Friday, December 18, 2009

Senator Webb, Senator Warner - VOTE NO!

Like many other Virginians, I support meaningful healthcare reform - ideally, "Medicare for all." Short of that, a robust public option that will bring competition to the markets. Elimination of discrimination against people with preexisting conditions. Lower costs while improving delivery of healthcare services. Real choice for Americans.
The bill before the Senate is a sellout to the insurance companies - their control over the industry will widen and millions of taxpayer dollars will flow into their coffers. Companies will be able to charge older Americans two, even three, times the rates charged to younger ones... age is a preexisting condition! Americans won't get any more choices, but they will get a fine if they don't sign-up with an insurance company. Neither competition nor other steps are taken to end the excessive CEO salaries and administrative waste in the private companies.
There are some good things in the Senate bill - more emphasis on preventative programs, some expansion of Medicare, help for small businesses struggling with health costs and for parents with adult children continuing their education well into their 20s, and more. But, the good doesn't come close to outweighing the bad.
There is lots of blame to go around: Republicans who have never offered any meaningful reform, just obstacles; the insurance companies and their front groups like 60Plus who have spent millions every day and deployed hundreds of lobbyists and slick ad agencies to spread lies and fear; and a media obsessed with headlines promoting conflict rather than consensus. But the real blame falls on Senate Democrats themselves - when given the opportunity to lead they descended into a family feud characterized by fights over side issues, over-sized egos, turf wars, and cowardice.
Senator Jim Webb and Senator Mark Warner.... vote NO! A bad bill that fails to offer real reform should be killed - in this case, any bill is not better than no bill.


Anonymous said...

I probably agree with your assessment of all the shortcomings of the Senate bill, but am still in favor of its passing in its present form rather than failing altogether. As Paul Krugman (who too supports its passage in its present flawed form) points out in a recent NYT opinion piece, Medicare and Social Security were initially badly flawed and then greatly improved. I will trust his judgment that it is far easier to improve an existing program than it is too initiate/pass any originating and sweeping (groundbreaking) legislation.

Belle Rose said...

I understand your and Krugman's POV... and agree, in part. We've actually got a (better( House bill and a Senate bill so perhaps the final compromise bill that gets sent to the President will improve on the Senate bill that is too much of a sellout to big insurance companies.

Agitator said...

Its still a step in the direction you want... greater federal power over our lives.