Posted by Pattie on 11/08/2009 07:45:00 AM

In a sense, Health Care Reform in the United States took a giant leap forward yesterday. No comprehensive, universal health care plan in the US has ever made it this far.

The vote was 220 to 215. Very close. And it came with a price that may have been too much to pay.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy it passed. But I think what the 5 vote margin suggests is that the money being spent by the insurance industry and other interested parties came dangerously close to working in spite of strong popular support of needed reform.

The really sad part is that in the overall picture of what needs to be done to improve health care in the United States this is a baby step towards a baby step. We really are barely crawling here.

But I do believe that there is no hope of anything significant happening unless the current reform passes into law. My greatest fear is that this has been made so hard to do that once it is done, everyone will pat themselves on the back and go home, satisfied that something has been accomplished. But in the interest of allowing the baby to crawl first, I'll wait to post on what I think needs to be addressed next after universal access.

AND, to keep things in perspective, a lot has to happen before that current reform passes into law.

The only thing we can be sure of at this point is that even in this so-called bad economy, a lot of money is going to continue to flow in Washington. According to, health related industries continue to lead lobbying efforts in 2009. Money that should be used to pay for health care for their clientele is going to be used to fight these bills. Where do these companies get all this money? From sales of premiums and drugs (services and products, just like every other business). That fact alone ought to tell us what's wrong with current access system. These businesses have enough extra money in their coffers to spend billions fighting this legislation.

I plan to be contacting my Senators frequently over the next few weeks.  I hope you will consider doing so as well.  We need to remind them that we will remember their vote on this come election time.  We also need to follow-through on this promise to remember. 215 representatives yesterday said our health was less important to them than their financial gain. We should not forget their names or their selling-out of our lives.

This is a moment in American history that should be remembered for a long time to come and those who would waste our time, money and health need to be held accountable.


Anonymous said...

Are you concerned that the mandatory/fining the uninsured thing is a hook slipped in by the insurance companies? I kind of hate that.

Pattie said...

There is no way that health reform can work without full or nearly full participation and the only way to do that is to create incentives/consequences to not participating. What I don't like is the auto-insurance approach that the Senate Finance Committee's version has, which is to require us all to buy from private insurance companies. The house bill provides options for those of us who cannot afford premiums.