Thursday, August 13, 2009

Evolution Inaction

If you are concerned about the current debate over healthcare reform, you should be:

Frankly, what is surfacing is a survival of the fittest mentality. One demographic, being pitted against another, risks any true reform of the system and compromises the pursuit of good health for all.

One group in particular, unconvinced that change will not be destabilizing, has been the senior citizen population. Whether cautiously reluctant or downright suspect, seniors, many of whom are satisfied with Medicare, do not want to be scapegoated in the process to redress health-care grievances. At the crux, is the perceived threat that health care will be rationed for the elderly at the expense of insuring younger, healthier Americans. Seniors are not "on the chopping block," but propaganda and rhetoric would have you believe their interests will be disposed of readily.

What is true, however, is that there is already rationing in the America health care system. Insurance companies are able to differentiate which treatments are covered versus those deemed unnecessary. We, in the public, find this mediation palatable, but we question whether the government will interfere arbitrarily in our medical affairs.

Dr. Pernell goes on to point out what I pointed out yesterday: Healthcare reform can ONLY drive down the cost of healthcare, freeing more money for more treatment.
But her trope of "survival of the fittest" is intriguing and got me to thinking: what if the living room gibbons that have infested the Congressional town hall meetings win? What will happen to healthcare reform in this country?
It won't, frankly. We'll get the same lip service crap that President Bush offered up with Medicare prescription "reform" which turned out to be a boon for insurers and a muddle, ugly mess for consumers. And it will be decades again until someone straps on some cojones and decides to take the plunge into reforming a disastrous health insurance scam that private insurers have foisted on this nation.
We spend more, far more, per person on healthcare than any other nation on the planet, yet we rank in the 30s in life expectancy, have higher cancer and heart disease death rates than any country with "socialized" medicine, and have an infant mortality rate higher than many Third World nations (including Cuba)
So much for the "right-to-life," huh?
One bright spot in the whole town hall astroturfing is that we see now citizens who are on a government-provided healthcare plan are so satisfied with it that they will fight tooth and nail to keep it intact.
"I got mines, Joe, and I ain't giving it up!" A clever President and Congress would use this as an opening.
Getting AARP on board would be a big first step. They have reluctantly and half-heartedly endorsed some of the proposals bandied about. Even if they took the next logical step and just made a push to get people to realize this is not going to cut their Medicare, that would be a big help. People look at AARP and have respect for it as an organization devoted to the needs of the aging. I myself am a member, primarily because of that image.
We liberals have to begin to make the case that the Obama administration has been unable to: healthcare reform will save and prolong lives, and not force the elderly into euthanasia.