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Friday, March 5, 2010

watching Cspan

During my lunch hour (25 minutes more like) I went to the gym where I caught up on a small portion of TV.  I have been avoiding the news about health care reform legislation lately because it feels like an “Obama’s gonna fail” fest. But today I had a TV all to myself and there was a representative from New Hampshire on CNN, telling me, live, how he felt about the budget reconciliation process and the health care reform bill that might pass.

The Republican congressman said about what the standard line appears to be about health care reform: “The majority of Americans don’t want to see this bill pass.”  He said that it was too expensive, that small business would no longer be able to afford health insurance for employees, that it would put 17% of the nations economy into the governments hands, that it would make health care a puppet of the government.
It is absolutely clear from this that he hasn’t read the health care bill.  It has many faults, but what he said was grossly inaccurate. And even if he had read the bill, it isn’t the bill that’s going to be voted on, so how are his comments even relevant? And as for some invented percentage of the American populace not wanting the bill to be passed, how could that possibly be relevant when the American people have even less of a clue than he does what would be in the bill? I can’t believe that my taxes go to pay the salaries of people like this so they can stand up and say stuff that is completely lacking in data or sense.

Health care reform detractors also keep returning to the statement that it’s all going to suck, no matter what we do, because health care costs are just going to keep on going up.  There is huge amount of thinking and writing happening right now in the medical community about ways to reduce costs, and the magnitude of potential savings is huge, precisely because so much in medicine is grossly overpriced right now, and so much waste is uncontrolled.  The pessimistic attitude put forth by lawmakers may be self fulfilling, but with a little bit of common sense, costs could go way down. Basic medical care is just not that expensive to provide and providing it could drastically reduce the need for the not so basic expensive medical care.

It is true that we have to tread lightly on an industry that accounts for 17% of our GDP because that represents many jobs and much of our industry. Legislation should strive not to be heavy handed, and changes should occur slowly.

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