Wednesday, September 9, 2009

U.S. Health Care Reform


I watched President Obama's address to Congress this evening regarding proposed health care reform. For the record, I greatly admire Obama and believe that he's a man with great vision and a courageous drive to improve the lives of all Americans. I understand that not everybody may agree with all of his proposals for the Health Care Reform bill, but surely there was much in his speech tonight that made so much sense that I don't get why a certain segment of the American people are so determined to trip him up and see him fail. As President Obama maintains, to do nothing will only result in health care costs continuing to spiral out of control, demanding an ever expanding slice of the national budget, mostly due to wastage within the system and turning a blind eye to the greed of the insurance companies. (America currently spends about 13% of the budget on health care, compared to about 9% which is average for other developed countries, Canada included). Yet there are those on the far right who would rather live in denial than to confront the problem and work in a bipartisan manner to bring about new policy that will help to bring down wastage in the system and instead put that money directly towards universal health coverage.

I've written of my admiration for activist and filmmaker, Michael Moore in the past as well. In fact, years before he brought us the documentary, Sicko, which focused on the problems within the American health system, he had done this powerful segment condemning the health insurer, Humana, for ignoring the pleas of a man in desperate need of a kidney and pancreas transplant. Regardless of how you personally feel about Michael Moore, I would ask that you watch this entire clip I've linked to on Youtube. If this proof of bureaucracy and greed at one of America's big corporate private insurers doesn't make you angry enough to join in the fight for health care reform, I don't know what will:

16 comments:

Chuck-Thompson said...

The future is in the builtinout. When he stated that no one here illegally would benefit from his plan, he was giving us a hint of what is to come - "immigration reform". And if he grants legal status in some form to all the illegals here now, then they would qualify for free healthcare wouldn't they?

Bill Peschel said...

Here are a few reasons:

1. There is no one plan to look at. There are three in the House, passed by various committees. There is one being worked on by a bipartisan group of six in the Senate. These plans vary in some degree, yet we're expected to shut up and accept what we're being fed (and, yes, I did mean "shut up." Count the number of times Obama has said that the debate about health care is over.

When you've already declared the debate over, you are not interested in working with others on a solution.

2. Generally, the bills will allow for taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions. Those who think life is precious are offended. Can't imagine why.

3. Several congressmen have stated that they intend to vote for whatever plan that surfaces, despite having admitted they haven't read the bill. Some people find this offensive. Can't imagine why.

4. Why Obama has consistently said that billions of dollars are wasted in Medicare, he hasn't done any work on correcting it. If it's such a good idea, why not get started on it?

5. Thus far, two major government programs that he has implemented have had serious problems. The "stimulus" program has sunk trillions of dollars (more than Bush did in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) into programs of questionable value, many of which seem to help Democratic Party supporters. The "Cash for Clunkers" program has resulted in the selling of 625,000 cars, yet many dealers (who advanced the refunds to their customers) have not been paid. In fact, in two states, dealership associations ended the program early because they weren't getting refunds.

Oh, and those car sales basically cannibalized future sales, as the public raced, understandably, to take advantage of the taxpayer-financed deals. The worst-selling brands, BTW, were from Chrysler and GM.

There's more, but this will get you started. Basically, we're seeing the ginning up of an artificial crisis -- as put very ably by Rahm Emanual: "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before." -- in order to get something changed quickly before we catch on to what's happening. And in response to our concerns, we're criticized and marginalized and told to shut up and take your medicine.

Thad said...

Pete, I'm with you on this one. Of course, the obvious answer to why people want to trip Obama up, as evidenced already here, is what put us into this crisis to begin with: fear, greed, and stupidity.

Of course it's going to cost more than what Premier Bush and Dick wasted to get us out of this quagmire. Do you know anything about deferred loans? It's basically the mess the right-wing has gotten us into. I also recall that people of their ilk were quite happy with swallowing all the shit their party fed us for 8 years and just shut up without questioning anything.

FedEx and UPS still operate and are doing fine in spite of the government owned USPS still existing, so why would it be any different with healthcare. What reasons could one possibly have against government run healthcare other than being brain dead?

Will Finn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

Awesome drawing! I differ in opinion with you as far as health care reform is concerned. I believe in less government involvement/control in the lives of private citizens, simple as that. I think health care reform is a positive thing but it should be carefully considered and a wide variety of options should be evaluated before a decision is made.

Rick Roberts said...

I really think that government should be spending money to provide jobs, like selling contracts for public works projects. All these programs are simply short term solutions.

luxojunior said...

If Michael Moore has the power to get HMOs to cover pancreas cancer, doesn't it mean it's now his fault should someone die from a different cancer the HMOs don't cover. By not ambushing a PR representative into covering a particular case, isn't he the one condemning them to die?

More smug populist poor-underdog rubbish from the guy raking in the millions from spreading it. I wonder how many pancreatic cancer treatments he could afford?

A voice speaking differently, John Stossel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9GMKK_fWKg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEXFUbSbg1I

Weirdo said...

"I really think that government should be spending money to provide jobs, like selling contracts for public works projects. All these programs are simply short term solutions."

Now THAT is what needs to get done in this country. We've already sold so many of possible jobs overseas. We need to bring them back here before our entire infrastructure collapses. I would like President Obama to address that issue.

Weirdo said...

BTW Mr. Emslie, great caricature. I love your work and your blog. Thank you for posting.

Brubaker said...

"FedEx and UPS still operate and are doing fine in spite of the government owned USPS still existing, so why would it be any different with healthcare. What reasons could one possibly have against government run healthcare other than being brain dead?"

But Thad! SOCIALISM! It's like Nazism or something! Don't you listen to Rush Limbaugh? Among other evil deeds they're also the reason why we keep losing our socks in the washing machine!

Agree so very much, Pete. I'm afraid of how much violent the anti-health care reform will get, tho...

Rick Roberts said...

Rush Limbaugh is one of the funniest men on the radio. However sometimes I fear he actually believes what he says. Nah, perish the thought. No one is that stupid.

Mick said...

great picture.

Health care for all... what is the problem with that?

Thad said...

Health care for all... what is the problem with that?

Because some insurers will get less hooker money. Get with it!

Carlo Lo Raso said...

Excellent drawing as always Pete.
Unfortunately my opinion on socialized medicine was solidified during the time my dad had his run in with cancer in his bile duct. My dad, who lives in Toronto, was going to be sent to Detroit to receive radiation treatment because the waiting list there at home was too long. After a few months he thankfully did get to have his treatment in Toronto. I was able to ask his specialist what happened to change the situation and was told bluntly that the guys ahead of him in line had died. All I know is that even if he lived with us in "small town" Ohio and his cancer came back I could get him in to see a specialist and set up for treatment at Ohio State Cancer center in days not months.
That's not to say the system here is perfect and couldn't use some improvements but I would submit that it is fair bit better than whats available throughout the rest of the world.

Best......Carlo.

Rick Roberts said...

What I have heard recently is that if reform happens, it still won't be affordable for the middle class.

allen mez said...

It looks like you kicked a beehive on this post. I agree with it though. GREAT portrait too, Pete.