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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Heath Care: Dear Senator Why Do I Have To Be A Second Class Citizen?

Regardless of the focus on imaginary costs, it is still about creating, institutionalizing, and sanctioning second class citizens. The House health care legislation is coming along more progressively than the Senate's version. Yet Congress still insists on legitimizing and institutionalizing another second class citizenry in the United States comparable to the 80's welfare system stigma by promoting an elitist care system.

Politicians like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Colorado's Mark Udall and Representative Jared Polis just don't get it and are willing to gut the system for their own private political agendas. But these characters are just symptomatic of the larger problem of Congress as a whole.

The idea that poor people should have limited choices appears to be just fine with Congress as a whole. A golden load of hypocrisy when compared to the arguments that the reason against a single payer system is the worry that choices will diminish for the upper classes.

Hello? One ringy-dingy, two ringy-dingies? What about the rest of us? Have you noticed the line on your job description, Mr. and Ms. Representative of the People, that states ALL THE PEOPLE? It doesn't say SOME OF THE PEOPLE.

While those of color may not be going to the back of the bus any longer it is becoming clear that Congress apparently doesn't mind sending a rider straight to the undercarriage of the bus based on their individual wealth.

It must be nice to sit on a golden throne that can lay golden eggs for all the golden people in America and legitimize your golden world with the golden power of the mighty pen. But the rest of us still understand that real eggs come from real chickens and we have to go out each day and feed the chickens and collect the eggs or they don't make it to the breakfast table. And that is assuming the Wall Street Fox doesn't stroll in through the gate, left unguarded, in the middle of the night with the banker boots on and steal them all.

In case Congress has forgotten there are a lot of working poor throughout this country. I have to wonder what Congress considers "modest incomes" as cited in the New York Times article below. Does this mean 40k a year? Does it mean 80k a year? Or does it mean 120k a year? Just what does modest mean to a group of politicians sitting on golden thrones? Just how far above the hen house are their castles? Which poor people are they throwing into the humiliating dungeons of Medicaid? I'd like to see my Senators and Representatives crack that egg open and be forced to have that stethoscope put on their chest. I don't think they'd be very happy with the quality, the experience, or the wait.

But apparently they are just fine that poor Americans must endure that experience.

In the end of this drama it has become clear that Congress simply doesn't seriously care about all Americans or that all Americans have access to real health care. They just care that the Americans most like "them" get the care just like "them" with the least ruffles on the ridges of those, "like them", who contribute to the political campaign war chests.

I've always wondered what it was like to live in the European Feudal System. I was stunned when it seemed so much less romantic in the movie Braveheart than it did in my childhood storybook Cinderella. Reality isn't very kind once you get past twenty. It slaps you in the face at the most inconvenient times. Little did I realize until now that the Feudal System is alive and well in America albeit under the cloak of Congressional protection.

I have been raised to view America's identity as a democratic society rising from the values and ideals of freedom and equality. If Congress has its way this viewpoint may change. And it may change forever. Freedom and equality are not nearly as poetic when you are viewing them from the underside of a bus.

Health Bill Clears Hurdle, and Hints at Consensus -
Lawmakers of both parties agree on the need to rein in private insurance companies by banning underwriting practices that have prevented millions of Americans from obtaining affordable insurance. Insurers would, for example, have to accept all applicants and could not charge higher premiums because of a person’s medical history or current illness. All insurers would have to offer a minimum package of benefits, to be defined by the federal government, and nearly all Americans would be required to have insurance.

“The glory days are coming to an end for the health insurance industry,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday.

Ms. Pelosi predicted that insurers would not block passage of the legislation, President Obama’s top domestic priority.

Lawmakers also agree on the need to provide federal subsidies to help make insurance affordable for people with modest incomes. For poor people, Medicaid eligibility would be expanded.

The chaos on Capitol Hill, combined with bitter disagreements over how to pay for the legislation and the role of a public plan, has obscured the areas of potential consensus.

“There is wide agreement on the two elements of the legislation that the public cares about most: insurance market reforms and the expansion of coverage, with subsidies,” said Drew E. Altman, the president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which focuses on health policy.

Details of the major House and Senate bills differ, but most employers would have to provide insurance or contribute to the cost of coverage for employees, with exceptions for some small businesses.

Democrats also agree that Congress should create some type of government insurance plan or nonprofit cooperative, which would compete with private insurers. Mr. Obama says the public plan would keep insurers honest, but Republicans say it could eventually drive private insurers from the market, leaving consumers with fewer choices.

Members of both parties in both chambers want to create health insurance exchanges, where people could shop for insurance and compare policies.

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