What started out as massive health care reform is quickly becoming a shrinking violet. The public option sank faster than the Titanic. The alternative Medicare buy-in for persons over 55 sank even faster. It lasted only 6 rounds or days. Abortion didn’t fare too well either. Compromise was inevitable. Yet, the watering down of the health care bill is more than compromise. The bill’s strength is diluted so much. It has no punch. Time is not on the side of major health care reform. One saying is becoming true. Haste makes waste. President Obama wants to get a bill passed before the December break. At all costs, he just may achieve that goal. In the process, he will give up so much to achieve it.
Back on July 7, 2009 President Obama stated he was looking forward to a final bill with the public option. He stated that one of the best ways to bring down costs, assure quality health care and force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest is the public option. So how are we going to keep the insurance companies honest now?
While campaigning before Planned Parenthood in 2007, President Obama sated his reform plan would include reproductive health care. By the summer of 2009, he changed to no federal dollars would be used to fund abortion. As for health care for all, the current Senate bill is estimated to cover 31 million by 2019 still leaving 24 million still uninsured.
Affordable health care is not a game. Yet, there are still winners and losers. And the winners are private insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. Second runners up are hospitals and doctors. The losers are President Obama, Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, women, children and all those in need of affordable health care.
Howard Dean says we should scrap it and start over again. I have to wonder what would Teddy think. Senator Ted Kennedy was the liberal champion for health care for all Americans for decades. The health care bill is not looking like the liberal law he envisioned. Ted Kennedy would probably disagree with President Obama. Senator Kennedy would say Mr. President it’s not the greatest thing since social security. It’s not even close. It’s not a full loaf. It’s a half loaf. But a half loaf is better than no loaf.
I once read baby steps count too as long as they are moving forward. We must not stop nor be content with these baby steps. We must continue to fight for massive health care reform. We must continue to fight for the reform President Obama once campaigned for. This is only the beginning.