The WH, once again, sides with the rich and the right. Is this administration any different than the one that preceded? The public health option, an important part of health reform, seems to be all but off the table. After weeks of listening to people scream at town hall meetings, talk about death panels and "killing grandma," whine about the possibility of higher taxes for the rich (especially overpaid anchors); it seems that any type of progressive reform is out.
That means no reform. Joe Scarborough, the one republican that I thought was sensible, has been siding with the insurance companies suggesting that they are not the bad guys. He is also very much against the possibility of a tax increase on the rich.
The tax increase would be 1% on those making over 350,000 (per family), 1.5% on those making 500,000 to 1 million, and 5.4% on those making over 1 million per year. Since statistics came out stating that 1% of the people in this country control over 50% of the wealth, doesn't it make sense to have them pay a higher percentage of the tax? Moreover, this increase would kick in only if other changes to the system did not pay for health care reform.
One of the new ideas floating around out there is taxing people who have good coverage. These people would be taxed according to their health plan. Since, this includes many middle class and, probably, some working class families, the rich support the idea. At least, the rich anchors do, the ones who have not stopped complaining about the possibility of a tax increase. Some going so far as to suggest that overweight people, smokers, and those who live an unhealthy lifestyle should have to pay for their own health care. They don't mention alchohol, though. Drinking must be allowed. (Let's go have a beer and a burger.)
Obama, who I respect very much, has been flip-flopping on the public option all along. However, his language is at its weakest in his latest speeches concerning our much needed reform. Take a look at California. A non-profit group called Remote Area Medical (RAM) which travels to third world countries to help the sick, who have no access to health care, had to set up camp in California in order to help people in our country (see link below). Many of these people have health insurance, however, the insurance falls short. Stan Brock (founder of RAM) stated that he really should be going to places like Haiti and Guyana, but instead he is in California because the people there need medical help and can not afford to get it. Hundreds of people lined up and waited for hours to see dentists and eye doctors and MDs. One man suffered from pain from a cracked tooth for 1 1/2 years. He took Tylenol every day for that time period to stave off the pain. When asked by one reporter what the alternative was to waiting on line in the early morning hours to ensure he would not be turned away (RMA doctors are not able to treat every person due to time constraints), the man said, "Pain."
It seems that the right will win. America will get watered down health reform. We will continue to be the only Western country that does not offer some type of public option. Our economy is in the tank, manufacturing is not coming back to the US, our health care only helps the profits of insurance companies & their CEOs, CFOs and the like. We are ranked 37 in the world regarding health care quality. Why don't I hear anyone in favor of a public option speaking out? Screaming at a town hall meeting? Covered on every news station? Our side is being drowned out. If we don't speak up we are going to lose.
Have a Voice
Contact Your Congressmen: http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/cgi-bin/newseek.cgi?site=congressmerge&state=nj
Contact the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/