Friday, October 16, 2009

Healthcare Reform

I listened to and read some news stories and the typical pundits yesterday about the current state of the healthcare reform legislation. And granted there are several bills in the Senate and House, each which have to be combined and reconciled for a floor vote. And then the two different versions will be negotiated in the conference commitee. All this before President Obama gets to peek under the covers of the bill.

I have no doubt the White House knows the bills and all the amendments. But here is where I part company with the President and Congress now. There has been so much noise about this work, it's time to do one of two things. First, trim them down to the minimalist measures which focuses on the greatest needs of the healthcare problem. Or second, just let it go. Dump it all in the history trash can and walk away for a few years.

This is a case where hindsight may prove the better choice here. And yes, the problem will worsen, but it doesn't mean Congress can't address some of those with selected legislation. I say this because the bill will be so bloated and convulted no one will really knows what it means and what the impact will be, and we know it will take another 2-3 years to implement all the measures in the bill.

So, it's time to just quit. Right now. Congress has managed to piss off everyone, now including myself who, blindly, thought my health insurance was immune from change beyond what it normally does. But I learned it's now open to massive changes which will make it more expensive and give insurance companies complete control over it and even deny or cancel it. I want it kept within the oversight of the program's government agency.

If anything in the bill touches it, I will lose. And I don't want that. And I know most Americans are already afraid the same will happen to their health insurance, which we're already seeing as companies raise rates and change coverage in anticipation of new rules and mandates. They're smarter and quicker than Congress.

So, it's time to just quit. Right now. And not inflict more and worse damage on the American people who already have health insurance. As for the underinsured and uninsured, maybe Congress can find new ways and new programs to help, but not at the risk of any existing programs or plans. Focus on that, and they'll be fine.

It's time to focus on more important matters. And to President Obama, you have another three-plus years to get healthcare reform, relax you have time and you won't risk the 2010 elections for the Democrats and your 2012 re-election campaign so early in your term of office.

So, to Congress, just quit. Box it all up and put it in some warehouse as a memory of something tried and lessons learned. That's because no bill is better than a bad bill. You've been down that road too often, and this one will certainly piss of everyone. This way you can try again with the advantage of hindsight.

No comments: