I: The Personal:
Do I Honestly Expect These Guys To Be Here When I Need Them? They Expect Me To Be There Every Quarter, When They Pay Out Their Dividends
Just got my renewal notice for my health care insurance. Went up from around $210/month to over $270/month, starting in October. For what I now have.
Yeah, I know…I can change what I get, shift certain monies around, etc. I’m sure everyone does that, and there may even be a co-op in Northwest Indiana that’ll do what I want for a bit cheaper than what I have now.
Thing is…I’ve seen my health insurance jump up 80% in four years (16% inflation yearly) and I’ve enjoyed maybe a 12.5% increase in wages during those past four years. I don’t like the idea of having to spend more for less, and while I wouldn’t mind the extra money in my wallet (paying off debts, or saving or spending on stuff) I can’t say I like the idea of going bare-back when I don’t have to. Especially since I’m in the position where everything will stick to me no matter what.
I mean…it’s kinda sad when you don’t see the doctor too much, have nothing major happen to you and you bill increases by nearly one third.
II: The Political:
Why There’s No Longer Any Reason For The Republican Party To Exist (Outside Of A Need For The Facade of Competition For The Consumption Of The People)
This is the second time I’ve seen it happen: The Democrats get swept into the Presidential Office with plenty of people in both houses. They spend time spinning their wheels, spending their good will on other subjects (at least Obama can say he’s had to save some parts of the American Economy.) Then they try their hand at health care, and get so beaten down that they don’t recover.
Now ask yourself: Do we really need a Republican Party anymore? Who needs to think when your opposition begs you for your approval, then pleads for you to stop when you pound their face in?
Used to be Republicans had to think to justify themselves. Needless to say, they became the party of the thinkers for many. Granted, their thoughts were bad and bald justifications for the exploitation of the poor and middle classes by the rich, but at least they had to make an effort.
But then, the Democrats used to think as well. How else would a party of the Jim Crow South become the party of Racial Justice, except that party members began thinking and became willing to pay the price for doing what was right?
Now the Democrats have pretty much become the party of the lazy. The voters have come to assume that once they vote someone in the representative has no choice but to robotically represent the “majority vote” when time for voting comes. The worst threat they can come to muster is “We’ll see what happens come November” – a threat that has become less and less powerful as districts have become more and more jerrymandered for the safety of the representative.
So the Republicans shout out buzz-phrases and what they hear from the blatantly biased press – pale parodies of their historical reputation as the thinking man’s party. That their greatest victories keep coming from Democrats stems not from the power of their ideas but from the craven cowardice of the Democratic representatives and the fact that most Democrats have gone out of their way to forget that Politics is a Contact Sport.
Something the Republicans learned from Saul Alinsky, by the way. I’ve never liked the guy (never mind the tepid review of the guy’s life I gave earlier) but there’s a lot I have to give to him. Like the fact that if you want something, you don’t vote someone in and let him .
III: The Future:
PalinCare and The Death of Emergency Room Care
Thing is, if I were the Republicans I wouldn’t rest on my laurels like they did in 1994. Obviously the desire for health care reform is great (hence the fact that it keeps on coming up), and I doubt that people will accept its staying silent for the next ten-fifteen years. So don’t be surprised if, after a midterm election with the Republicans magically in power again, we start seeing THEIR version of health insurance reform.
Notice I said “Health Insurance Reform,” not “Health Care Reform.” It will be more concerned with insuring that the health insurance companies get their profits; whatever effects this will have on health care won’t matter much to them.
So, we’ll see a bill show up that will have the following:
- Health Insurance Becomes Mandatory. Every American will need to have health insurance in order to get health care.
- No Public Option. This means everyone’s insurance will have to be gotten through private sources, most likely meaning profit-drivin companies.
- No Laws Mandating Insurance Must Be Given. After all, we’re talking about private companies; gotta give THEM the right to choose. Right? After all, they gotta be able to profit from their covering us.
- Emergency Rooms and Other Urgent Care Places No Longer Legally Bound to Serve Whomever Comes In. After all, you have to have SOME way to punish those who can’t afford health insurance keep those who are barred from insurance from getting needed care insure compliance with the new laws.
- Money From Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Will Help Out. You think this was just about Health Insurance? Gotta make sure those “Illegal Aliens” can’t get well off our buck, can we? Of course not. And since insurance is mandatory, no reason not to arrest those trying to get health care without health insurance.
- Medicaid and Medicare Will Be Privatized. After all, if you’re going to force everyone else to subsidize the profits of the Insurance companies, why not do the same for the old and the infirm? With Universal Health Insurance mandated by law, why have them specially set aside?
Obviously, there will be a bunch of people who will be willing to pay for something that says they’re insured, even if it covers nothing outside of the stated requirement. We already have that for automobile insurance: Liability Insurance. It covers you in case you plow into someone else and they need their car fixed; but otherwise it’s there for the driver to say “they’re insured” and nothing else.
You’ll see something along those lines with the coming PalinCare Health Insurance Reform. I’m not sure what it will be called, and it will probably have something along the line of a free yearly doctor’s visit plus some relief for acute problems (like injuries from a car accident), but mostly it will just say that “I’m Insured According To The Legal Requirements Of The PalinCare Law.” It will be a certain level of billing so that it won’t be TOO MUCH of a burden…as long as you’re still employed. You can even come to the government to subsidize the basic portion if you want.
And those without “insurance” (or unable to prove “insurance”) will end up unable to get proper care. They’ll either figure it out on their own, or find themselves criminalized. Or forced to overpay for emergency insurance…after all, these companies can always use a few spare bucks, and as long as it’s yours….