it to our generation and to Kyla's generation... and her children's generations and those beyond
who call themselves Americans to get it done. 

I'm off to watch Glee now. I'm sure there will be more later. 

Thank you so much for taking a moment of your life to read the ramblings I spew here from mine. 

I hope you're enjoying what you read.