Health Care Reform…how can anyone say NO?

I’m having a sleepless night and just read Ronni Bennet’s (Time Goes By) post about the new Health Care Reform legislation that is squeaking by as we speak.  What I like about Ronni is that she always backs her observations with solid references so that you can dig as deep as you’d like into the issues she brings to the table. 

I’m often at odds with conservative American views…as an ex-pat Canadian I truly believe in social responsibility.  That doesn’t mean I fit the label of a left wing liberal either.  I see myself as a practical thinker, who cares about my fellow man and woman and how they and their children grow the country. 

How does that translate to health care reform?  I do not think it is possible, in the long term, to have an ongoing, strong middle class without a healthy and well-educated population.  If children are healthy, get good nutrition, and have access to GOOD, motivating education, then they will learn to learn, and that alone will build the middle class.  A healthy, educated population means more small business, more innovation, a stronger country.

There are three basic parts to the plan.  First, a public option, which means that all Americans will have access to an affordable plan.  Second, no one can be denied, or booted from a plan due to pre-existing conditions.  Third, the wealthiest 1% of the population will be charged a surtax to fund the program.

And I’ve sat on both sides of the fence.  As a corporate executive for most of my career, I was able to take advantage of the best health care insurance programs out there.  PPO’s filled with benefits, and very little thought on my part to co-pays, because I paid very little out of pocket on my plans. (In Canada, since basic health care was covered, my employers gave us supplementary programs to offset costs not covered by the government backed plan.)

And now, as a small business owner, I felt the pain of:

  1. Getting coverage — that was a nightmare and a half.  I ended up finding a plan, but I pay high co-pays and when my daughter broke her leg this year, that sucked a lot of money out of my bucket.
  2. Realizing that the combined costs of my plan, my daughter’s, and my mother’s (who lives with me) FAR surpassed my monthly mortgage payments (that is JUST ridiculous)
  3. Also realizing that it is unlikely I’ll be able to offer health care benefits to staff for many years.

I never forgot a conversation with a former boss, who had so obviously lost touch with the struggles of many of his employees regarding health care.  He was talking about a PPO plan and he commented that he couldn’t understand why so many people were so upset with the program.  In his view,  if you had to pay $3000 for your cap on out-of-pocket expenses on your plan, it was a small price to pay.  For the have-nots, or for small businesses struggling to stay alive in this horrible economy, $3000 just isn’t there. 

There are SO many uninsured and if they get sick, they will really be in deep trouble.  To let so many fall between the cracks is just bad business sense…which is why I really can’t understand why Republicans are so opposed to the concept.  I’d think Republicans would be FOR a program like this — that would keep workers healthier, reduce costs on business and only cost such a small amount to the top 1% of the population. It’s a GOOD plan for business.

On a side note…have you taken a good look at pics of the President surrounded by committee members?  In several last pictures, you can actually see the shift in who is representing the American people.  I was always taken aback when Bush would come to photo ops with his entourage of advisors and committee members.  He was always surrounded by a group of older white men.  Obama comes surrounded by balanced groups — men, women, different ages and races.  If you haven’t noticed yet, start looking.  He is reshaping government,  and to my eye, in a good way.

4 thoughts on “Health Care Reform…how can anyone say NO?

  1. Obviously, you haven’t read any part of the so-called health care reform? We don’t need socialized medicine. If you want that, go to a socialist country. My mom lives in Argentina and can vouch for the fact that the care is substandard, and more so the older you get and become deemed not to be a viable member of society.

  2. Wendy, obviously we’ll have to agree to disagree. There is a big difference between a socialist political system and a socialized program. Canada is certainly not a socialism and having grown up there, while there may be problems with the system, I’d much rather have that system than the one we have here — where an insurer can dump me at any time simply because I become too expensive to treat. We MUST ensure that we have a healthy and educated population. In business it would be called succession planning.

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