Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Happens Now?

by Dick Mac

I have cribbed this list from last night's Rachel Maddow show and added my own comments:

Tax credits for small businesses to provide health care to their employees. Many small companies have never been able to afford to do so; and with this reform, they will receive tax credits to help fray the cost of providing this vital benefit to their employees.

Drug cost assistance for seniors. The drug plans that were enacted in the last decade have major flaws that cause incredible financial hardship for elderly people who need to purchase drugs. This reform begins to address that problem, including rebate checks to senior citizens who have already reached the threshold (or the donut-hole, as it is called) of their benefit.

Coverage for pre-existing conditions. Today, and for the past hundred years, if you had an illness (let's say liver disease), and you lost your job, but still had a few bucks in the bank to support yourself, you could not get health insurance in the United States because your illness (however minor) was a pre-existing condition and you were uninsurable. So now, if you have liver disease and you lose your job, there will be a place for you to get insured. That place is called the United States.

All children in the United States will be insured. PERIOD. If mommy and daddy lose their jobs, their children (also known as the future of civilization) will be automatically insured. Yes! American children will get health care. Can you believe it? Have you ever heard of anything so absurd? Can you imagine? We will provide health care to children. Amazing! What year is this?

You cannot lose your insurance when you get sick. Since you have paid and paid and paid into the insurance companies your entire professional life, you are now guaranteed to be covered when you get sick. I know it's hard to believe, but until this bill is signed, it is legal for your insurer to take your money for years and years and years, then dump you when you get sick. Never again.

No lifetime limits. Currently, you can pay ever-increasing premiums to insurers for the forty or fifty years you are in the work force. Then, if you get sick they can say, well, you've already gotten all the health care to which you are entitled. They do this. Yes, they do. (And teabaggers think the government will prevent them from getting health care? Hello, your insurer is already doing that and your government will stop them!)

Children can remain on a family's insurance plan until they are 26. How many kids are really on their feet at 21 and ready to provide their own health insurance? Some, sure. Maybe many. In these days when a child needs to have a Masters Degree to get a decent job, and perhaps even a Doctorate, a child isn't finished with college until they are 24 or older. I'm not sure how allowing families to insure their children is a bad thing.

Now, here's where the questionable government regulation kicks in. This is where pro-business taxpayers who are repeatedly raped by corporate America might experience Stockholm Syndrome and jump to the defense of those who are raping them: The insurance industry must spend 80% of the premiums collected for the provision of health care. Call the ghostbusters! It's the end of the world! NOT! Teabaggers brag that the insurance industry only takes 5% of their income as profit. Well, We've left them 20% to work with. Something tells me that a reduction in 8- and 9-figure salaries for the top 1% of their staff could result in even more profit for shareholders.

Medicare recipients will now receive preventative care. Remember the advent of the HMO in the late-1960s? That movement included the notion that by preventing illness you could save money. The insurance companies in the 90s turned HMOs into a method for limiting access to services (managed care) and dismissed the notion of preventative care. Now, sense prevails and we will provide our sickest with preventative care. Sounds like a good idea.

By 2014 there will be a total ban on pre-existing condition denials.

Health Exchanges for the currently uninsurable. If you don't have an employer and you can't get coverage, you will find insurance at an exchange.

No more annual limits on benefits. If you get really sick, you can get the care you need without fear that it costs too much.

I know that teabaggers and their so-called "conservative" allies will cry foul and insist that this is the end of freedom and America. They are wrong. These same people claimed that Medicare were the end of the world, and they were wrong then, too.

The insurance industry has had a century to make this work and they have failed.

Since the end of WWII we have had 36 years of Republican presidents and 25 years of Democratic presidents. The only time anything has been done about health care has been under the Democratic presidents.

And now the teabaggers are calling us niggers and faggots, and they are brandishing guns at our government, and law enforcement (which is controlled primarily by teabaggers) has done nothing about it.

I love my country. My country is defined in part by my government. My government is by, for, and of the People. The only government like it in the world. I love my government - it is ME!

My government has finally taken steps to protect me instead of protecting big business.

Thank you, America!

And shame on you, teabaggers!

The Rachel Maddow Show

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