Would Congress put their own Health Insurance Benefits on the line?
Okay, I get it. When it comes to health care, a single-payer system is nothing short of evil. Any government option at all is un-American, unnecessary, and unacceptable. The economy is in collapse and this is no time to take on health care reform.
It is to the free market that we must turn for answers.
More than 45 million Americans are uninsured. Millions more are struggling under the weight of premiums, co-pays, and deductibles that threaten to price them right out of the inadequate coverage they have. Why?
The number of employers offering group coverage is falling and unemployment is rising. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed often are not eligible for group coverage. Getting an individual insurance policy on the open market is a daunting task, especially if you have the misfortune of having a pre-existing condition. The insurance industry is not particularly interested in taking on customers who will need health care. It’s not good for the bottom line. Given the legal option, they flatly reject such applicants, or charge exorbitant fees. That is not about to change on its own.
We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can vote for those who will represent us in Congress. In exchange for our confidence, they receive a salary and health care benefits. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Employees Benefits Program offers “the widest selection of health plans in the country.” The site also boasts that “when it comes to your health care, the best surprise is no surprise.”
I’ve got nothing against federal employees. But to the members of congress who insist that a government fall back plan cannot be allowed to exist, or that the time is not right for health care reform, you’ve got some explaining to do.
Maybe you’re right, maybe we, outside the walls of Congress, are doing something wrong. Why not take the leadership role you’ve been given and show us how it’s done?
Give up your health care benefits for yourselves and your families and brave the individual market. Take your pre-existing conditions and go forth to find affordable individual medical insurance policies. It shouldn’t be particularly difficult from what I hear, especially since most of you are far wealthier than the average citizen. And then live with that coverage for a couple of years, through sickness and in health, just to make sure you fully grasp the details.
Publicly document your journey through the free market system so we can learn from your experiences. Naturally, the details will vary according to your state of residence.
If you really believe that health care reform right now is a mistake, and that a government plan is just plain wrong, put your own health care on the line. We’ll have no choice but to take you seriously.