By Betsy L. Angert
On the eve of what was thought to be, perhaps, a sign of progress in the six-decade long health care reform debate, joblessness mounts. Depression increases. The intensity of illness is on the rise. Few if any can afford to visit a doctor. People are unemployed, under-employed, and if an individual has an income, hours are reduced. There is barely enough to pay the most basic bills, let alone insurance premiums. Yet, staffers have been asked, no told, by business owners, workers must pay a larger portion of their health care coverage. Bosses bellow in unison; with profits down, certainly the corporations cannot continue to offer perks. Medical indemnities are a privilege, not a guarantee. If you feel ill, if you are injured, take two pills and call no one in the morning.
Do not dare telephone the Democrats. They have made their peace with the health care crisis. Republicans will not respond to the cries of a public, and Independents are, as you know independent! The decree; health care reform was dead on arrival.
Each of these bodies assures the American people. A prescription for the cost of exceedingly high health care in America, well essentially, there is none. Any cure will be but a compromise. That is the way Congress works. Representative are comfortably covered. Senators are too. The American people can suffer, and they do.
Universal Single Payer, Not for Profit programs as an idea was scrapped before it ever reached the Halls of Congress. The possibility of a Public Health Insurance Option? Tea Party protesters, who were persuaded by advertisements bought and paid for by Pharmaceutical companies, Insurers, and an Ex-Chief Executive Hospital Entrepreneur eliminated any hope for that opportunity.
Should the poor, the poorly covered, or the persons who cannot possibly pay for policies become sick, magnate, underwriters, and makers of medicines will worry not. Illness and accidental injury will add to their shared incomes. Drug manufacturers, those who assess risks, and moguls will all be fine. Each will be financially made more comfortable if nothing changes. Senator Joseph Liebermann, Independent, [in name only] “Democrat,” from Connecticut will also be firmly fixed if prospects for reform are dashed.
For less than a week, there was chance, the slightest potential, that the ever-popular Medicare program would be expanded. While Medicare For All was another unfulfilled dream, swiftly dropped from the Congressional debate, it was proposed that the program as it exists today, could be enhanced. The thought was persons ages 55 through 64 could begin to collect benefits if only the Democrats and Republicans agreed to this compromise. That would help twelve percent of Americans who are without health insurance. That amounts to 4.3 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Yet, as of late, Monday, December 14, 2009, the word was that Medicare Buy In Plans may also be dashed. Senator Lieberman would see to that. On the weekend, the Connecticut independent Democrat, indicated he would not vote for it. Tonight, a closed-door meeting was held, or perchance, the “Progressive” Party was held hostage from within the Chamber.
Mister Lieberman understands that the majority cannot move without his support. The American people will not procure a health care reform Bill unless Joe votes for, rather than against any proposal.
Some consider what might have motivated the Senator. Granted, Connecticut has the highest U.S. concentration of insurance jobs. However, the Senator pledges, this, and ample contributions from these corporations, do not play a role in his decision. Lieberman says, he is concerned solely for the citizens of this country.
Regardless of what is true for the Connecticut Senator, the expansion of Medicate depends on him. Hence, the Democrats relent. Those who most desire a radical transformation have resigned themselves to the reality, without Joe, resolutions are a “no go.”
As he exited the Monday evening meeting, Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana was heard to murmur, “If dropping the Medicare expansion is necessary, that’s what should be done.”
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia said that it was not yet clear if there would be enough votes to pass the bill, but that he believed Democrats would rise to the challenge. The American people wonder as they ponder all that has occurred so far.
Meanwhile, with the memory of a breakthrough behind us, the number of unemployed grows. Misery and melancholy amongst the masses multiplies. infirmity increases, and wounds go unattended. Time with a physician is thought too pricey. People are out of work, without adequate wages, and earnings have eroded. Essentials are expensive and many have been eliminated. Dollars for insurance dues? Only Congressmen and woman can afford those, or the time to dilly-dally with the destiny of those who long ago lost the power to govern. Thus, the prescription remains the same. Take two pills, or none, and call no one in the morning.
Health Care Reform, and the Reality of Party Politics . . .
- Democrats Likely to Drop Medicare Expansion, By David M. Herszenhorn. The New York Times. December 14, 2009, 8:02 PM
- Republicans Keep Up Pressure on Cost of Health Plan, By David M. Herszenhorn. The New York Times. December 12, 2009, 8:02 PM
- Poll Shows Mounting Toll of Joblessness on Nation, By Michael Luo and Megan Thee-Brenan. The New York Times. December 15, 2009, 8:02 PM
- Medicare for 50-Somethings? The Editors. The New York Times. December 10, 2009, 8:02 PM
- Public Health Insurance Option The New York Times.
- Single-Payer National Health Insurance. Physicians for a National Health Program.
- Ex-Hospital CEO Battles Reform Effort, Ads Cite Long Waits In Canada and Britain. By Dan Eggen. Washington Post. Monday, May 11, 2009
- Medicare Buy-In Plan’s Cost May Deter Centrist Lawmakers, Potential Customer © 2009. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Lieberman Flexes Muscle as Democrats Redo Plan, By David M. Herszenhorn and David D. Kirkpatrick. The New York Times. December 15, 2009, 8:02 PM
- Lieberman: Health bill concern not based on Connecticut insurance companies, By J. Taylor Rushing. The Hill. October 26, 2009
- Lieberman’s Medicare Flip-Flop Leaves Democrats Fuming, By Sam Stein. Huffington Post. December 14, 2009
copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org