“Repeal Health Care!” That’s going into the Stupid Battle Cries Hall of Fame along side “Segregation Now, Segregation Forever!”
For everyone who has mindlessly followed the raving lunacy of Glenn Beck and the corporate shilling of Fox News, this is it. Here’s your “Armageddon”:
1. For young people–You’ll be allowed to stay on your parents’ group plan or individual policy until you’re 26.
2. For people buying new private plans–Preventive services will be free, with no co-pays or deductibles.
3. For early retirees–You’ll get access to an insurance risk pool, at lower cost, if you’re retired, between 55 and 64 and not in a retiree group plan.
4. For the uninsured of all ages–You, too, get immediate access to a temporary high-risk pool until the new insurance exchanges are in place.
5. For the seriously ill–The bill bans insurance companies from the reprehensible (and, for them, highly profitable) practice of canceling the policies of people who get an expensive illness. (Rescission)
6. For small businesses–Tax credits of up to 35 percent for firms that choose to offer health coverage to their employees. That’s effective immediately.
7. For seniors–If you’re on a Medicare drug plan and need a lot of prescription drugs, the House would give you a $250 rebate this year when you hit the “donut hole.”
Run for the hills, America. We’re all gonna die, because the insurance companies are being told what they can and cannot do. Puhleez.
There are plenty of things wrong with this health care bill. For one thing, there are few alternatives to private insurance. Requiring everyone to have health insurance should (theoretically) lower costs, but only if the big, bad government finds the will to enforce that. Otherwise, all the insurance companies will do is raise prices due to government mandates, and we’ll be back where we started…with people choosing to pay the fine for not having health insurance because it’s cheaper than paying premiums.
And the whole bit about putting the burden of health insurance on employers has been a bad idea for a long time. We don’t make the boss deal with our car insurance or our homeowners insurance, do we? Why has a benefit that some employers offered to lure workers morphed into a mandate that they deal with this crap? (This American Life did a fantastic piece on how we got into this mess. Please, listen to it.)
So, instead of making people buy their own insurance and helping those who can’t, or (God forbid) just having something like Medicare for everyone, as 99% of the rest of the civilized world, we’re heaping more crap onto businesses…which is part of the reason you haven’t gotten a raise in forever and there’s so much unemployment, Mr. and Mrs. America. But at least we don’t have scary socialism! (One of the funniest things to me is that this whole “kill the bill” lunacy was robbed of the great American war cry: “If this passes, I’m moving to Canada!”)
However, this is not the end of the world. Despite all the fear mongering going on by those getting paid to keep the insurance companies fat and happy, the storm troopers aren’t coming to your door. Gays and lesbians aren’t going to come around and kill grandma and/or eat your babies. The sun will come out tomorrow (gah, now I’ve got that stuck in my head!).
Take a chill pill, America. Maybe someday you’ll be able to afford one.