I should be doing a happy dance. The House has passed its health reform bill and the Senate bill is chugging along, so before I can say “gobble gobble” I should be one step closer to actually finding affordable health insurance. Right? Wrong.
Neither bill is all that great. And they are bound to get worse from here.
The Senate bill will be debated and amended and watered down for weeks and weeks. If by some miracle it gets passed, it will be “reconciled” with the House bill. More debate. More amendments. More watering down.
Let’s take a look at what’s in the current version of the Senate bill:
- A wimpy “public option” that gives the states the option to opt out. This is not good news for those of us who live in Texas. Our governor would be happy to opt out of the entire country, for crying out loud.
- No mention of repealing the insurance companies’ anti-trust exemption. We wouldn’t want to make them compete, would we?? That would be so unfair.
- Taxes on the insurance companies, which will be passed along to consumers. Count on it.
- Tax subsidies to “make premiums affordable.” This makes about as much sense as the government giving every family $200,000 to buy an “affordable” Maserati.
- There’s more, but my blood pressure is rising. And I really can’t afford to get sick.
At this point, Dear Congress, you have all put in countless hours. You have ranted and raved and threatened and cajoled. I'm sure you are as tired as the rest of us.
So do us all a favor. Forget the whole thing.
Let the insurance companies continue to rip us all off. Let the costs continue to sky-rocket. Let the Republicans say "I told you so" and "Waterloo! Waterloo!"
Let families and businesses go bankrupt, crushed by the weight of unsustainable health care costs.
Let the tea-partiers have their way, and let's see how "small government" works out when it's pitted against "gigantic, all-powerful, earth-swallowing corporations."
Let me know how it all works out. I'll be living on a beach in Mexico. I'm hoping the sound of the ocean will bring down my blood pressure. The American medical system sure won't.