The efforts to reform our broken healthcare system have gotten down to one simple issue: “Who does Congress listen to?” It could also be put this way: “Who controls Congress?” Few Americans would deny that health care costs in the U.S. are out of control, folks are losing coverage, and quality and availability of care are growing concerns among citizens throughout the country. Most folks probably support reform, but only if the reform makes quality health care more affordable and more accessible. Over the years the insurance and pharmaceutical industries have literally taken over our healthcare system. The insurance companies have pushed medical professionals to the second tier of influence in most all areas in the system. We now have clerical personnel working for insurance companies deciding what level of healthcare folks get in America and that’s just unacceptable.
The town hall meetings throughout the country have developed into little more than an opportunity for folks to express their legitimate concerns over the failures of the existing system and their even greater fear of a government takeover of American healthcare. While some may question motives, I am a strong believer in the town hall meeting concept. Most of us have not read any of the versions of the reform bills being considered in Washington. Some who attended these meetings obviously have.
One thing is for certain, and that is that the members of Congress are listening more to the lobbyists for the insurance industry than to the voices of ordinary citizens. Unfortunately, much of what the public is hearing is either false or partially false – and both are bad – and all of it is coming by and large from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. I hope some real reform occurs, but I have real doubts that the insurance and drug bosses and their lobbyists will let up. The corporate opposition to reform has labeled the central issue as a “government takeover of healthcare,” which was described in an editorial in the USA Today as “rhetoric worthy of the mad hatter.” When the debate started, I thought reducing the cost of healthcare and making healthcare accessible were the major issues.
The healthcare reform issue is most complex and there is no easy solution. There is little doubt that we need meaningful reform of our healthcare system so that all Americans can have access to quality, affordable healthcare. The insurance and drug industries have had far too much control over the system. We have seen the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums skyrocketing out of control with no end in sight. In Alabama there are over 600,000 adults who are uninsured and that is unacceptable.
As stated above, there have been so many untruths and half-truths put out that efforts by the Obama Administration and Congress have been stalled. Hopefully a good bill that is real reform will pass and become law.
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