Health Care Reform will not fly!
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Written by James "Jim" Rippy"   
Thursday, 01 October 2009
It should be obvious by now that Congress is not really interested in true health care reform. Why do I make such a statement? The lobbyist with the huge financial backing of the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals etc. have put the brakes on any thing close to the types of reforms really needed for the benefit of all the people that will help us restore our competitive edge. Think about it! They have had years to come up with answers and solutions to the problem that affects all of us, but really has no effect on any of them individually. I really believe that our capability of solving large complex problems will never be as good as it could and should be until we have term limits on how long they can serve.
Let’s face it. They have excellent health care and pension plans plus a lot of perks that we cannot begin to understand. They control their salaries and if they need a raise, they just vote themselves an increase. They do not participate in social security so how can they understand it. Their health care plans for them and their families are excellent and they have no worries about affordability or coverage. Their lives change so dramatically after a term or two that their prime focus becomes how to get re-elected. They know that it takes money to stay in office so they are very careful to not ruffle the feathers of the powerful money interests that finance their campaigns.
A new president whether it is Obama, Bush, or Clinton can come in with sincere desires to do things differently and try to make changes that will benefit all the people. It does not take long for the reality to set in that the only way to stay in office is to bend to the will of the Senators and Congressmen and women who have the power of seniority and backing of the lobbyist with the deepest pockets.
Just take a look at what has happened with health care reform. It stated with a huge push to bring health care to those folks that did not have access. The numbers bounced everywhere from 30 million to 50 million and no one really agreed on how many people did not have access or the reasons for lack of access. The reality is that if not a single person was added to the insured roles, the staggering cost increases of past years had put the system in a crisis mode. An eight grade math student could understand that an increase of 120% for the past ten years with inflation at 40% and wage increases below 30% was a time bomb just waiting to go off. When it became public knowledge that hundreds of companies started dropping retirees from health care rolls, dropping health care as a benefit for active employees and increasing benefits to unaffordable levels; sirens, bells and whistles should have been going off across this country. Obviously our legislators were not going to ring the bell: why should they? It had zero-nada-no effect on them whatsoever.
The major goals now for the President and Congress, including both parties, is to basically water any bill down so it does not offend their lobbyist and financiers in the insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry and others and push it so far out in the future that any results will not affect their chance for re-election. I hope you noticed that the last speech by the President talked about changes four years out to make sure they get it right. Just long enough to make sure the changes are basically after the next election. They just want to be able to say; we reformed health care without the accountability for having to report that it did nothing to reduce the cost or eliminate the waste and inefficiency until they are re-elected. You can already hear them talking about items in their bill taking place in 2013-2014-2015 etc. They take some rather basic and simple issues and turn them into a 1,000 page bill that it takes lawyers to understand.
This happens even though they have worldwide access to the best known practices. What do they do? They focus on horror stories from the UK and Canada who have “socialized medicine”. They completely ignore France, Germany, Japan and even a small country like Taiwan who after searching world wide for universal health care for all their citizens basically adopt the Medicare system of the United States.
          Folks my age will probably face minimal disruption from their “smoke and mirrors” reform bill. Our kid’s and grandkid’s will pay the price for letting these people who supposedly represent us take the lobbyist money to stay in office. The damage will be done and a lot of them will be gone into the sunset very comfortable with great pensions and excellent health care for life.
          I sincerely hope and pray that everyone will discount the “fear mongering” and biased reporting. Study the issue and let your representatives know exactly how you personally feel. The people need to regain control of their government by letting every level of government know that if they represent the special interest groups and continue to be influenced by the lobbyist; that they will be voted out. I am still naïve enough to believe that maybe a couple of elections of voting them out would get their attention and understanding about who they really serve. A friend of mine who resides in another state sent me an e-mail recommending that all states adopt Illinois term limits program. He said that we already have term limits {one term in office and one term in prison}.
          I have said about all I can say on this subject. It is up to you to study and evaluate the issue and let your legislators know how you feel. If they vote against what you think is right. Vote them out. Please do not let me, the talking heads on television, the news media or anyone be your only source of information. Dig in and study the issue. It is important to you, your kids, grand kids, and future generations.
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