Hope for Health Care Reform Returns from the Dead

Health care reform sustained life-threatening injuries this August, no doubt about it. Relentless scare tactics and intimidation took a hefty toll and the future of reform was said to be in grave danger.

President Obama’s televised speech to a joint session of Congress in early September was hopeful, but the Baucus bill , which did not include a public option, but did include an individual mandate, succeeded not only in keeping Republican support at bay, but in angering Progressives. Things haven’t been looking good for reform… but change is in the air.

The Associated Press is reporting on a new poll indicating that opposition to health care reform is dropping among Democrats and Independents — and even among older Americans on Medicare. 

Republicans remain strong in their opposition, but a few cracks in the armor are showing. A statement from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R):

“As Governor, I have made significant efforts to advance health reform in California. As the Obama Administration was launching the current debate on health care reform, I hosted a bipartisan forum in our state because I believe in the vital importance of this issue, and that it should be addressed through bipartisan cooperation.

“Our principal goals, slowing the growth in costs, enhancing the quality of care delivered, improving the lives of individuals, and helping to ensure a strong economic recovery, are the same goals that the president is trying to achieve. I appreciate his partnership with the states and encourage our colleagues on both sides of the political aisle at the national level to move forward and accomplish these vital goals for the American people.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R), former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson (R), former Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Mark Mclellan (R), and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) have also expressed support for reform.

Could it be that we’ve just taken a collective breath, gathered our wits about us, and decided to work on the problem that faces America? Well, maybe that’s too much to hope for, but it only takes a few brave souls to step away from the pack and put the people ahead of the politics. 

We can put away the crash cart for now — the patient is stabilizing.

Encourage Congress to continute to focus on crafting real health care reform! Sign the petition letter to your representatives in Washington and tell them your thoughts by adding a comment to your signature.

Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1198416


Jaette C.
Jaette Carpenter8 years ago

And where's that Ophelia to make her comments?

Jaette C.
Jaette Carpenter8 years ago

Leslie, where are those insurance companies that you speak of that are not in it for profit? No, really, I want to know. That's great if they exist. For the most part, the insurance companies are still doing business as usual, up and up goes the profits while up and up goes the premiums, copays, special fees and whatever else can be swept through before REFORM day hits the fan. My insurance company that is under my Mn. Comp. just tied a knot with Accordant care. Basically all this EXTRA company does is call me on the phone and ask,'So, how's it going?' Are you stressed/are you depressed? I'm wondering how much extra is being tagged on to my premium so that my 'real' insurance company (Medica) can say,'see? we are doing something to help our poor patients' It seems like a kind of a kick in the butt, in disguise, to me.

Iva Dora J.
Iva Dora J8 years ago

Our adult children are married and employed. Their employers don't cover them with health/dental/vision insurance. They can't afford to cover themselves. There needs to be not only a PUBLIC OPTION but a Congress WORKING TOGETHER fFOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ENTIRE CITIZENSHIP OF OUR COUNTRY, not just for their individual political party!!!

WILLIAM K8 years ago


William L. A.
William A8 years ago

I never thought I would see the day when someone would defend the insurance companies. They are in business to not ever pay. They pay you what they want and that is all you get. If you want more you have to fight and most of the time hire an attorney. This is I think the only agency in which there is different prices depending on what you have not the service being provided. I do not understand why when I get an oil change its a certain amount but if I get an X-ray the cost depends on my coverage or non coverage. This system isnt healthcare its sickness care for profit. Its a broken system and now is the time to fix it. Left alone they havent fixed it would never have fixed it. Now is the time to demand a public option and real competition, force them to open up to all states and all companies. The only way to achieve this is to sign petitions and call, email and write your politicians. Not just once but every time you can. Keep on them tell your neighbors, friends and family to do the same. We the people can still have a voice but we have speak often and loud as the lobbyist speak with money and gifts.
Get involved tell your representatives that NO state should be able to opt out of the public option without a vote from the people of that state. Everyone should have a vote on that issue. Not just the politicians who have been receiving money from these agencies.

Leslie F.
Leslie F8 years ago

Why do you assume that "for profit" *always" means "stupid and greedy"? There really are health-insurance companies in some states that have the sense to cut costs and improve services as much as possible, and -- surprise! -- those companies tend to have a lot more customers than the stupid ones. It's an old truism in business that you can make a lot more profit selling cheaply to a large market than selling expensively to a small one.

Judith S.
Judith S8 years ago

Michael, our government has way too much on their hands to worry about an individual's health care. Their only purpose would be to take our tax dollars and disburse it into a giant pool in which the money would go to pay the health care providers to perform whatever is necessary to keep people well. If you don't need any health care, well, then, lucky you, you will just have paid into the pool (much like our taxes which we pay into and often never get anything back out). On the other hand, if you need care, you will receive what is necessary, nothing less and nothing more, and no one can deny you what you need. If you do need to wait about three weeks or so for an elective procedure (versus the six months Dr. Gratzer was stating and that Dennis Kucinich disproved), then that is still a lot better than not ever being able to get the elective or emergency care that our system is denying us on a regular basis.

Dianne D.
Dianne D8 years ago

I would rather have the government make medical decisions for me than a for-profit insurance company. I processed medical claims for 3 years, and the patients health was never an issue. We were required to process a certain number of claims per week and your performance evaluation was based on how many claims you could process per hour. Never were we asked if we helped people get the medical attention they needed.

Michael S. where did you get those number you quoted at 11:45am? I'm not finding any such numbers. These numbers sound like the rumors we heard in America after Canada switched over to their medical plan, but the rumors turned out to be false. We have several Canadians wintering in Arizona, and living in retirement villages and I haven't heard one say that they preferred the American health insurance system over theirs in Canada. You know when they come to America they have obtain our health insurance for as long as they will be here. Everyone of the Canadian's have complained about how expensive our insurance is compared to theirs and they can't get near the coverage they get in Canada. According to a special on 60 Minutes on health care, the problem with Canada's system is that there are too many American's trying to get on it. They have set up special department trying to catch all the American's that have fake ID cards, etc. who are trying to use their system. 60 Minutes also confirmed that all the rumors you quoted earlier were false.

Mary B.
Mary B8 years ago

Michael S.............. I was wondering if you thought our government could decide what tests or treatments we could or could not have

Michael S.
Michael S.8 years ago

Mary other than the government what health care are you referring to?