The Yenta on American Health Care

 March 22, 2012

 Last night it passed, and Americans will enter an era where all are entitled to health care. It will now be a right, rather than a privilege.

 But a lot of people didn’t want it.

 Thirty-four Democrats voted against the bill, but not one Republican voted for it. 

Yesterday’s House of Representative debates before the vote were electrifying. R-Ohio Rep John Boehner, minority whip, said, “Hell No!” He said that Congress was not listening to the American people.

 Outside the House, there were demonstrators shouting, “Kill the bill!” Police were having trouble keeping them under control.

 As Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, who changed his vote from No to Yes yesterday, spoke to the Legislature, a Republican representative from Texas shouted, “Baby killer!” (He says he was referring to the bill, not Stupak, but witnesses didn’t hear it that way.)

 When a group of black legislators walked toward the Legislature buildings, people in the crowd loudly called them “niggers.”

Demonstrators called openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, “faggot.”

 The great question is – what is making people so angry? What, exactly, are they opposing? We are all human. We all get sick. Our families get sick. We all need help. Wouldn’t most of us like to know that to some degree, we are covered?

 Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to rule people out (or charge them more) based on pre-existing conditions. Insurers won’t be able to terminate our insurance if we get sick, or deny us benefits at will. The opinions of the doctors, not the insurance company, will now prevail. There will be no more maximum caps on health care for people with serious illness. Why is there such fury opposing this? 

 Yes, there are additional taxes, and for the wealthier among us, health care and taxes will be higher. The people demonstrating so adamantly in DC last night didn’t look wealthy, but I guess you can’t tell by looking. 

 There’s a lot to think about. All employers and all individuals will be required to carry health care insurance. If they don’t get it, they will be fined. If you are too poor, you will receive a subsidy. This will result in billions of dollars in new insurance premiums, which will benefit the insurance companies. The health care law will cost some jobs, from employers who can’t afford it, and create many more jobs. It is impossible to predict the full effects of this legislation. All that can be predicted with confidence is that fewer Americans will suffer needlessly or die prematurely.

 The timing of this vote took place during a special political moment in time, made possible by the abysmal domestic job* done by the previous administration and the low quality of the slate they ran in the last election. Quite logically, Americans voted in a Democrat for President, and a bloc of Democratic Senators and Representatives, offering Democrats an opportunity to accomplish their fifty-year goal of providing health care for everyone. The Democrat voting advantages in the House and Senate combined with the determination and overall excellence of President Obama and his staff, made it possible to pass legislation attempted by every Democratic administration starting with Harry Truman.

 Even George Bush Sr. made health care for all a priority. He saw the disparity, recognized the emergency, and bravely talked about it. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance. 

When Obama and Biden appeared briefly after the vote, Obama looked like he hadn’t slept in days. His TV make-up didn’t quite cover an ashen complexion. Biden, who had fought for health care reform for the last eight years, was fighting tears, and his normally perfect white hair formed a cowlick that stuck out at right angles from behind his left ear.

 Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, said that now, “Being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition.”* 

Geraldo Rivera, ethnic minority left-wing pet of Fox news, came into his own. His tone was gleeful, in contrast to the long faces of the other Fox newscasters, as he cheerfully enumerated the immediate and long-term benefits of new legislation. Maybe Fox will fire him. He was just too happy.

 Today, The Day After, the stock market showed a brief drop at opening, but recovered, closed up 43 points. “I guess all the anxiety about health care reform has settled down,” said a news commentator.

 In the moments leading up to last night’s vote, the public could see clearly that Republicans championed the rich and powerful and Democrats put the needs of the majority of us first. The same positions were reflected in the past when the Republicans opposed both Social Security AND Medicare.

 There are many of us in the privileged classes who fight like hell to hang on to our advantages while the uninsured languish in physical pain and illness that can be relieved. We’d rather give away billions of dollars to shore up the economies of foreign countries or spend trillions to perpetuate a useless war, than to address domestic needs, especially if they affect our personal pocketbooks.

             * Let’s not even talk about the international debacles.

 **A news staffer pointed out that a history of domestic violence victimization, or having had a baby by Caesarean, are currently classified by insurers as pre-existing conditions.

*********************************

Follow-up: It looks as if the majority of the states are filing protests to the bill on the basis that it violates states’ rights. Unfortunately, this includes my state, Washington, where the opposition was filed by the AG. I never before understood why it was important to be aware of the politics of an attorney general. I thought they just carried out the rule of law. Silly me. I voted for the guy.

This morning, as I was being stabbed for blood by a tech, I asked her what she thought of the new health care program. She said, “I’m afraid of what it will do to me when I’m old and can’t afford insurance.”  Oy.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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9 Responses to The Yenta on American Health Care

  1. Lile says:

    Beautifully written, Yenta! Thank you so much for your sanity.

  2. Joanna says:

    I agree there are so many good reasons why this bill had to pass, not least among them is that it was the right thing to do. How can people get so far away from that simple truth.

    Keep those great posts coming Beryl.

    Joanna

  3. esther says:

    lovely….too bad, so sad so much ego!! Mcain said last night that the republicians will fight the dem. on every single thing they bring up this year…….

  4. John Sowley says:

    Great Beryl! I t is unconceivable how many Rebublicans there are. you would think theywould have learned something from the last administration. These idiots could probably tell you more about their football team than the “Bill”. W. Bush should be indicted for treason, along with Cheney
    Go Girl.

  5. Liz Taylor says:

    Just a nice, placid, middle-of-the-road, “YAAAAHHHH, Beryl! Well said! Liz

  6. S G Rose says:

    I don’t agree with you at all. Economics to me trumps everything, and this country is on an unsustainable path, and I fear for my grandchildren. I know of no government created social program –and I HAVE worked in and with many–that truly helps the poor.
    Here is an excerpt from an article by a doctor in Mississippi:

    Depend On The Government For Your Health Care? Good Luck…by Dr. Elaina George
    The vote is done and we have awakened to a new era. Under the guise of coverage for pre-existing conditions and the security of knowing that you can’t be kicked off your insurance when you really need it, the democrats have pushed through a bill which will lead to the end of health care as we know it.
    Read the full article at: http://biggovernment.com/author/egeorge/

  7. Uri says:

    We surely need a better healthcare system, and the part of the bill that does not allow insurers to discriminate those with pre-conditions is a good part of the bill. However, as someone who experienced government healthcare system, I can tell you that yes – more people will be covered, but everybody will pay more and get much less…

  8. esther says:

    Let’s face we had to do something!!! 30 million didn’t have it. no plan would have been perfect but the fear and hatred in the human heart that has appeared is very interesting…….scarey!

  9. MexicaChica says:

    @Joanna–I’m with you in your disbelief in how people can get so away from the truth.

    We can all atleast agree that the past healthcare system was just not working. It really was a privilege to have and having insurance was absolutely no assurance that you would get the medical care you needed if you became terribly ill.

    @Uri–Question for you is..how do you figure you will get less?

    I have a nurse friend who personally witnessed a woman in her bed dying and asking a room full of qualified nurses for help. She died because not ONE nurse could implement the necessary measures to save her life. Why? Because the doctor had not made into the room and helping her would mean they would be going against hospital policies implemented for insurance purposes. Now take the insurance bullshit out of this picture and that woman would be alive today.

    I live in Merida now and cannot be more relieved to be in the hands of a medical care system where one has immediate access to a doctor regardless of how much money you have.

    People just need to wake up and stop watching Fox news.

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