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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health Care Reform - It's About Time

 Before the shot-1958

Since health care reform is on everybody's mind these days, I thought I would share with my readers the black and white of it all.  Let me tell you why - because I am sick of all the political banter going on between the Republicans and the Democrats.  I don't know where the Republican's are coming up with all their scare tactics but they have no basis whatsoever with regards to the actual content of the Health Care Reform Bill.  As for the Democrats - they aren't much better as they have a tendency to sugar coat the content as well. 

Instead of listening to all the political banter, go online and read the bill for health care reform.  You'll find it is exactly what this country needs.  Politicians went through the same crap when Social Security and Medicare were on the table.  



In 1935, FDR signed the Social Security Act.  Under the 1935 law, what we now think of as Social Security only paid retirement benefits to the primary worker. A 1939 change in the law added survivors benefits and benefits for the retiree's spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added.

Keep in mind, however, that the Social Security Act itself was much broader than just the program which today we commonly describe as "Social Security." The original 1935 law contained the first national unemployment compensation program, aid to the states for various health and welfare programs, and the Aid to Dependent Children program. 

Where would we be today if we had let the Republicans in Congress shoot it down like they tried to do, claiming the Democrats were Socialists?  Every time the Democrats create another Federal program, the Republicans call them Socialists.  Knock it off you guys - there's too much hot air in Washington and it's about time you start representing the interests of the people and get the party affiliations out of it entirely.



Harry Truman, who became President upon FDR's death in 1945, considered it his duty to perpetuate Roosevelt's legacy after his death. So, in 1945, he became the first president to propose national health insurance legislation. After Congress rebuffed his request, he reiterated his appeal after his surprising victory in the 1948 presidential elections.  Congress continued to oppose the measure. In 1950, he signed the Social Security Amendments, which provided federal funds to states for vendor payments for medical care of poor aged called old-Age Assistance; it became the foundation for the Medicaid program.



In 1965, President Johnson signed the Medicare program.  Where would we be if not for that? My mother could not afford healthcare if not for Medicare.

So here we are in 2009.  It's time.  Do NOT believe your representatives.  Do NOT believe what you hear on television or read in the newspaper.  Believe the black and white.  Now I know it is daunting to read the entire bill, but the summaries are worth reading.


Kids insurance

This country needs a federal health insurance program.  I am relieved that we finally have a President who has made this a priority.  It is important that the greedy insurance companies start having to own up, as well as the providers who commit insurance fraud.  It is precisely this behavior of greed and fraud that put this country in the position it is in today.

Just so you know, I don't believe what anyone says in the news.  I check it myself if for no other reason than to know that I am making an educated decision and can understand the argument.  It isn't always easy getting to the bottom of the issue, but it sure is worth the effort.  Another thing ... your Representatives know that 99.9% of the American people they represent are not going to check up on them, their voting record, or the bills that they submit before Congress.  They know that most people will listen to whatever they say on television, on YouTube videos, or in the newspaper and believe it all as "truth."  Because they know this, they lie, they twist the facts, they even throw in some crap for good measure.  Just remember that the next time you go to the polls, or argue an important issue with your friends, your neighbors, your family.  I banter back and forth with my Republican brother all the time.  I love him to pieces, and he is entitled to his opinion.  I'm just not agreeing with him as often as I used to.  Maybe that's because I am more informed.  Or, at least I think I am.  


Remember when you were a child and your teacher taught you about spreading rumors.  She would whisper something in the first child's ear, who would then tell the next child and so on and so on.  By the time the story got to the last child, it was completely different, sometimes containing bits and pieces that were never in the original story.  I never forgot that lesson.  



So, just because your representative says it's so, doesn't make it so.  Just because Pres. Obama says it's so, doesn't make it so.  Get to know your Representatives.  They are there for "You!"  Then, read the black and white yourself and then make your own decision.  That's what I do.



Read the bill by clicking HERE.

It is 2,324 pages of good information.  It is 2,324 pages of what this country needs in the way of health care reform.  It is 2,324 pages of help for those of us who do not have health care, cannot afford health care, and who need health care.  It is 2,324 pages of insurance for my family.  It is an "option" for those of us who otherwise have none.  It doesn't take over the current health care system.  It just becomes another option - and one that is necessary for families and individuals without health insurance.  It is a choice.  I support it completely.



Here is the Open Congress Summary

This is the House Democrats' big health care reform bill. Broadly, it seeks to expand health care coverage to the approximately 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured by lowering the cost of health care and making the system more efficient. To that end, it includes a new government-run insurance plan (a.k.a. a public option) to compete with the private companies, a requirement that all Americans have health insurance, a prohibition on denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and, to pay for it all, a surtax on households with an income above $350,000.

Read the bill, or at the very least glance through it, and you will know why I support this bill from cover to cover.  Why?  Because every American deserves the right to good health.  Every American should have access to professionals who can help them live a healthier life and be healthy.  Every American deserves to be covered and not turned down because of pre-existing conditions.  Every American should be able to live their life without worry that a catastrophic illness or injury could devastate them financially for the rest of their lives.



Be active in your community.  Get involved.  Ask questions.  Piss off a few politicians.  Speak up.  But before you do - do the intelligent thing - understand the issues.  Understand how this bill relates to past bills like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.   Understand the arguments between our political parties and representatives during those times that the bills were before Congress.  You might be surprised to find that Democrats were called "Socialists" and Republicans were called "Pig headed" just like today.  Nothing's changed.  But, we can change things by being informed.  



Remember, I grew up in a very involved, very Republican family.  My father ran for U.S. Senate and Congress back in the 60s and he was very involved in politics.  My dad got us involved in the thick of every discussion and every argument.  It was his nature.  Maybe that is why I do my research, because I want to understand the issues.  When American's depend entirely on what they read in the paper or hear on the news, they are at a sore loss for the real and honest information.  



My father used to say to me "If it is important to you, check it.  Research it.  Understand it.  If you discover that anything I've told you is wrong, then you better come back and tell me so that I don't continue to make a fool of myself."  I used to laugh when my dad would say this to me, but I took it seriously and I am glad I did.  I sure do miss my dad.  He was a good man. 



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