For me Health Care Reform is in fact more of a hot button issue than Gay Rights. I know that many of my fellow gay friends may disagree with me. But, in fact, if I had to choose between having a solid health care reform bill and passing legislation to make gay marriage legal, I would choose Health Care reform.
That’s right. I would prefer to continue to be discriminated against as a gay American than to have a basic human right continue to be at the whim of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. That is saying a lot (if you know me). I know that there are probably a few of you out there who will access this blog post who will disagree with me on both fronts – Gay Rights and Health Care reform. You can choose whether or not you want to continue reading. I hope you do. For those of you that do in fact agree with me, it is indeed time to do something.
You, yes YOU need to actually do something. And if you’ve already done something, you need to do something more. It doesn’t have to require a lot of your time but I am pleading with you to so something, even if it’s just spreading this blog post virally to others.
Electing Obama president was the easy part. Now we’re in the trenches and this can’t be yet another time when people continue on with a business-as-usual attitude and think “They’ll work it out” or to give in to cynicism and just decide that there is no point. That’s what I often do but I don’t want to give in to cynicism this time. There is too much at stake.
One of the key reasons that we elected President Obama is so that we can reform the ridiculous Health Care system we’ve allowed ourselves to be dicked around by for years. If we really want reform, we need to stand up and say that we want it. And I mean everyone! Take some of the time you spend watching mindless television, cynical news programs, or playing games on Facebook and help spread the word for other people to take action. Here are the three principals that President Obama laid out as a road map for congress to come up with a Health Care bill (taken directly from Barack Obama’s website).
In other words, a bill has not yet been constructed. Congress has been charged with drafting the bill and these are the tenets that they must keep in mind as they do it.
So what are all these people so up in arms about? Living in New York City, I view the behavior taking place at these town hall meeting as a sort of weird twilight zone episode where my country has been taken over by carnies. A circus and side show that is much more disturbing than anything Britney Spears could ever concoct. I realize that this could be considered an elitist attitude – gay city boy looking down at down-home country folk. I apologize if I offended anyone. But for God’s sake, where are these people getting their information? Why would people be so upset about the prospect of actually having less expensive health care?
The first question could be answered fairly easily. Where are these people getting their information?
- Special Interest Groups have launched a campaign based on scare tactics and mistruths.
- In addition, a viral e-mail chain claiming to provide a page-by-page analysis of the not yet completed healthcare bill has been sent out as fact.
- Disruptions at town hall meetings have been staged, organized, and funded by special interest groups trying to preserve our antiquated system.
Yesterday Representative Barney Frank had the guts to tell off a person who was actually likening the president to Hitler. Thank God someone has the balls to put blithering idiots in their proper place. I’m sure most carnies are more intelligent than this woman:
The second question is an interesting one. Why would people be so upset about the prospect of actually having less expensive Health Care?
I believe that in addition to all of the lies that some people are obviously believing – that people will be worse off with the addition of a public option to Health Care and the other lies pointed out above – people are fed up with the horrific state of the economy and have a general mistrust in their government. Where did this mistrust come from? It’s easy to blame it on Obama. He’s the person who is in office right now. A lot of frustrations are coming out as this is one of the first times that people have had a chance to air their views. When did the administration of the previous 8 years allow people to vent?
Mostly, it’s about our shitty economy. People are worse off now financially than they were during the Bush years, even though it was his administration that helped get us into the mess. Meanwhile, those who got rich during those years are sitting pretty with no problems affording costly insurance and just about everything else they want. Yet, as people give into fear, the rich will continue to get richer and the insurance and pharma companies will not be worrying about their bank accounts. Here’s some interesting information from a former VP at Cigna who is now dedicated to health care reform.
I would be curious to find out how many blue-dog democrats and republicans are on the payroll of Aetna or Pfizer. (This is just a blog and my opinion so I’m allowed to say that… and even make spelling errors!) But seriously. When was the last time you heard of an insurance company or a pharmaceutical company going out of business?
Why do we need pharmaceutical drug ads? Can’t our doctors make the right choices based on the “detail men” that visit them?
