The fact is that without a robust pubic option the health care reform bill is almost useless bullshit and we are better off without it. The Senate Bill, even if improved by House amendments, only looks like an Improvement. In fact the insurance companies will still be able to suck millions of dollars out of the health care system to no good use we can see, except perhaps to pay millions of dollars a year in salaries to useless executives, and the average citizen will not have substantially better health care. Better to let the system fester a little longer.
On the whole, the proposed bill is disappointing in many ways. It will only fix pre-existing conditions for children in its first four years. It will cover all pre-existing conditions after 2014, but allow insurance companies to charge triple rates for coverage. It forces Americans to continue to pay outrageous prices for drugs while the same products are available at a fraction of the cost in Canada, Mexico, France, Britain and Japan. It allows insurance companies to operate without antitrust restraint, carving up markets and maintaining monopoly positions that allow them to accrue greater profits without fear of competition.
I have a hard time being sympathetic with the argument that passage of the health care bill is a political imperative, a disaster for the Democratic Party. Big deal. The President of the United States, riding an unprecedented landslide, with the largest congressional majority in years, declared early in the game that he would not include a public option in his bill. The Senate Democrats wasted months negotiating with a GOOP that was not interested in reaching a conclusion that benefits the citizens of the United States. In fact some key Democrats have been less than enthusiastic about a working health care reform bill. In short, it’s the Democratic Party’s choice to come up with a bill that only looks like it answers the need for reform. Let the Democratic Party live with it.
I think it’s safe to say that if no health care reform passes, the wheels will start to fall off the health care system bus pretty quickly. Costs will rise drastically, more and more people will be uninsured, Medicaid will go bankrupt, emergency rooms will fill up, only rich people will be able to get health care. Will that be crisis enough for these asshats to fix it?