Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Care - and whatever

Brack Obama has promised us that he will try to get us a good, strong, sensible health care program. (Operative word: "try") He is working hard to keep that promise.

Personally, I do not agree with everything he suggests. Have any of us ever agreed with everything a politician has suggested? But I do believe it is at least about a thousand percent better than the sorry state of our present system.

The "business as usual" people do NOT have the welfare of the public at heart. Our congressmen, secure in their own health care benefits as well as all sorts of other percs, are not willing to rush to our rescue. Nor are they anxious to appease this upstart president who seems hell-bent on forcing them to act like hard-working law makers and actually get something accomplished for the good of their constituents. Maybe they need a real kick-start from said constituents.

My son asked me the yesterday, how come they feel they deserve to take a month's vacation, while we continue to suffer? He has a point.

I listened to Mr. Obama's press conference on the subject. I love to listen to that man talk! After hearing all the "Yes, but..."s and the "What's the hurry?"s and what is supposed to pass for intelligent argument from the nay sayers, hearing him speak calmly and coherently, directly and to the point, and as my son said, just saying what needs to be said, is so refreshing. Hearing someone with authority actually make sense for a change is almost enough to make me cry for joy.

And then there's the Press. Oh, Mr. Cronkite, we miss you so! On an evening when the whole point is to discuss health care, there has to be an alleged reporter who must ask a stupid question entirely off the subject. (and don't tell me that was not deliberate) And so the next morning, are we to hear a good solid discussion of what was said about health care? Of course not. We are told by the "news people" that what WE want to hear is about the off-subject bit. "Everyone" is talking about nothing else. No no. THEY are talking about nothing else.

While I'm ranting, may I add that I really do not see any virtue in these public polls of opinion on such matters. There is certainly a time and place for the public to express opinions, but I see no place on a "news" show for an email survey of the public on their reaction to such things. I would really, really like to just hear the news - real, honest-to-God news, straight up. Then let me make of it what I will. Give me the facts and let me go from there.

Guess I can't leave well enough alone. I feel I have to add something here. And that is that no, I don't agree with the whole plan. As I have expressed many time, what I really feel we should have is a single pay system. The insurance companies have such a strangle hold on us and their lobbyists have so much influence already that I don't believe Mr. Obama is going to get from Congress anything near what he wants. But he is in there trying, and in my book, that counts for a lot. If he doesn't get it, no doubt he will be blamed for whatever the result.


kenju said...

You are right and I don't care for the polls either. So many of us are too uneducated to make a good decision in a poll.

Sylvia K said...

Agree with you 100%. And, yes, just give me the news/facts and allow me to use what mind I have left to come to my own conclusions! I'm afraid we ask in vain though!

bobbie said...


In all fairness, it was after the two comments above that I decided on the addendum, so when kenju and Sylvia say they agree with me, it may not mean they agree with what I have added.

Celeste Maia said...

For years and years I had one of the "good" health care programs. My husband was in the Foreign Service and our family was covered with a program that worked anywhere in the world, was heavily subsidized by the government, and was backed up by military health care when we were stationed near US bases.

When he left the Foreign Service and went to work for an international organization based in Spain, it was still good for a while. However, by the mid-1990's, it all began to change. The euro-dollar exchange rate increased the dollar costs. The insurance company adopted a policy of questioning to death every bill so that we would simply be worn down with correspondence that never got resolved. In the event, the only bill the insurance company would pay was for the annual checkup. And we were paying $3,300 a year.

We finally opted out of the US health care system -- and that got the insurance company's attention! For about the same amount of money -- and no subsidies -- we get excellent health care in Spain, elsewhere in Europe and even from the US. It is straightforward. If we use MAPFRE doctors and facilities, and there are hundreds, we just show our card and forget about it. If we use others, they pay 80%. We choose.

This is the long way of describing how broken the US health care system is. Obama's plan is not radical enough because bringing down health care costs will require undoing the unhealthy structures throughout the system. And that will take time. We will need that Advisory Committee to keep the focus on changing the economics of US health care down to its unhealthy roots.

karin said...

How can we get it out there that we need single payer health care? Our health care system as Celeste Maia has said is broken and all the politicians in Washington who are paid by the lobbyists are not going to do anything. And if I hear one more poll.. (one can get whatever results is desired by asking skewed questions)!! I used to believe that if we focused our energy (thoughts, prayers, whatever you call it) on something we could make it happen. Okay, ten minutes an hour, focus positive thoughts on single payer health care, aimed specifically on your elected reprsentatives (as well as letters, emails, etc. Any other suggestions?

Jacqui said...

This has been a bee in my bonnet this week too - although it is the British media that has bugged me. They are so well trained in 'critical thinking' that the only thing they can do is criticise - if someone has an idea or proposal for the common good, you can bet your last penny that the media will pick holes in it, shred it up and feed it back to us their way. Ask them to come up with a better plan? Silence! Sorry to rant on your blog, but this hs been my gripe of the week.

Hey Harriet said...

I don't have a great understanding of what's happening over there, but I am aware of how messed up your healthcare system is. I do hope for you all that improvements will be made. I also like listening to Mr. Obama talk. He comes across as being very genuine to me. I don't feel that way about many politicians!