President Obama is scheduled to sign the monumental healthcare bill today. After a year of vigorous debate by the Democrats and Republicans, one might think the public is informed on the issue. Unfortunately, neither side has been forthcoming and the majority of people are confused by the rhetoric of both sides. The innuendo, spin and outright lies have left Americans in the dark.
As this is being written, there is no new light to shed on this mysterious legislation. The supposed motive of universal healthcare is admirable for an advanced nation like the USA. There are over 47 million Americans who do not have insurance and subsequently burden the system with gratis emergency room visits and unpaid hospital stays. It is widely accepted that these unpaid bills are passed on to those with medical coverage in the form of increased insurance and medical costs. Subsequently, bringing the uninsured into a managed care organization seems to make financial and moral sense.
The opposing argument suggests the American economy and those with insurance will be further harmed by the legislation. They claim that the onslaught of the newly insured would seriously curtail the ability of everyone to get reasonable healthcare. In addition, there is an issue of a reduction of benefits to the existing millions covered under Medicare or Medicaid. There are assertions that senior care might be regulated by so called death squads. Finally, there is the concern genuine reform has not been addressed and medical costs will continue to escalate in the future.
As always, the American people are denied access to the intent of the new legislation and the true motivations of both parties. The hopeful among us look for the redeeming features of an ambiguous plan. The skeptics remain wary watching for the telltale signs of corruption and the inevitable payoffs to the corporate giants who control America. And through it all, few can deny the American political system is hopelessly lost in a quagmire of self-interest. America can and must do better!