I have resisted commenting on this subject because it’s such a tar baby (and NO, that’s NOT a subtle racial slur).
However, I keep hearing the same numbers being regurgitated over and over and over again.
Here is MY take on them.
It is said that “70%” of the population wants “health insurance/care reform” and elected President Obama & Congress to enact sweeping “change”.
Allow me to clarify:
I agree that 20% of the population has NO insurance, and they want insurance.
I also agree that the 20% includes a significant amount of younger people who simply choose not to pay for insurance they could have, because they choose to bet that they don’t really need it.
However, for the sake of this discussion, let’s say that the oft-quoted 20% figure is totally made up of completely helpless folks who do not have a choice in the matter.
That still leaves 50% of the population who have insurance yet still want health insurance reform.
I’d guess that part of that 50% are people such as myself who empathize with those who have no care, even though I have what I think is one of the best health care plans in the world.
It also includes some people who could afford to subsidize the health care costs of someone else.
We know that many people send “just $20.00 a month” to feed and/or educate the poor and starving children of the world, and by now there could have been a successful movement to send “just $20.00 a month” to collectively provide health insurance for an American citizen who has none.
However, that’s just a bit too close to home for the comfort zone of many people.
Besides, most people have greater faith in relief societies in 3rd-World countries than they have in the insurance industry and hospitals and health care providers of the U.S.
You know how the spokesperson for the relief organizations will tell you that “85 cents out of every dollar is spent on direct aid to ‘your child'”?
With the U.S. health care system, those figures would likely be reversed, and who wants to spend one dollar for the sake of someone else’s health care insurance if they know that only 15 cents out of that dollar will be applied to the actual health care needs of that person?
But, again, for the sake of this discussion, let’s simply say that the 50% of the population that has health care insurance wants to see their own plan fixed.
There’s the rub.
Those people do, honestly, want Health Care/Insurance Reform.
However, that means different things to different people, and most of their concerns are very personal.
They want their doctor to be able to provide care without HMO approval.
Will the health care “reform” being debated improve their plans in that respect?
More likely the HMO will simply be replaced with a bureaucracy who will allow or deny such requests from the health care provider.
I don’t know about you, but as hard as it is to deal with an HMO (a company), I’d rather be dealing with them then a government bureaucracy.
At least with the HMO you do have some ultimate legal leverage, should you be willing to go that route.
I could list other specific reasons that people want health care reform, but the bottom line seems to be “I don’t like what ‘I’m’ getting and I want ‘My’ plan to be forced to treat me better by the federal government”.
So, you have 70% of the population wanting health care reform, but most of them NOT having altruistic motives for such change.
Congress has been getting THAT message from its constituents for a while now, and the media has delivered the same message to President Obama.
Has anyone published figures on how many protesting calls, letters and emails have been sent to The White House?
So, let’s look at these numbers from a different perspective:
30% of the American people DO NOT want health care/insurance reform.
50% of the American people DO NOT want the health care/insurance reforms being suggested by The President and Congress.
So, spin the numbers all you like.
Well over 50% of the population does not support current proposed legislation, even though most of them voted for some type of change.
However, do not loose hope.
The Supreme Court will certainly change the system for us.
After all, isn’t that where all the REAL legislation is coming from these days?