Millions of middle-class families across the country are one illness away from financial ruin including me, maybe you as well; but we can prevent that from happening.
The Healthcare Reform that President Obama wants to sign is pretty easy to understand — it is designed in such a way that it will enable Americans who have coverage to keep it and Americans who need coverage to purchase it. It is designed to build on the healthcare system we have today by getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse.
Opponents of healthcare reform are making outrageous claims about healthcare, twisting words and facts to scare many non-thinking Americans. Republicans are even claiming that healthcare reform will kill seniors?! W.T.H! Does anyone exist in America who really believes that absurdity? That ludicrousness? That joke? Really, does anyone believe that healthcare reform will kill seniors!?
Last week was the 44th anniversary of another landmark moment in our nation’s health-care system. President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law 44 years ago but before the bill was signed he was taunted, criticized and ridiculed by political hecklers of health-care reform who claimed that Johnson and our government would takeover healthcare and create a socialist healthcare system and it would be the worst possible healthcare system in the world. We are in the middle of what seems like déjà vu.
Forty-four years later our 44th President is hearing the same ‘echo’ from Republicans who have AND ENJOY a government run healthcare system similar to Medicare for themselves and their families. How hypocritical.
1. Medicare ensures that our parents and grandparents have access to affordable health care.
2. Medicare protects seniors and their families from backbreaking health expenses.
3. Medicare operates more efficiently than any other health care coverage – public or private – in our country.
4. Medicare is a government run healthcare system.
President Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare experience with Republicans taught us that progress does not come easily – especially in the face of big-name campaign contributions and big-dollar ad campaigns.
President Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare experience also taught us that progress is not always a function of bipartisanship.
Of the key congressional votes on Medicare 44 years ago only 13 Republican senators and only 70 House Republicans joined the overwhelming Democratic majorities to vote for it.
We’re seeing the same kind of opposition today as we fight for healthcare reform. Republicans in Congress are claiming that defeating healthcare reform would break President Obama; that a defeat on this issue will be Obama’s Waterloo.
I don’t care about Obama’s Waterloo (I hope he never gets one though); I care about millions and millions of Americans having access to healthcare that is affordable and healthcare that will make us healthier. I believe that’s what thinking Americans want.
The drug industry and the health insurance industry are spending millions of dollars to influence Congress. The health insurance industry is camping out at the Capitol and spending lots and lots and lots of money to organize non-thinking Americans to go to town hall meetings and scream and shout and ‘protest’ healthcare reform and the public insurance option.
These non-thinking Americans fail to realize that private insurers will have to cut premiums and increase the quality of healthcare if there is a public insurance option since Americans will have a choice and can decide who we want to give our business to.
Despite being mocked by Republicans 44 years ago, Medicare has proved itself.
1. Medicare has pulled millions of seniors out of poverty.
2. Medicare has helped retirees live long and healthy lives.
3. Medicare has helped to fuel our economy.
4. Medicare has proved just how important health insurance is.
5. Medicare works.
And healthcare reform will work.
1. Healthcare reform will cut healthcare costs for millions of middle class families and small businesses across the country.
2. Healthcare reform will end uncertainty about health coverage because both private and public insurance will always be available.
3. Healthcare reform will confront the needless red tape, medical errors, and fraud and abuse that inflate health-care costs and compromise health-care quality.
4. Healthcare reform will prevent insurance companies from covering you when you’re healthy and dropping you when you’re sick, and from denying you coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
5. Healthcare reform will keep the insurance industry honest and will make Americans healthier.
We have work to do to get healthcare reform signed and we must do it together. Inaction doesn’t protect your health coverage or push healthcare costs down.
We must take action to turn things around. Special interests, worn-out cynical politicians, and insane talking heads are going to pull out all the stops to freeze our health-care system in time.
Don’t let them win; fight for your right to have a good healthcare system with a public option.
Go to http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and contact your Senators and Congresspersons.
Let your elected officials know that you want healthcare reform with a public option.
Watch Rachel Maddow take on the hypocritical Republicans: