A plea to both houses of Congress, all parties: STOP inventing complex, special interest-serving healthcare systems that are doomed to failure. Just expand the one health care system that has been working for fifty years—Medicare.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! —Lewis Carroll
Since the first Clinton administration, healthcare has become a political hot potato being tossed back and forth from one side of the aisle to the other, no side wanting to commit to the only logical solution that does not feed special interest gluttony; that does not create yet another monstrous bureaucracy; that actually grants affordable access to healthcare–expanding Medicare for the uninsured.
Currently, H.R. 676, The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. And 49 other lawmakers, would grant, if approved, healthcare to all Americans–not just doctor visits, hospitalization and pharmaceuticals, but also dental, vision and long-term care, three areas that have eluded all previous healthcare guarantees. (1)
Ideally, this is the healthcare plan we should adopt, but realistically, H.R.676 is D.O.A. in both houses of Congress no matter who has the majority. Sadly, the expense of this kind of comprehensive coverage would be prohibitive, given our current deficit, and the Health Insurance lobbyists would never permit this disruptive, paradigm change.
However, simply expanding Medicare to insure the uninsured:
- the self-employed
- working people who do not receive healthcare with their employment
- Medicaid-eligible who do not want a healthcare handout
- early retirees
- small business owners and their employees
- other groups that fall between the Healthcare industry cracks
could be a logical, affordable, simple solution to the American healthcare crisis.
One of the problems with Obamacare, another Jabberwock, albeit well-meant, was the effect it had on healthcare across the board. People already insured whined constantly about their plans being disrupted by letting the uninsured into the pool. The “I Got Mine” detractors starting whining before the Affordable Care Act was even written. I actually heard them whining during a Town Hall Telethon, hosted by my Congressional Representative at the time.
By expanding Medicare only for those not on a plan, making the premiums income-based, covering the same basics that Medicare already covers, that pool of uninsured working Americans would be able to purchase a viable safety net for themselves and their families. We don’t need another bureaucracy that siphons Medicaid funds into Healthcare corporation coffers. Just let the uninsured buy into the Medicare system. Leave the already-insured alone. Some low-income workers detest the mandate that forces them to enroll in the Medicaid program, run by the inhuman Department of Health and Human Services. Some low-income workers would opt to buy into Medicare, to pay their own way, if they had that option. Under Obamacare, they don’t.
In my ideal reality, no one should be required to purchase health insurance due to rights granted in the First Amendment–some religious groups do not participate in the American Medical system. Some individuals, myself included, prefer alternative health remedies not covered by insurance.
However, the option to buy into Medicare should be available to all uninsured Americans who want or need health insurance, regardless of age. Being a self-employed person for most of my life, if I could have bought into Medicare safety net for a reasonable percentage of my income, I would have done so and at a very young age. Being generally healthy, my premiums would have helped support the Medicare system.
I am not an economic statistician but I would love to see the math for such a program as compared to the expense of the current Obamacare program and the proposed Republic clone.
So what’s the damn problem? In two word. Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans are hellbent on repealing Obamacare, replacing it with another HEALTHCARE JABBERWOCK being dubbed Ryancare, reinventing the wheel and creating yet another monster bureaucracy. Blinded by their obsession to rid the world of anything New Deal, the politicians who love to waste our money have failed to accept the obvious solution–EXPAND MEDICARE TO INCLUDE THE UNINSURED.
The Democrats, who pushed Obamacare through Congress and got spanked for their trouble by the electorate in the 2010, constantly try to appease all parties: their Republican counterparts, the health insurance industry, the voters, the budget office and a host of other factions, thus ending up with an impotent giant gorilla that no one really likes. When I think of the waste associated with this kind of Jabberwock healthcare bureaucracy, and all my hard-earned tax dollars going to feed that insatiable beast, I begin to explore residency requirements in Uruguay.
H.R. 676, though a wonderful concept and very much like the national healthcare plan afforded to all residents of Uruguay, will never fly in the U.S. , not as long as the healthcare lobby can buy Congress. But granting access to truly affordable care to 40 some million uninsured Americans without creating yet another Jabberwock, might just fly with most concerned parties–
IF ONLY THEY WOULD PUT THEIR NATION AND ITS CITIZENS AHEAD OF PARTISAN SELF-INTEREST.
“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt (2)
Featured Photo: Drawing of Jabberwock by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass
- BrainyQuote; https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franklind404172.html?src=t_cooperation