More about insurance company death panels here and here...
- provide health care to illegal aliens (heaven forbid)
- lead to a government takeover of the health system
- spend taxpayer dollars on abortion (we wouldn't want health care reform to enable women full access to their constitutional rights)
The poll also finds that
Forty-five percent think the reform proposals would allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care for the elderly.
Apparently, this last bit of pernicious nonsense comes about because the coverage of so-called "death panels," which are actually counseling aimed at helping the dying accept the ending of life. Turns out that they do some good, too.
But perhaps the most willfully dishonest assertion is that health care reform would lead to a government takeover of the health system. Instead, reform is exactly what it implies: For better or worse, a reform of the way that access to health care is currently provided. In other words, health care will continue to be provided through a combination of insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid.
As I wrote earlier, health care reform means such common sense changes as
- coverage of preventive care such as mammograms and colonoscopies
- the end of denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions or medical history
- the end to dropping or reducing coverage of an existing medical condition
- prevention of arbitrary caps to lifetime or annual coverage, essential to preventing health care-related bankruptcies
- an option to purchase health care from the government, to so-called public option essentially to controlling costs and ensuring that minimal standards are meant
- government negotiation of purchases from pharmaceutical companies, essential to controlling drug costs (You wouldn't believe how much cheaper even over-the-counter drugs are in Ireland, and this in a country that is an expensive place to live.)
Worried about bureaucracies issuing end-of-life decisions? A friend's letter to his Congressman:
This is not a game. I am increasingly distressed to see that, as far as I can tell, the Republicans in Congress are treating the issue of health care reform as an opportunity to score points against the Democrats in general and the president in particular. This issue is not a game between Republican and Democratic politicians. If it continues to be treated as a game, then no matter which party wins, the American people will lose.
I support health care reform that includes a public option. If you oppose a public option, please explain to me as my representative in the House why I should trust insurance companies more than the government in which you serve.
Recently, the brother of a friend was diagnosed with germ-cell cancer which is highly treatable 90% of the time. Unfortunately, my friend's brother belongs to the other 10%. He works for a successful telecommunications firm. He has "good" health insurance. His insurance company refused to cover the stage II trial drug protocol that is his only viable chance for a cure even though it costs no more than the conventional therapy they were willing to cover and even though the insurance company's doctor recommended they grant a waiver and cover his experimental treatment. Now, tell me why I should trust the insurance companies.
Please, sir, have the courage to do the right thing. The status quo in health care is unacceptable. The American people have been waiting for reform since Harry Truman was president. Please do not succumb to the partisan pressure to play politics with the very lives of the people you represent.
Tomorrow is Elders for Health Care Reform Day...
Health care: Two countries, two stories...
Save Charity Hospital, NOLA's last, best hope for indigent and emergency care...
Goin' back to Avalon, where I have a pretty mama all the time...