Thursday, November 04, 2010

Votes Matter

Our country may have been founded on freedom but it's bound by laws. On Tuesday, voters expressed their desire to have some of those laws changed.

Of course, I have my take on how some laws should be changed. One law I would keep though, and fund sufficiently, is the Affordable Care Act. On Tuesday the majority of voters expressed their desire to have the Affordable Care Act (referred to as "Obamacare") repealed - to, in effect, give more power to large businesses and insurance companies.

This means, to me, that the majority of voters, perhaps the majority of Americans (I feel that non-voters implicitly vote to accept the will of voters) prefer to allow insurance companies:
  • to stop paying a policy-holder's bills after they get sick.
  • to deny coverage for someone with a pre-existing condition.
  • to create complex rules for drug coverage like donut holes and lengthy and incomprehensible formularies.
All for the sake of profit. (The Affordable Care Act is doing away with all of these and more. See video below.)

The Affordable Care Act is expected to reduce the deficit by $1 trillion. It achieves this in part by reducing "waste, fraud and abuse." I think that's a good thing. As a voter, I was in the minority.

I don't fully understand why people who would benefit, who are benefitting, from the Affordable Care Act want it repealed. I don't understand why the majority of Americans think holding insurance companies accountable is unacceptable; why reducing the deficit by reducing healthcare waste is unacceptable.

I've seen polls that show the majority of Americans want insurance companies to stop discriminating for pre-existing conditions, to stop refusing reimbursement for policy-holders in good standing, and other aspects of healthcare reform. But a poll is not a ballot. Votes matter.



Perovskia said...

This could be my ignorant Canadian mouth shooting off again (I admit I don't know all there is to know about American politics), but this is how I see it... People want it repealed because they think that because they haven't seen it 'work' or 'fix things' or 'show a positive payback' (context as you see fit), it doesn't work. For the same reason you now have a Republican-dominant House (from what I understand?). People think 8 years of work can be undone and fixed in 2 years... and it simply can't.

Why are Americans so impatient, anyways? :)

Bix said...

As part of the Affordable Care Act, seniors received a $250 check to cover some of their costs in the (unconscionable!) donut hole or gap in drug coverage.

Some have asked, "Will I have to give this back?" The majority of Americans voted, in effect, for it to be returned.

The vote this week has shown me that the majority of Americans believe that having a donut hole (and dropping people from health coverage when they get sick, etc.) constitutes, as Mr. Boehner describes, "the best health care system in the world." I don't understand it.

Perhaps from the perspective of business it's the best system, not from the perspective of those who lack care.

Bix said...

Perovskia, you probably know more about American politics than I know about Canadian politics.

RB said...

I don't understand people's anger, especially the tea party types. There anger is pointed at the Federal government and no where else. They blame the government for TARP and the stimulus but they don't blame the banks for the financial meltdown which lead to these actions. They blame Obama for large deficits but don't Blame Bush for increasing the National Debt by $3 trillion including his last budget with has over a $1 trillion deficit (Oct 2008). They don't like government regulation, but one reason the banks imploded was the lack of government oversight. They don't like the health care law but because it government run, but many of these people are seniors on Medicare and Social Security and won't do without them. They worry about government "death panels" but don't seem to realize insurance companies deny claims all the time. I don't see why the anger isn't aimed at the banks and the health care industry too. The logic escapes me.

The anti-government, anti-tax, incompetent government message has been drummed into people by politician for so long (Since Reagan)we automatically just blame the government regardless of the facts.

Bix said...

"they don't blame the banks for the financial meltdown"

RB, I blame them. And it makes me angry. The middle class didn't cause the economic mess, but the middle class has to pay for it.

I see this too in Greece and Spain and now the UK. The "New Austerity" is how the middle class pays for Wall Street greed.

Bix said...

Speaking of Medicare, I read in the NYTs that Texas is considering dropping out of the federal Medicaid program (and CHIP: the Children's Health Insurance Program):

Texas Considers Medicaid Withdrawal

The thing is, even if there is no government safety net, society still has to provide care. If just to manage the homeless, disabled and mentally ill. Which I imagine is how Medicaid originated. Paying up front, with government programs, has been shown to be cost effective. It reduces health, police and prison bills.

Perovskia said...

Good points made, RB, Bix.