Sunday, March 21, 2010

Historic Vote

The House votes on health care reform today. I can hardly believe the day has finally come. Maybe that's why I am awake before 6 am on a Sunday. It is a rare thing that I wake up before my kids.

On these issues, I am 100% for everything the liberals want to do. In fact, I'm even for many of the things the liberals never said they wanted to do, but Fox News warned us they wanted to do. I don't think the current bill goes far enough to reign in the powerful insurance industry. Call me a Socialist.

I have an ethical problem with the existence of for-profit health insurance companies. They incentivize ripping people off and sending sick people to an early grave, all because it benefits the bottom line.

For those of you who get HBO, (and I don't mean 'human body odor' heh heh... I kill me) and feel like I do, I recommended watching this past Friday night's episode of "Real Time With Bill Maher." It has nice Gavin Newsom eye candy to boot. Note: the non-sleep habits of my kids make it so I have to tivo all of the tv I watch, and don't always get to it before the tivo runs out of room and starts deleting shit. But the gods were on my side on Friday night, when the kids actually fell asleep around 8pm, so DH and I got to watch Bill Maher together. First and last time that will ever happen!

In other political news, have any of you read "Game Change"? I hear it rips Elizabeth Edwards a new one for being abusive to campaign staff. She can't catch a break at all, can she?

Oh, by the way, I totally won't be offended if you disagree with me. Some people don't think Gavin Newsom is very attractive. Everyone here is entitled to their incorrect opinions, I promise!


mom2boy said...

I would really like to know what is in the final bill up for vote. I keep reading about what isn't in it or what special add-ons are in it but the central gist - if there is one - escapes me.
It's sort of accepted that terminally ill people be given some sort of deference but what if they weren't particularly nice before they got sick? Is it still uncouth to mention it? I don't think Game Change was a book that needed to be written. If your wife is a bitch and you can't take it, get a divorce. If she's ill and you feel compelled to stay with her, then man up and keep it in your pants. Seems so easy from the outside. Always does.
Congrats on the adult Friday night. Love it when the stars align.

Cloud said...

I felt like doing a little Dora "We Did It!" dance when I got up this morning and saw the outcome of the vote. I don't think the current bill is perfect by any stretch, but it is better than nothing.

I would have liked to see more in there to control costs, but the pragmatist in me realizes that once people started talking about "death panels" any cost-benefit analysis on treatment (where "cost" does not necessarily equal financial expense, but also includes pain caused by treatment, risk of side effects, etc) was not going to happen.

So I'll just be happy that we're finally tackling the problem of uninsured people in this country.

hush said...

@mom2boys - I, too, wonder what precisely is in the final bill. Even if it only prevents insurance co's from pre-existing condition denials, that is a huge success - I understand the no PEC denials provision is effective immediately; the rest will come into law by 2014. From what I've heard so far, some of the changes include: people can now stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, and insurance will be mandatory with tax breaks to defray the costs for those who cannot afford it and who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.

@Cloud - I am all for death panels. And for death taxes for that matter. I don't mean to sound grim. I'm lucky to live in one of the few US states where physician-assisted suicide is legal. That's not even what "death panels" are all about - which is so sad it is kind of funny.

Jac said...

Being Canadian, I feel bad commenting on this stuff because I think I would be pretty irritated if the shoe were on the other foot (i.e. hearing from an American about what was wrong with the Canadian system). A couple of mildly worded thoughts:

1. It is incomprehensible to me that people make a profit on sickness and health. I mean, of course doctors should make a good living, but insurance companies answer to shareholders - your priorities can hardly be correct in that system because corporations have a legal obligation to act in the best interest of their shareholders. And the best interest of the shareholders is to pay out less in claims, so more money goes to dividends and increased share prices.

2. I am so tired of hearing socialism being slammed, like the Red Army is on the border about to march in. Doesn't america have a military? Isn't the military supported by taxes paid by everyone, so that everyone can benefit by increased security and safety? Having a national military is socialist. As is having a fire department, a police department, and a postal service. All socialist. In all these circumstances, it is accepted that the profit motive doesn't make sense.

Jac said...

Okay - I had Bill Maher's episode with Gavin Newson PVR'd and I watched it last night. Gavin Newson is eye candy; I can totally see him running for President one day.

I love Bill Maher even though I am (gulp) Catholic. Not to worry, I am a happy Catholic with a self-deprecating sense of humour; Bill's reference to Jesus as "the Jewish Zombie" was pretty funny. Religion is one area where I really enjoy hearing all points of view.

caramama said...

I don't follow most politics (it's just too overwhelming living around DC), and I had to look up Gavin Newsom. He is cute!

But I am pretty liberal and I totally agree with you and other liberals on what they want to do on the healthcare issue. AND I think socialism is a great idea in theory (doesn't seem to work in practice, though). I'm very excited to see something passed through and feel that at least it's a start.

@Jac - I think as a Canadian you provide a great outside perspective. And since the conservative right keeps saying that you poor Canadians have to have socialized healthcare and come to the US for our doctors, I think it's good that you can speak up for how it really is up there. I LOVE both your points.

hush said...

@Jac - Word up on every point you made. I, too, think the Jewish Zombie is one of the most hilarious lines ever, and I was also raised Catholic! I still identify culturally but don't drink the kool aid at all.

@caramama - I'm excited to see something passed, too - it's a start.