As somewhat of a self-proclaimed political junkie, I have always taken a strong interest in all things government. I grew up with my family switching between the local news, CNN and driving around with NPR on. So as I watched the news and listened to the radio this summer, anything and everything that involved the healthcare debate immediately elicited my attention. I lived for Talk of the Nation on the way to work and went to bed with The Rachel Maddow Show. After being essentially submerged in the argument about healthcare, I have come out in very strong support of it.
While I was admittedly skeptical at the beginning of the summer, I didn’t know much about it all, and I was careful to not blindly follow either side. However, when I finished mucking through all the crap that was being flung around by naysayers, I had uncovered an interesting treasure. I can now say that I firmly believe in President Obama’s health care plan because it is based on choices, not the kind of choices that someone will make for you, but choices that put your welfare in your own hands. As discussed on President Obama’s web site , www.barackobama.com, we will have a choice between national and private healthcare; there are no plans to eliminate private healthcare options.
I think it is really important to emphasize the fact that one of the biggest goals of nationalized healthcare is to provide coverage to those who cannot afford private insurance. The proposed plan runs a lot like any private plan, maybe even better. It promises that applicants will not be turned down based on pre-existing conditions and will be offered the same coverage regardless of class or role in government. While I have never had to attempt to purchase healthcare myself, I am aware that it can be a complicated process when it comes to pre-existing conditions. Because of that, I feel that preventing this sort of discrimination is vitally important.
This makes it apparent that the Obama administration has put a great deal of thought into this plan, especially in respect to private insurance. For example, there will be new rules and practices set up in order to control the private sector, which will be held to the same standards as public health insurance. The plan also recognizes that some states have done well in their coverage, and so his plan will not stop the current efforts of these states but will seek to build on them. According to the text of the healthcare bill, H.R. 3200, specifically subtitle B, employers will be encouraged to provide healthcare to their workers, or at least provide them with a legitimate contribution towards coverage. If some employers choose not to do this, they will then have to donate money from their payroll to the national plan. In reality, it is difficult to see the drawbacks here.
I do not contend that I have covered every aspect of the plan as I barely have time to read 100 page assignments for classes, much less 1,000 plus pleasure reads. Surely there are places for concern, and I realize that there have been a lot of facts stated here, and that is exactly what the nation needs. The American people are angry, confused and just plain tired. Why is that? Because it seems that all the opposition can manage to do is throw around broad sweeping statements and blatant exaggerations. In what ways does this really get our country anywhere? If you oppose the current healthcare plan, suggest ways to alter it; don’t just make up lies to kill it. The next time you get your emotions fired up, whether in support or opposition of the healthcare bill, make sure you state the facts. Progress in the healthcare debate is just that simple.
In the end, I encourage everyone who cares about the healthcare plan, for or against it, to get out and fight for your beliefs. Before you go all Sean Hannity on me, I encourage you to read the bill for yourself at www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/show. You might just be surprised by how much fun you have. And hey, what is so bad about being a political nerd anyway?