( – promoted by ThillyWabbit)
Krugman’s NY Times piece, “Pass the Bill“ lays out the frustrations many of us are feeling about the direction this bill has taken. Krugman doesn’t deny the bill has been watered down. However, he also notes what it would do and the significance of passing a reform bill that would be the largest expansion of health care since Medicare was created.
At its core, the bill would do two things. First, it would prohibit discrimination by insurance companies on the basis of medical condition or history: Americans could no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or have their insurance canceled when they get sick. Second, the bill would provide substantial financial aid to those who don’t get insurance through their employers, as well as tax breaks for small employers that do provide insurance.
Pre-exisiting conditions and policies being canceled without notice when the insured have become ill remain two of the greatest injustices perpetrated by the insurance companies. Pay those premiums for 25 years, get sick, get dumped, go bankrupt. Well, not anymore, not if the Senate bill becomes law.
Victoria Kennedy elaborates in her Washington Post editorial, “The moment Ted Kennedy would not want to lose”:
— Insurance protections like the ones Ted fought for his entire life would become law.
— Thirty million Americans who do not have coverage would finally be able to afford it. Ninety-four percent of Americans would be insured. Americans would finally be able to live without fear that a single illness could send them into financial ruin.
— Insurance companies would no longer be able to deny people the coverage they need because of a preexisting illness or condition. They would not be able to drop coverage when people get sick. And there would be a limit on how much they can force Americans to pay out of their own pockets when they do get sick.
— Small-business owners would no longer have to fear being forced to lay off workers or shut their doors because of exorbitant insurance rates. Medicare would be strengthened for the millions of seniors who count on it.
— And by eliminating waste and inefficiency in our health-care system, this bill would bring down the deficit over time.
Krugman, in his usual direct approach, pulls no punches:
A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy. Declare that you’re disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama. Demand a change in Senate rules that, combined with the Republican strategy of total obstructionism, are in the process of making America ungovernable.
But meanwhile, pass the health care bill.
I agree. Pass the bill. This chance isn’t going to come around for another 15 to 20 years. It’s been nearly 17 since President Clinton made an attempt. The Republicans feel they have momentum here and are doing everything they can to bring the process to a halt. It’s a brilliant tactic–to pretend you really, really care about passing a bad bill and claim you’d like to start all over. On the surface, it is pure political genius.
It’s also pure bullshit since the Republicans haven’t been an honest player at the table since this reform was first introduced last spring.It’s brilliant but if you stick your nose in the air what you really smell is desperation over the fact that despite all attempts at being the Party of No and No Ideas, this reform bill is on it’s way to the White House for signing.
As the saying goes, your concern is duly noted, my fellow Republican Senators. Now shut the hell up and get out of the way so that nearly 30 million Americans can finally have a smidgen of what you have.