Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally, Someone Takes A Stab At The Right Thing!

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leaders, pledging to meet the president's goal of health care legislation before their August break, are offering a $1.5 trillion plan that for the first time would make health care a right and a responsibility for all Americans. Left to pick up most of the tab were medical providers, employers and the wealthy.

"We cannot allow this issue to be delayed. We cannot put it off again," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, said Tuesday. "We, quite frankly, cannot go home for a recess unless the House and the Senate both pass bills to reform and restructure our health care system."

Healthcare ought to have been a right in the Constitution from the get-go, but back then, people didn't see doctors unless they were dying. And the average age a man lived to was 40, a woman with children had an even shorter life expectancy.
See, it's in the Declaration of Independence and these asshats who always look to the "intent of the Founders" ought to reacquaint themselves with that document.
There's an awful lot of good in the proposal, as highlighted in these paragraphs:

Under the House Democrats' plan, the federal government would be responsible for ensuring that every person, regardless of income or the state of their health, has access to an affordable insurance plan. Individuals and employers would have new obligations to get coverage, or face hefty penalties.

The legislation calls for a 5.4 percent tax increase on individuals making more than $1 million a year, with a gradual tax beginning at $280,000 for individuals. Employers who don't provide coverage would be hit with a penalty equal to 8 percent of workers' wages, with an exemption for small businesses. Individuals who decline an offer of affordable coverage would pay 2.5 percent of their incomes as a penalty, up to the average cost of a health insurance plan.

In other words, you can't really opt out of the insurance. One way or another, we're not going to let you drag our healthcare costs up by treating the emergency room as your family physician anymore. By the same token, no employer is going to make an extra couple of pennies off the backs of his poor workers by depriving them of the most essential tool they need to do their jobs: their health. I know an awful lot of people who would give up the cafeteria/lunchroom or the soda and candy machines for affordable health insurance.
It's not perfect, it's not even that close to perfect, but it looks like it might be an interesting first step towards what this nation truly deserves: single-payer health insurance whereby NO ONE can make a profit off your body.