By Selena Zito GETTYSBURG â He almost was not asked to speak. In October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln received the same plain envelope that...
Lemmings by Ira Schwartz
Well the healthcare âsummitâ is over and between you and me I probably could have found a better use for my time then sitting in front of my TV and watching it. However we did learn several things from this media event. The Republicans are not dead but are rather quite alive and feisty and despite what President Obama has said he has no interest what so ever in working with the Republicans on healthcare. Watching the President yesterday was like watching a spoiled brat who owned the only baseball telling the rest of the kids you either play by my rules or you donât play at all.
I was surprised to hear him admit that the American people were angry at Washington but then I realized he might have said it but clearly didnât believe it. This point was driven home later when the President told the Republicans and Iâm paraphrasing, that they had six weeks to get on board or the Democrats will pass the bill without them. The dreaded reconciliation. Though the bill would probably pass the Senate most analysts believe it will not get out of the House. His flippant remark regarding the elections in November, âWhatever happens in November happens in Novemberâ (paraphrasing again) shows how really out of touch this administration really is. One of the Democrats even had the audacity to say that they (Democrats) have been doing this a long time and they know what weâre doing. Well a new Rasmussen poll indicates 56% of the population disagrees.
Now that the debate is over we need to put this all in perspective. Everyone agrees that insurance companies must not be allowed to continue doing business as usual. Regulations need to be put in place to prevent things like the 39% rate increase Anthem Blue Cross of California just inflicted on its policy holders. Both the federal government and the California Insurance commissioner have asked Anthem to explain the increase. As of today they have yet to answer. Things like this cannot be allowed to continue. The Insurance companies need to be reigned in and made accountable for their actions. They have made huge profits on the backs of their policy holders and healthcare providers and still scream poverty. California State Attorney General, Jerry Brown, subpoenaed yesterday, the financial records for the seven largest health insurance companies doing business in California. They have 30 days to comply. It appears at least one state is looking out for its citizens.
Our present healthcare system is one of the best in the world. Better equipment has lead to early detection of most deadly diseases. Early detection means a better chance of survival. Access to this early detection and treatment is possible only because of our present healthcare system. And it appears most of us are happy with our present plans.
A recent gallop poll indicates that 87% of Americans with health insurance are happy with their plans. 82% of people on Medicare and Medicaid also say their healthcare coverage is good to excellent. According to CNN 15% of all Americans, roughly 45 million presently donât have any health insurance. Thatâs 1 in 8 Americans. According to the US Census Bureau of those 45 million 9.7 million are not citizens of the United States. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) reports another 14 million are insurable through Medicare and SCHIP but didnât bother to enroll. The Census also shows 18.3 million are under the age of 34 and most of that number feels they donât need or want health insurance. So when all is said and done it is estimated that only 8.3 million Americans are too poor to afford health coverage.
So it appears the real problem isnât getting insurance that is good, the problem is getting good insurance that is affordable. As I said our healthcare system is one of the best in the world and doesnât need massive restructuring to make it work better. All it needs is a major âtweakingâ and rules to make sure the rights of those of us who have policies are protected. If the Democrats would simply open their eyes and ears and look and listen to what the people are saying they would know that too. If they continue on this path of government run health insurance they will all, like lemmings, follow each other off the cliff.
So I guess when you look at it the Democrats really donât know what theyâre talking about.
The figures in this article were obtained from âThe Myth of the 46 Millionâ by Philip Klein
Â© 2010 by Ira Schwartz. Used with permission. All Rights Reserved.