There is little or no debate about the real facts on health care. It has been hammered home, fact by fact in the many posts on the subject on this blog.
One more time. The Public Option: It is essential. It is the trigger that will keep the health care companies honest and gradually force prices down. It gives you a backup, a fall back plan in case you lose your insurance. And it is one that will probably be at the very least equal to the plan you had. Paul O’Neill a brilliant economist and CEO of one of the world’s biggest corporations–a cabinet member in the George Bush administration, says that we can save over a trillion dollars A YEAR if we really go after it. If he is right, and he has no Democratic or Obama axe to grind, a public health care option can pay for itself and still cost half of what we pay now for health care.
Costs of health care. We can pay for health care a variety of ways. In addition to the savings in efficiency of health care delivery, we have tax breaks we can let retire. We are bringing the troops home. We can take some of those savings. We can raise taxes slightly on some items and close corporate loop holes from companies who now send jobs abroad and who pay no taxes because they locate their headquarters in the Cayman Islands or in the Middle East.
So the costs are not a problem. We can still pay premiums. There are literally tens of millions of people who can afford to pay premiums and will be happy to. What sustains the private industry will also sustain the public sector. Medicare, if that is where we put the public option, will become better, and the public option will be better because it will be incorporated into a system that is already popular.
There will be no rationing. There will be no denial of coverage. There will be no bureaucrat between you and your doctor. In fact, you may experience only one thing. Your current health care costs may, probably will, go down with your current health care company. The whole idea is to have AFFORDABLE accessible health care for all.
But all this won’t happen. It won’t happen unless you get on the phone to your Senator right now, tomorrow, the next day…soon. The health care lobby is lying through its teeth. It is trying to scare the hell out of anyone they can. This is their bread and butter. CEOs who make $14 million a year on average don’t give up that money easily. If they know one thing it is obviously how to make an annual income of $14 million. They will fight any public plan to the death. They are right to fight.
In every other country, people in the medical field are well respected, extremely well-paid, some are wealthy. But very few get extremely rich from the misery of the people of their country. The goal in those countries, as it will become here if you support a public option, is compassionate, dedicated, accomplished health care for all. If you do not push the Senate, those twelve or so Senators will cave in to the health care companies and we will all lose our best–and possibly only–chance to have a permanent, affordable, top-notch health care program for everyone in this country. The private health care companies, many of them, the good ones, will survive. The employees will not notice a difference. The companies that were raping the public, and there are many, will become decent citizens or go out of business.
That is not our problem as citizens. Our goal is to be able to go to the doctor, to a specialist, get an X-ray or an MRI, have an operation and have time to recuperate. And whatever we need, it should and will not be with held and it should not cause us severe financial stress. That is what we need, what we want and what we will have if you, now, go to one of our blogs that carries the phone numbers of the Senators who are holding this up, and tell them that we will not allow them to return to office if they do not help pass this health care reform bill–with a public option. It will be a great step forward and it is up to you to get it.