My Zunivers

24 July 2009

Health Care Nonsense

So, I'm sure all of you have heard Barack Obama's statements about health care. I mean, he did spend almost an hour talking about it the other night. It's not his fault the news mostly ignored that and spent hours covering the three minutes at the end that he devoted to Professor Gates.

Anyway, one of the major hallmarks of what is happening to "reform" health care are that, according to the President himself and many, many others In Charge you will be able to keep your health insurance. They aren't making you change your insurance, they're just setting up a government insurance option.

Have you ever heard a lie that isn't a lie? This is one of them.

I know about lies that aren't lies because I've lived down south. To lie without lying you say what is the truth to the letter of the words, but you choose words that deceive about the larger picture.

So, what are the options that the Democrats have so far about health insurance? It really is as much about "insurance" as "care," if not more, but for some reason Americans can't tell those apart anymore. Well, true to the letter of their words, you can keep your insurance. But let's look at what they are not adding.

This is what you'll find in the bill being batted around in the House of Representatives: If you have health insurance you can keep it. Unlike now, you can keep it even if you change jobs or move, for as long as it is offered. Also unlike now, once you lose the insurance you have you will not be able to get insurance from a private company again. The only new policies allowed will be the government program.

See? Nobody's lying. You keep your insurance, and there is a government option. They're failing to point out that the only other option is to keep the policy you have and hope it exists for the rest of your life. Want to change plans? The government option is the only one. After all, they didn't say you would always have options, just that you could keep your insurance and that there would be a government option.

This is what you'll find in the bill being batted around by the Senate: If you have health insurance now, you can keep it, and it can move with you from job to job and place to place. Also, the government will setup standards for insurance policies that met certain guidelines, and include government run options along with whatever private plans cut the mustard. Everyone who does not have one of those approved policies will need to pay a good sized tax penalty (in other words, a fine).

See? Nobody's lying there either. You can keep your insurance, and there is a government option. They're failing to point out that if your current insurance does not meet the government's standards, you'll need to get additional insurance or pay a fine. You'll have no say in the standards; economics and politics will define those. There is no means to prevent a single government plan from being the only one that cuts the mustard, and then pricing it so that private plans go belly up. After all, they didn't say you would always have options, just that you could keep your insurance and that there would be a government option.

If anyone thinks I'm lying about this, I'm sorry I don't have the links. I read about the Senate bill in a Bloomberg news column a couple weeks ago. The House bill was in Investor's Business Daily this week.

There are some good things in those bills, by the way. You can find versions of those good things in other proposed bills.

I'm not here to discuss whether socialized medicine is right or wrong. I have something else to say, and party politics ranting is just covering it up. If the Democrats running Congress and Barack Obama want to bring change to the way politics is done, they could start by being honest and straightforward about their intents and the consequences of what they are doing. If they want European-style government run health care, they should come out and say it. If they want something else, they should come out and say it. They should not continue the past half century's use of blatant deception by holding back the whole truth from the American public.

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