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Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

March 4th, 2010 10:43 AM

When the Health Reform Truth Oozes Out: And It Isn’t Just

Even the staging of the hand-picked doctors in starched white coats could not keep the truth of the healthcare reform process from oozing out of President Obama during Wednesday’s press event. Not just…

“Everything there is to say about healthcare has been said and just about everyone has said it,” Obama said. “So now is the time to make a decision about how to finally reform healthcare so that it works, not just for the insurance companies, but for America’s families and businesses.” Not just…

So, who is listed first and foremost as the beneficiaries of this reform? The insurance companies. Ah, let the truth roll down. It will set you free. Not just…

It is an aside, an afterthought, if any of the provisions of the current reform bills actually relieve the concerns patients have about being the widgets of the healthcare business and not human beings with a basic human right to care when sick. The first priority has been to make things better for those in power in this system – those who control the profits. Not just…

Health insurance companies will enjoy new pools of customers the likes of which they’ve never enjoyed before. They’ll have to insure all (wink, wick) and they’ll have to stop rescissions unless fraud is at work (wink, wick), but they’ll be able to charge at lot for their coverage and deny claims – patients will still have to fight them or die. And many, many will still die. Many will still go broke. Not just…

I suppose in a turn of words I find more appropriate, this process has failed to flush out all of the reasonable alternatives in an honest way. The option of expanding and improving Medicare for all has not been explored seriously, and that made the outcome less just. The President said from the start that the only way to get to true universality was through some sort of a single-payer system. So, he decided from the start of this reform process that true universality, true justice for all in the delivery of healthcare in the United States, was not at the top of his priorities. And Congress followed along. Not just…

Justice for all was never really discussed or vetted as the priority in health reform. This started out being about protecting the money interests and that is where it will end. So what will result? Whether it’s through reconciliation or not, this reform will miss the mark for healthcare justice by a long shot. It’s not just at all.

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