Monday, August 10, 2009

No Public Option Is No Public Option

Writer Linda Hansen (Huffington Post, The Progressive Journal) chronicles her husband's and her six-year struggle with corporate HR bimbos and insurance goons after his massive stroke in 2003. As people who were employed, and had health insurance Denny and Linda made the comfortable assumption that a lot of us make -- if we get sick, we're covered. After all, haven't we been paying into our insurance plans for just such an eventuality. Unfortunately, until confronted by that eventuality, the Hansens had underestimated the average insurance company's bulldogged tenacity in doing whatever it takes to deny benefits and pump up their bottom line.

Linda's story, chronicled originally on the blog, The Politics of Jamie Sanderson, then picked up by Daily Kos and several other blogs and social networking sites, like Facebook (thanks to Tananarive Due), records her attempts to convey her experience with the current for-profit driven health care system we have now to her senator, Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). Graham's responses, as you will see, prove a little less than responsive.

Linda's conclusion at the end of the piece -- that her husband "got comprehensive, affordable, easy access health care with no 'delays or denials' only twice in his adult lifetime: While he was in the U.S. Army and while he was a Medicare recipient. Both of them 'government takeover' systems..." -- is one of the most cogent, cohesive arguments that, if our government really wanted us to have affordable health care, we'd have it. Since we don't, we can only conclude that members of Congress stand too much to gain with the status quo to bother changing it.

This debate about private health care vs. publicly funded blanket insurance is so ridiculous as to be insane. The idea that "the greatest country on earth" can't seem to put together a system that logically combines both a public and private option without their tiny, overtaxed heads exploding is a sign that more than our health care system is failing. We are failing -- as rational, compassionate humans. If we were breaking new ground, that would be one thing. But with over a dozen countries' models to choose from as a basis for establishing our own system, there is little excuse for this floundering half-assedness.

It's broken, people. Let's make our Congress fix it. And if they can't, let's fire them and get folks in there who can. And let's start with the so called "Blue Dog Democrats" -- or, as I like to call them, Republicans.


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