Here’s an exceprt from Science Daily talking about how much is spent on promotion of drugs in the U.S.:
CAM reported total promotion spending by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry as US$33.5 billion in their 2004 report, while IMS reported US$27.7 billion for the same year. The authors observed, however, important differences in figures according to each promotion category. By selectively using both sets of figures provided by IMS and CAM, in order to determine the most relevant data for each category, and adjusting for methodological differences between the ways IMS and CAM collect data, the authors arrived at US$57.5 billion for the total amount spent on pharmaceutical promotion in 2004. The industry spent approximately US$61,000 in promotion per physician during 2004, according to Gagnon. Read the full post.
My question is why does any money have to be spent on promotion of drugs? If we spent this much money on educating people on the preventative Health Care practices, we would have fewer people getting sick and in need of Health Care in the first place. I just wonder how many people could be covered by a single-payer plan by the $57.5 billion spent every year by the pharmaceutical industry?
If you don’t feel like your health-care costs are rising, maybe you’re not the only person on this planet. They are rising for a lot of people. See this link from U.S. News and World Report.
Republicans have said that they do want Health Care reform as well. What sort of reform would that be?
- They don’t want a single-payer plan (which the dems never even put on the table)
- They don’t want a public option.
- They don’t even want a co-op
What is their solution? The truth is that THEY DON’T HAVE ONE.
Their solution is the following:
- People continue to live unhealthy, over-processed, over-stuffed lives
- People to continue to spend, continue to get into dept, and continue to get sick
- People to continue to need every pill in the book and go to the doctor at any whim
- People continue to Be Sick
Why change what we already have when it’s working so well from the people who benefit the most, rich insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and republican politicians.
It is high time we do something.
- I don’t think my mother, who is 89 years old and lives on a fixed income, should have to be faced with a bill for a drug that costs $160, which is often the case.
- I don’t think that someone should be afraid to leave their job simply because they need to make sure they are covered by health insurance.
- I don’t think that people should have to choose between paying their rent and making sure they are covered by health care.
Am I willing to make sacrifices? Yes. In fact, I would be willing to pay more tax so that everyone in this country could have health care. Because I believe that a healthier country will benefit me in the long run. I think we’re all going to have to make some sort of sacrifice and that’s what will be the most difficult. America’s economic, political, and (soon) military hegemony is evaporating at the speed of light. There are other rich nations now. China has already started eating the very juicy hamburger that is America and we’ve helped them by purchasing cheap goods at Walmart created in a country whose human rights abuses we ignore. We will all be sacrificing something in the future so get used to it.
What Can You Do That’s Easy? How Can You Get Off Your Ass?
There are many ways to feel like you’ve done everything that you as a citizen in our great (yes I do think it’s great sometimes. I’m not that Un American) democracy to promote healthcare reform.
- Call Your Senators and Congressmen. It’s the blue-dog senate members that really need to be told how we feel. This will take five minutes of your time. Simply put your zip code in to get your senators’ and congressmen/women’s names and contact information unless you know it already. Find out easily here.
- Sign the Declaration of Support on the White House’s site. This will also help Congress get the message LOUD and CLEAR.
- Talk to your Neighbors. Found out easily here.
- Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper. Find out easily here.
- Share your feelings of support by e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. Find out easily here.
- Just start talking about it. Share your feeling with people and tell them that it’s important that they call their senators and congressmen even if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
- Share this New York Times Primer on Health Care with your friends.
- Promote Setting the Record Straight, a site dedicated to exactly that.
- Share this It’s a basic FAQ from Democracy for America : http://standwithdrdean.com/faq
- Share Tim Foley’s posts here: http://healthcare.change.org/
- Do you live in New York or know someone who does? Download the flyer for the rally on August 29 or share this link: http://www.box.net/shared/qhvjym123h
If you can’t manage the time for any of the above, simply send a link to this blog post to someone who can or you think can. You don’t even have to leave the site. You the Share This feature below. We need to do something and it needs to be now.