The Short Memory of Health Care Compromise

One thing is really burning me up about this whole health care situation. We keep hearing from the right how the ACA is “imploding, falling apart, dying,” etc.. Paul Ryan has gone to great lengths to say the GOP has no choice but to do something as the ACA is crumbling before our very eyes. In some states, insurance companies have pulled out of the ACA altogether, leaving very limited choices. Prices for insurance, we’re told, are skyrocketing as a result of “Obamacare”. The right is running to the rescue, and just in the nick of time. But riding to the rescue of whom?

Remember way back when the ACA was merely a dream? Remember that little nuisance of a thing called a public option, a route to insurance coverage by way of government provided medicare? Remember how the right would never, ever agree to it, and in the interest of compromise, the public option died an agonizingly premature death? Even with so-called triggers that would have to occur before a public option became available, the PO was doomed to expire before we knew her.

Fast forward to current events where as mentioned, we are being told the end is nigh for our health care reformation. We must go back to the days of tens of millions of unemployed, of using the emergency room as a primary caregiver, of some, especially the elderly, not affording health insurance altogether, if we are to save………what exactly I’m not sure anymore. The Republican health care offering seems to be a bill without a clear purpose. Many of its stated goals will not be achieved. It will not insure coverage for all, it will not lower costs. It will not expand coverage in any way, unless you’re falling for the magic word access. Hey GOP, I can access a condo in Hawa’ii but I’ll probably never be able to afford it.

Quite simply, if we had kept the public option in the mix, we wouldn’t be hearing today what a mess things are by those who opposed any sort of health care reform to begin with. Insurance companies pulling out? Cool, we have a public option. Prices skyrocketing? Great here’s the public option. Limited choices? Public option time! Alas, the very people who kept the public option from us are now reading us chapter and verse about how essentially, health care reform will never work and how we have to abandon the idea altogether. Had we not allowed them to kill the public option, we wouldn’t have to be hearing this drivel now.

To the slaves of the insurance lobby on the right and left, I say don’t worry, the insurance companies currently paying their CEOs tens of millions of dollars as they raise their rates exponentially-will always exist, even with universal care in place. They will still be able to sell their policies to those who can afford them and desire whatever care they seek above and beyond what a state offered health care system provides. Just as in the United Kingdom, France, and Canada, insurance companies will survive, simply without the government provided corporate welfare system that force funnels us all to their door and guarantees them customers.

I’ve never fully understood what is so different about America that we cannot do what EVERY. SINGLE. MODERN. COUNTRY. In the world but us has done, but universal care just seems to be trigonometry times calculus for the right. And until we come to the conclusion that is the answer, the only answer to our health care woes, we will continue to be subject to those who want us to believe the sky is falling. Don’t worry about the sky Chicken Little, just worry about getting sick.

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