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Chan Lowe: Health care reform...or not

waiting.gifThe lobbying armies of the status quo did a great job of scaring the hell out of people last year ("Are you going to let a bureaucrat get between you and your doctor?"), and the pro-health reform forces have been afraid of their own shadows ever since Scott Brown's victory.

That means the whole mess will either get shoved on a high shelf in hopes we'll forget about it and move on, or the Democrats will pass some window dressing so empty as to be effectively meaningless.

It will be years before anybody even dares to think of reforming the system again, maybe after health care claims one out of every two dollars spent in the economy, rather than the current one out of six. Meanwhile, the Europeans will continue enjoying better and cheaper health care than we have.

But eventually, in a desperate effort to remain globally competitive, American companies will begin to drop or severely curtail health care insurance for their employees, and many of us will discover to our dismay that coverage is not a God-given right of employment.

Only when the have-nots finally outnumber the I've-got-mine-so-screw-yous will congressional town-hall meetings begin calling for the head of anyone who doesn't promise to deliver on national health care, pronto.

Sadly, it will already be too late for a lot of people.

Categories: Medical (50)
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Woah. Talk about doom and gloom....

Nice you drew a picture of how long it takes you to get health care under a government run plan right. That is what this cartoon is. I am sure it must be as you can't be still bashing the us health care system. Even the premier of a Canadian Provence is leaving his great and wonderfull state run health care to come to America for surgery.

Oh and by the way we weren't scared into not wanting health care. We just didn't listen to the ones trying to scare us with the doom and gloom of not passing health care which is what you are trying to do. So if the other side does it its scare tactics but if you do it its what informing the public. you are doing what you accused them of doing in this cartoon.

Perhaps you should have watched the president at the Republican meeting , as he admited that someone "must have snuck in the provision that does not allow you to keep your own doctor ".They were not scare tactics , read the bill , a very difficult read , 7 new agencies , medicare cuts that will have more doctors not accepting patients etc.etc.

Maybe Obama should make John Edwards his Healthcare Reform Czar? God knows he's put enough hospitals and doctors out of business with his BS lawsuits.

I know it is very tough to think outside your progressive box, but this county is on the road to financial ruin as it is and this health care bill debacle will certainly hasten our demise. About 70% of the populace does not want this and that is why you are seeing the pendulum swinging to the right.

As the author, Joseph Conrad wrote something like "we have to descend into the pit before we can look up and see the light."

Then Winnie Churchill said: "Americans will do the right thing after trying everything else first."

We haven't descended enough into poverty and financial exploitation by the private health care system (insurers, high cost providers, providers who bill fraudulently, and drug companies), yet.

What we need immediately is the option of letting all unemployed people the option of buying into Medicaid for those under 55, and Medicare for those 55-64 at full Premium in 2010, at least until we complete the Health Reform process.

If we don't do this we will soon have government making direct payments to safety-net providers to keep them from folding, and collecting premiums from employers and employees.

Now the insurance industry and the drug industry want a health reform bill to pass in order to survive. It's as comical as it is sad that they got what they said they wanted "no reform", and not their broken business models are cannibalizing them.

Why should I even say the words "single payer", we haven't tried doing nothing yet. We haven't suffered yet. That's our last thing to try, before we do what we need to survive.

The Democratic Majorities in the House and Senate had a golden opportunity to pass Health Care Reform but couldn't do it. They didn't need ANY Republican support, yet they still failed to pass the bill. Maybe they should have started off with a little smaller goal in mind. Here are just a few of the many, many "non-Democratic" sponsored ideas that they could have used but refused to consider:

1. Tort Reform. Limit the amount of medical malpractice awards to reduce the outrageous costs physicians must pay for their insurance. These costs are not borne by the doctors themselves but passed off to the patient in the form of higher bills. This was just one idea that was more-or-less ignored by the Democratic leadership. The Democrats said that the savings produced from this effort just wouldn't be it wasn't worth their effort. Hmmm. So Tort Reform was not included in their bill. I guess when you're the Federal Government and dealing in trillions of dollars of spending, whats a few hundred million in savings anyway?

2. Pooling of resources. If the Federal Government allowed people and businesses to combine their resources, these groups would be able to purchase health insurance at more reasonable costs through their bulk bargaining power (like the labor unions get now). Once again, the Congress and Senate don't think this idea was worth their time or effort.

3. Allow people to purchase Health Insurance across state lines. This idea (very popular with Republicans) would produce more competition between insurance companies which would lead to lower costs for the consumer. This idea was also NOT adopted by the Dems. Once again, a pretty good idea but just not a BIG enough idea to even be considered for inclusion into the House or Senate bills.

The government says they want Health Care Reform, but what they really want is control over Health Care.


And pre-existing conditions?

And the millions of unemployed people who no longer have insurance?

How do you address those very pressing matters?

Great ideas. But that is not the kind of true reform most of us were hoping for.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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