Monday, March 22, 2010

We Got Some Health Care Now!

We Got Some Health Care Now!

Sure, it's the most regressive UHC in the world, but it's UHC god dammit. Though I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we're all gonna die regardless of whether we have UHC or not. On the flip side, I'm just happy republicans are furious. I mean, they're steamed! I think the real plan behind all this is to freak out conservatives so much that they die of heart attacks, thus making real health care reform possible. Think about it for a second.

The only way you could possibly piss them off more is by going up to a rich person and say that you're going to break your leg just so they have to pay for it. I mean, there's not actually anything in this guaranteeing people health care, right? It's essentially just a tax on people who couldn't afford it in the first place given that you now have to have health insurance.

You folks do realize that this bill just made getting insurance cost a lot more, right? I guess it's a small price we're willing to pay for republican tears. I can hear those republicans talking now. Trying to find a way to know if black people will not just hang out in ER rooms all day because it's better than their houses. Easy solution for that is to make conditions in emergency rooms worse than in their homes. Maybe it'll get to the level of public schools.

I also wonder how many people are going to think this is in effect and will visit a hospital tomorrow for badly needed medical care. I guess we're also going to be paying for the healthcare of that one chick whose goal it is to be 1000 pounds. Ha!

I mean, when do we officially start the clock on our socialist society? Isn't that what the republicans want you to believe? That socialism is going into effect soon. When do I get to live on commune and elect a soviet. I mean, what next? Do you want me to pay for a FIRE DEPARTMENT?!? But my house is CLEARLY not on fire right now. How dare we live in a socialist inspired dream!

Glenn beck is going to flip the fuck out today and I can't wait to see Fox News all but gloss over any mention of this Health Care.. or, at best rage so hard against its. And not even the good "Well, what did we get into?" sort of introspective sort of look at it, but the "ARRGH, THESE SOCIALIST FUCKS, YARRRRG!"

While I'm democratic, this is America, so I'm obviously not very optimistic we actually got anything that will improve the piss poor system we pass as health care. And from skimming through articles online, here's what I found;

From the Christian Science Monitor
The $940 billion bill will cover 32 million uninsured Americans and ban the denial of coverage for preexisting conditions, phasing in taxes on the rich to pay for this expansion of coverage.
Taxes on the rich, coverage, hmmmm, this has potential.. Thanks a lot shitty news article, but how exactly do you define "cover" and what are the details on these rich taxes? Let's dig deeper before we start dancing on Reagan's grave. From CSM
Most people will be required to buy health coverage under the healthcare bill now before the House. About 20 million American households will qualify for subsidized insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
And there's the kicker. Do we see the problem here? Requiring everybody to buy a piece of shit health care plan isn't much reform. Yeah, that's going to cover 32 million uninsured Americans. It's not like they're currently uninsured know... maybe not being able to afford any sort of health insurance to begin with. Let's get more details before I rage too much against said machine.
Beginning in 2014 (that’s right, this is four years away), these people would be able to shop for coverage in new “health exchanges,” a sort of online bazaar in which insurers would hawk different kinds of plans.
Sweet! Now we're treating peoples' lives like they're a fucking shopping mall. At least the term "Uniquely American" has legitimacy when applied to Health Care. While I'm grateful for the win, the next sentence just makes me feel like this was a bittersweet victory.
The federal subsidy would go straight to the insurer. It would look like a discount on the policy to the customer.
We're paying taxes to keep these worthless middlemen "insurance companies" in business. Why not just get rid of these fuckers entirely?

we're paying taxes to keep these worthless middlemen "insurance companies" in business... why not just get rid of these fuckers entirely? oh wait, that would make too much sense. That alone just means the pockets of these insurance companies are getting lined no matter what.

So the bill has an individual mandate without a public option, which is the most evil thing I can imagine. While I'm all for something actually happening in our elected government, I'm sure a lot of people stopped following this health care bill for the sake of their own sanity. Yeah, there's still good things in the bill and it's nice that the blue team won this time, I think to jump for joy on all this is a little premature.

You young healthy adults out there who are just out of college and not in a full time gig.. You'll be effected by this most. Even though you're healthy and all that jazz, you now face penalties up to $700 a year for not getting health insurance that you don't want and you probably think you don't need. I mean, you're indestructible after all, right?

While I have health insurance through a very old system of paying dues and fighting "da man" with my union, it's not really a "great" one. So at least I don't have to pay that $700 amount, but I'm sure those without health care had literally nothing changed for them with this passing. If they were smart, though, they would jump into the field of playing the stock market. Anyone who wants to learn about the wonderful world of stock buying, you should get yourself introduced with this bill.

