Maybe health care reform isn’t possible

Health care “reform” is dead in the Senate.

The current bill, watered down by too many compromises and too much influence from the very industry it is designed to regulate, is a joke.

If the so-called Democratic leadership of the Senate and President Barack Obama could put their egos aside for at least a nanosecond, they would accept failure and pull the plug on the brain-dead concept of “reform.”

Perhaps, as former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean suggests, true reform can be salvaged in the House version of the bill but that is a long shot at best.

Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and focus on the many other problems that affect the nation.

Maybe it’s time to recognize that health care reform just isn’t possible with a Congress and White House controlled by special interests.

Maybe “reform,” as a legislative concept is an impossible dream.

Obama the reformer is now Obama the conformer, playing politics as usual, pandering to the very lobbyists he promised to eradicate from control of government.

Congress is owned by the well-heeled political action committees and the high-paid lobbyists their organizations control.

The health care industry poured millions into protecting themselves from any serious reform and they have won. The odds now indicate that any health care legislation will leave cash-strapped Americans facing higher premiums with a system that’s even worse than the one that fails to protect them now.

Obama and Congress need to focus on the economy, jobs and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We need to acknowledge that true reform will never happen until the system that controls Congress is reformed and that reform is impossible as long as it must be approved by the very people who benefit most from the current, failed way of doing things.

The push is on in the Senate to vote on a health care bill — any health care bill — before Christmas.

Christmas is one week away.

Whenever our elected officials do something in a hurry, they usually screw up.

That’s how we got the USA Patriot Act.

Under the present system of government, Congress cannot truly reform health care or anything else.

True reform is impossible unless Congress first reforms itself.

And that just ain’t gonna happen.


  1. Warren


    Don’t forget one big contributor to current health care mess. That is, Congress’ last major attempt to ‘fix things’. That was the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act enacted in 1986. It mandated that effectively all hospitals had to provide emergency room care for all comers, regardless of ability to pay. with no provision on when they could be released, and without any sort of taxpayer subsidy. Likewise ambulance services.

    The effect is a form of national health care. What it created was a system where hospitals have to treat headcolds in the emergency rooms for free and ambulance services are being used like taxi cabs.

    The financial effect is that hospitals are forced to recover these large additional costs from people who can afford to pay, or from their insurance companies. That raises hospital fees and insurance premiums substantially.

    There is essentially a four-tier fee schedule in a hospital: In order of rising cost:

    * No-pay (Free)

    * Pay through insurance at a premium cost negotiated with an insurance company by an employer (High)

    * Pay through insurance at a premium cost demanded by an insurance company for * an individual policy (Very high)

    * Pay out of pocket (Astronomical)

    This system is widely abused and it raises medical care costs for most people. Many better solutions for the same problem come to mind and I won’t go into them here.  But this solution was and still is terrible.

    Perhaps part of the solution is to have our dear Congressmen undo some of damage they’ve already done before they fix things any more.


  2. almandine

    Any astronomically high “pay out of pocket” charges means you haven’t negotiated up front. Most doctors and other health service providers will accept from you the same amount they will accept from the insurance companies. They WILL want to get paid in a timely manner, though.

  3. byreen

    I heartily agree we should move on instead of trying to make this lack of reform an evolving nightmare. By no means shelve it entirely but look to our economic woes first as well as resolution to the wars.

    Put the people back to work first. An honest days pay has many facets in bringing a healing to body and spirit.

    As for the politicians they are impervious to shame even when held to the light like so many rotten eggs. Have they never heard of the concept “keep it simple “?

  4. Carl Nemo

    I’m so fatigued by legislators and their endless legislating. 

    Your very site motto…”Because nobody’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session or the White house occupied” says it all.

    No good ever comes from Congress or the Executive branch in our times.  Everything they create or touch turns to citizen unfriendly sh*t…!  : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. almandine

    None of this is about health CARE reform. It’s all about insurance. The problem is, the more they muck around with insurance, fees, more and new taxes, govt control of “proper” treatments, etc… the more the finest health care system on the planet is and will be downgraded.

    Does anyone really think health care – per se – in America is substandard? Hard to get? In need of change?

  6. griff

    Hey, they’re just following the trend. They’ve downgraded our economy and our society; it only makes sense that our healthcare should follow suit.

    I often ask myself that very same question. It seems that the only people that really think this is such a major crisis are the politicians.

  7. Warren

    True enough for major procedures that can be preplanned. Usually folks with a broken arm / heart attack / stroke can’t wait a week to negotiate.


  8. Carl Nemo

    Hey, that’s where Bill Shatner comes in with his “” routine except he’ll negotiate for our medical procedures… :))

    Carl Nemo **==

  9. woody188

    Knowing people that work at Priceline, trust me, you don’t want them bargaining for your health! ;p