Thursday, January 21, 2010

Political: Building a Solid Foundation - Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Here is my promised political rant.
Today I heard and read that President Obama began his term as President by trying to build a solid foundation to work from. He made it clear in his inaugural speech that the process of climbing out of this hole we are in will take time. I certainly believed him at the time. Apparently no one else did.
My problem is, with the year he's had to build that foundation, he has put it to Congress to create a Health Care Reform Bill and get it passed. He wanted certain things out of it, but let them decide whatever else to put in it.
Big Mistake!
I tried to slog my way through the bill now at the door of the House of Representatives. Just finding out which bill is the right one took me an hour. This is where I found it.
There is also a pdf version of it, which now resides on my computer.
I know that Congress does things the hard way. They've done it for years. I suppose even such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (before amendments) are complex by the standards of the late 18th Century. Certainly with the amendments that have been added since by various Congresses, the Constitution is now a much more complex document than our forefathers imagined. I wonder if they could have imagined the monstrosity that is the tax code?
So the point I'm trying to make is: if you want to build a solid foundation, go the way of the original Constitution and the Declaration, and make it simpler.
You want to reform health care? Hey, I'm in agreement with you. For part of this past year, I was unemployed, and then for another 90 days after I was employed I was uninsured. I'm a person with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. I can't go that long without Health Insurance without doing worse harm to my body.
So you want to change the system. Here's what you do: keep it the way it is for those that have health insurance. Man, that is not the best system, but it's one in place. Don't fix it - yet. You want to make sure anyone who is not insured either gets insurance or is covered if they need medical care. All right. How about a health plan just for those? You're unemployed or between jobs and don't have health insurance? That's okay, the government will cover you until you do. You're poor, destitute, homeless? You can get the medical and dental care you need. I know Medicaid exists to cover some of that, especially for families, but it leaves gaps. Let's close the gaps. Let the government take care of its own, and yes, even the illegal immigrants if they need it.
You don't fine people who can't afford insurance. Don't even cover it up by giving exemptions. My God, this is how the tax system got so bloated, by having exemptions. But that's for another blog. Cover everyone dammit, regardless of the cost.
That's the solid foundation to build on. Once everyone is covered, then you can start to work on the problems that are causing our health care system to be broken.
This is my solution. A simple bill that guarantees that no one pays more than they can afford for health care.
We can do this. We have to do this.