Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Reform: The Way It Breaks Down

After nonstop coverage of the resistance to Obama's health care reform, and after weeks of trying to unravel the abstraction that is the so-called public option, it's quickly becoming clear that the working man, and middle class citizen will both benefit from this reform, but the poor won't.

The indigent, those who are, in a profound sense, recession-proof as they're always hardest hit, will receive what Obama calls an "exemption," meaning they won't be required to buy health insurance. Whether it's affordable or not, working people, and the middle class, will be required to pay monthly premiums, and carry health insurance, so this health reform essentially works out to be a stimulus package for the insurance companies, HMOs, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies as they are the ones who stand to gain because they won't have to foot the bill for deadbeats.

Ultimately, the taxpayer foots the bill, not the hospitals, so in the long run, the taxpayer will benefit from the plan as long as there is oversight, or regulation, of the health management providers, hospitals, clinicians, and drug companies who participate in the plan.

Those, like myself, who think that single payer is the best way to go will have to accept the idea that there is too much resistance, and too much change intolerance, for now, to make that work and, alas, the same people speaking out the loudest about the President's plan for reform are, ironically, those like Dick Armey who would like to see Medicaid and Social Security disappear.