One could wonder at this point on how bad will insurance rates skyrocket, since there are no price controls or mechanisms to keep them in line? Or you could look at this bottle half full and ask how much of your portfolio should you dump into insurance companies as soon as the market was open today. If you did.. way to go, champ. You're ahead of the curb.

The health bill, if I understand this correctly:

Pre-existing conditions and children blah blah blah, can no longer be denied insurance by writ of the government. So the government is forcing a new group of people (because of moral reasons) into the insurance pool, which will costs the insurance companies a lot of money.

Obama's logic in response to this is to have a universal federal mandate to have SOME type of insurance coverage, thereby getting in the pre-existing conditions folk and keeping premiums at a reasonable level. However, if you "can't afford to buy it", the government is going to subsidize it, correct? But the government doesn't control the prices... the market does. And the insurance companies do.

Are you my mommy?

So isn't this just going to cause the insurance companies to go, "Why look, new customers with lots of money, Let's raise prices, cause we know you can afford it now." And there's no reason why to lower the prices because you have a vast larger group now that HAS to buy it.

I'm not interested in the "Amerikkka values" or unconstitutionality of a federal mandate, but artifically driving up cost of insurance, like they did with education, isn't exactly a great idea or that much of a progressive thing to do regardless of whatever Glenn Beck says. This bill, on some respects, seems like a 900 billion dollar handout to the insurance industry, and in the end doesn't really solve the real problems that lie in Health Care reform.

This was the political capital Obama was saving up for all year. Now that it's getting passed he's gonna pull out all the breaks and promote a homo-fascist atheist police state where you're required to smoke weed all day. Just you wait and see! JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE! YOU MADE YOUR BED, NOW SLEEP IN IT... WITH A BLACK MAN!!!!!

Have to say though, as shitty as this is, republican tears make this bill so much better than what the reality of it is.

Besides, any small, incremental change is better than none at all. It is a logical and pragmatic stance, also reasonable. Change takes time. Look at the long term and rid yourself of the desire for instant gratification, right? Take the victories you can but continue to fight the war. Like when woman and black people got the right to vote. It took time. First we had to give them the right to leave their homes, and then to think for themselves, and then after they proved they were worthy, we decided they could vote...

I have to say that I'm simply amazed that in this post-feminist world that comes down hard on harassment in the work place, that we're still having the discussion on who has a right to someone's own body and this health care reform is proof of that. In the form of no federal funds for abortion so the bill greatly restricts abortion coverage. It's a tiny step forward to getting people insured, made in the most backward way possible.

As anyone taking out an insurance plan that covers abortion needs to have a separate fund for any subsidies they receive so there's no mixing of taxpayer money with abortion money. Insurance companies not required to cover abortions and States can pass legislation forbidding insurance companies from offering plans that fund abortion via their state exchanges.

68,000 women die annually as a result of having an unsafe abortion, mostly in developing countries. 220,000 children are left without a mother every year because she received an unsafe abortion. 2 to 8 million women each year suffer horrendous consequences after receiving an unsafe abortion, ranging from sepsis to uterine perforation. Many of these women go on to become permanently infertile.

Maternal mortality in the 52 countries that permit abortion is a median of 2 per 1,000 women of reproductive age. In the 82 countries that restrict or ban abortion, maternal mortality averages 23 per 1,000 women of the same age. For every 100,000 live births there are 34 deaths due to unsafe abortion in those 82 countries. In the 52 civilized countries, there's less than one death per 100,000 live births.

Ceausescu's Romania provides a natural history of the effect of restricting abortion: abortion mortality was 20 per 100,000 live births prior to his rule in 1960. By 1989 this had risen to 148 deaths per 100,000, with unsafe abortion accounting for 87% of those deaths. Within one year of the law being reversed to permit free access to safe abortion, the mortality ration fell to 68 per 100,000. In South Africa maternal mortality fell 91% within 4 years thanks to a reduction in the number of unsafe abortions.

Restricting access to abortion will not change abortion rates in any way. The Netherlands has the lowest abortion rate in the world but also has the most liberalized and freest access to abortion in the world. When Barbados, Canada, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and others liberalized their abortion laws, there was no concomitant increase in the number of abortions.

What's more, providing free and safe access to abortion lowers health care costs. Tanzania spends 7 times more per woman treating post-abortion complications than their annual budget per head of population. In North Carolina they found that post-abortion care costs 10 times as much as the cost of a safe abortion.

How dare we try to fund something that all private health insurance covers and is legal! That's not the America I KNOW! So really, you real Feminist out there should be up in arms that you still don't have the right for your own bodies to do so what you wish with them.

And that's the many reasons why this bill sucks but I'm still happy it passed. As we all know, nothing gets done in America without corporations getting theirs. And here I thought organized crime was illegal.

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