Kill Bill

The gears of Washington turned and by October, we had a Healthcare reform bill, that had real reforms embedded. A strong public element passed the House of Representatives, real changes that would make single payer, affordable healthcare insurance available to all. This house bill , along with the Senate bill - also happened to require all of us to carry health insurance - so good thing.

Now, the current bill - in the language that is being discussed - requires you to have Insurance, just like the liability insurance you carry for your car - but it doesn't give you an option to get it in a single payer system that could allow you to circumvent nearly 15 years of price gouging in the insurance industry - and actually get real value for your healthcare dollar.

The insurance companies poured massive amounts of money into a certain senator, whose name I'll avoid mentioning - and lo and behold at the last minute he walks up and says he's not going to vote for the bill. But 72% of America wants the real reforms that were in the bill. And they said so. In a recent poll, the results show overwhelming support for a government healthcare system. The Federal Government would simply extend its system to include not only members of congress, and the military, but the American citizens who pay for it all.

This is, of course, troubling to insurance companies. Why? Because - despite claims of the 'conservative' representative - they simply don't like competition. America spends massive amounts of money on healthcare, more than they should - and the Insurance companies pocket the difference. So when they pay off a senator, he stays bought.

Dr. Howard Dean correctly identifies the current bill, with real reform stripped out - as a bigger bailout of the insurance companies than AIG.

The blogosphere elected all these guys. And now they actually believe, after being in DC a couple of years - that the lobbies are in control - and not the American people. Kill Bill. And then re-introduce it in a stronger form, and make absolutely certain to throw the GOP that tried to stop it - as well as the Dems - out on their ears. It won't be 60 in the Senate to support it next election cycle, it will be 72. As in 72% of Americans support it.

Or, of course, you could listen to all the sniping going on about how the progressive elements of the house and senate are in trouble and won't win re-election. The truth is, to stand on principle and really hold firm on this issue will enforce the highest standard of government. And it will change the face of healthcare in America - strengthening the NIH, the FDA, the EPA and the GAO and letting us see immediate, and long term benefits in the reduction of amounts of money paid out for healthcare (government run is cheaper, and better), health regulations (instant feedback to the FDA on whether or not drugs actually work), and environment.

The concept we have to remember, that works best for America - is skin in the game. When we create real reform, we establish an entity that - if an FDA law fails to pass, or doesn't have the right effect and a drug doesn't really work - it will cost the government money. And so the FDA will be wired into the hospital system and be able to see real costs. And be able to respond accordingly. Doctors will get paid not to market drugs, and give away free samples of medicine - but instead, a bonus to keep you well - or get your blood pressure under a certain number. Because the Government will have real, immediate cost savings if they do.

Think how that would change our country. What we went through during 911, Britain went through every day during WWII. And the first thing they decided to do after the war, was to deliver healthcare reform. Britain's National Health Service was started as a way of saying thank you to returning veterans of the war.

Will our healthcare reform, say thank you to America - or to the lobbyists of the Insurance Companies who will get, out of the current bill - a windfall profit from requiring us all to buy insurance ?

Would you vote for your senator or congressman, if they stood against this bill - and voted for a stronger one in a year? One that actually benefits you? You voted for someone in 2008 and he will still be here. Do we make his support, wider? Or do we accept the received wisdom that his star is failing?

You decide.