All the protests over health care reform reminded me of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth”:
There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware (in this case, it’s the protesters with the guns)
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down…
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side…
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
It strikes me as deeply ironic that all the hoo-ra, gun toting, macho men of the right are the ones who are just so SCARED right now. What they are afraid of, I’m not really sure, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t actually have anything to do with health care. And the fears they CLAIM are related to health care are related to things that aren’t even being proposed. No one has proposed: socialized medicine, single-payer health care, death panels, taking away your health coverage if you like what you have now, government takeover of health care, rationing of health care, deepening the federal deficit. Basically, this reform will only affect you if you are unhappy with your current insurance or currently uninsured.
It will do things like: keep your insurer from denying you care based on what they call a “preexisting condition,” keep your insurer from kicking you out of your insurance policy when you finally need real care, cut down on the amount of paperwork and haggling between you and your insurer and your health care provider, provide subsidies to people who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to secure their own private insurance, encourage more employers to provide health coverage to their workers, and raise the income standards so more people can qualify for Medicaid.
I’m really hoping we get a public option, though it’s looking less likely, but even if we did, it’s an option, a government run insurance program exactly like something we already have now: the health insurance the government provides to federal employees. Far from destroying the free market, this might actually help CREATE a free market, by injecting some competition into an industry that is increasingly made up of monopolies. And it would be OPTIONAL.
When you lay the actual proposals bare, there’s very little room for paranoia and fear. But like the song goes, paranoia strikes deep.