Sunday, August 9, 2009

Way to Go George Stephanopoulos! (errr...well...sort of...this time...)

I watched George Stephanopoulos this morning and wanted to jump through the TV and give George a high five!! I loved how he called Newt Gingrich out on the fear mongering lies being touted by so-called media experts such as himself, Sarah Palin (gag) and the far right orchestrated demonstrators !! I wish the media would do this more often rather than let those spewing lies speak as if their point of view is expertise, wanted or even relevant. Thank you, George, for standing up for truth at least once in your life!! I also watched a similar conversation with David Gregory on NBC and he made no attempts at pointing out the lies and twists of facts. (I miss Tim Russert. He was so much more objective.)

I have not read many specifics about the proposed health care reforms so I don't have a lot of facts to throw at you but I do have an opinion. I do know crap when I see and hear it and I see and hear a lot of it being shoveled into the mouths of, I am sorry to say, so-called conservative white people who are still mad that a Black man is president. It seems to me that ideas are pushed aside and jumped on just because it's Obama. Why was it so easy for Americans to go along with everything Bush did and proposed to do? All the while, people were touting him as the worst president, a total idiot, a fool and a liar. But when it was time to vote, make important decisions, this 'idiot of a president' always came out on top. I am sorry to say that it was because he was white and the fear mongers had no worries, because all was white, after all. Now the leader of the free world is a half Black man and suddenly it's OK to call the president a Nazi, a racist, a Communist, and any other ugly word they can find as a supposed way to protest something with which they don't agree.

According to The Commonwealth Fund, "With the exception of federal–state partnerships, all of the proposals (including G. W. Bush's) would transform the traditional role of employers by eventually scaling back or eliminating the extent to which they contract directly with health plans for coverage. The president's and Senator Wyden's proposals would achieve this in part by eliminating the tax exemption for employer-provided benefits and replacing it with an income tax deduction." So in essence, everyone is proposing some sort of eventual state run plan that could cover everyone. The problem is how certain people are presenting their proposals. Some hide this fact, others attempt to be more translucent.

A couple things that are missing in all of these debates was touched on slightly this morning by Howard Dean. He indicated that as a medical practitioner her received no refusal of treatments from the Medicare system but always received them from private insurers. As a military spouse, I can say that the healthcare provided is not the health care that Bill Gates would get, but it is adequate, and best of all, I don't have to pay directly out of pocket because taxes take care of the expenses. Doctors who are private practitioners can opt into the military health care system either agreeing to accept what the government deems is appropriate payment for a procedure or have the military member pay an additional amount. The nice thing is that we can choose the free care or we have a choice to pay a little extra for the nice frilly offices. I do have to admit that I seem to be paying more out of pocket these days, but I am still satisfied with the care I get.

The second important fact mentioned this morning was that some countries with government run health care programs have higher life expectancies. This point can be contested. However, our life expectancy is affected directly by a lifestyle of overeating and over driving. Just think of the reductions in total cost we would have if we would just eat less and eat healthier. My individual costs alone from my sickle cell issues have severely decreased from repeated hospital stays per year to none simply because I eat healthier. I haven't even mentioned smoking, drinking and the lack of exercise yet. I would just like to hear everyone talking about all the changes we could make in our own personal lives making parts of this whole health care mess irrelevant. I suspect that this will never happen because insurance companies need us to be dependent upon them so that they can continue to rake in the cash. And perhaps, even more importantly, politicians need us to be dependent upon insurers because they need the contributions to support their political ambitions. The problem is that the average American is once again always on the losing end.