Ladies and gentlemen, the next series of posts will be special ones. In my last post I argued that we needed to put the rhetoric aside and engage in real, healthy, and fruitful debate on healthcare. Frequent visitor, good friend, incredibly smart and excellent right wing blogger who argues with great points, not baseless rhetoric, New Conservative Generation asked if I’d be interested in debating with him on the subject of healthcare, and of course I accepted – nothing fires me up more than a great debate! The debate with New Conservative Generation, CGen for short, will span the next few episodes. We will post our opening statements, and then over the next few entries offer several arguments on the various aspects of the HR3200 bill. You will find my rebuttals of his arguments on his blog (also found on the blog roll), and his arguments against mine right here on The L Comment. Please comment often and bring all your friends to this one because I’m sure it will be good. The finale of the debate will kick off the new “The L Comment: Sunday Comment” web radio show. CGen will be my first guest on the show and I will read and respond to some great comments on the show! Without further ado, my opening argument.
It is my opinion that Healthcare reform may very well be the single most important piece of legislation for President Obama, and arguably the boldest legislation in the past quarter century. America has tried and failed to reform healthcare 2 administrations ago, and the results are clear as day. We were happy with the status quo and as a result, healthcare premiums have skyrocketed, coverage has decreased, deductibles have increased, and most importantly, more people than ever before – 45 – 50 million Americans – are uncovered, unprotected. We have heard the tragic stories: the relative who died from a preventable illness because she had no health insurance, the brother whose unexpected illness costs so much money, his parents had to file for bankruptcy, and the young couple who work and have private insurance, who suffered from an illness the insurance company won’t cover, whole or in part, for a myriad of reasons. The time is now to put an end to all this and enact legislation that will provide some kind of health coverage for all U.S. citizens.
The right has made the healthcare debate a battle to maintain the moral and constitutional fiber of our great nation. I don’t disagree with the sentiment. I think it is moral to tend to all of our sick. I think it is moral that a nation as intellectually, morally, spiritually, and yes, even financially wealthy as ours to make healthcare a top priority. I think it is constitutional to enact legislation that will help our citizens fulfill the true meaning of the creed penned in our Declaration of Independence: “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Thus, it is my goal to show you that the HR3200 bill is a one we must pass for the following reasons:
1) All American citizens should have access to at least basic healthcare services to help diagnose preventable diseases 2) Though a significant amount of capital is necessary to build the foundation for lasting healthcare reform, its result, including fewer visits to the ER for non-emergency procedures, focus on preventative medicine and procedures, and more competition to drive down costs will ultimately save money in the long-term 3) A Medical IT network, designed and implemented with private enterprises, will just about eliminate the bureaucracy, which will significantly increase efficiency, and further drive down costs (which are by law, not calculated in Congressional Budget Office cost projections) 4) America is not the leader in many aspects of our healthcare system – many aspects that could be fixed with healthcare reform 5) Private insurance, when left unchecked, is not a reliable solution for the healthcare crisis because they do not have the citizen’s best interests at heart
The most important factor to consider in this bill is we are trying to design a bold system that is uniquely American. There are many lessons to be learned – good and bad – from universal healthcare systems practiced in other modern nations. I strongly believe the debate should not about whether or not we have a universal healthcare plan, but rather how to implement one in a fashion that does not compromise our strength in medical technology, skilled practitioners, high quality healthcare facilities, and world-class medical research, while still being affordable for every citizen. It times of peril, America has always risen to the occasion by working together and staring the status quo straight in the eyes. We have won every time we were serious about major reform. This issue should be no different.