The healthcare debate in Congress is heating up. Especially in the Senate, where the 60th cloture vote is still tied up by Norm Coleman's campaign trust. With enough GOP money, weeks or months of stalling will continue for the Republican Caucus.
Meanwhile, what about the issue? Is healthcare a "right" of every American?
Does one have to be 65 years of age or older to get health coverage at a reasonable cost through Medicare?
Or must you be a member of the Armed Forces, performing Active Duty?
Or be a Member of the U.S. Congress?
Or one of a million plus Federal Employees? Or a dependent of these government employees?
The Health Insurance Industry has spent substantial dollars to support the election campaigns of strategic Senators and Representatives in this healthcare debate. It is not only a matter of Republican or Democrat, Liberal-Progressive or Conservative, Compassionate or Cold-Hearted.
An entire industry is threatened. Like the Automotive Industry and the Financial Industry. The Telephone and Television Manufacturing Industry (already offshore).
The Health Insurance Industry simply sells us a product that we can do without - when everybody has healthcare coverage like the above cohorts - geezers, troops, feds, their spouses and kids.
The president wants a bill on his desk, this year, that only provides a government alternative kind of healthcare coverage. You can keep paying for an insurance plan. You can keep your same doctors. But you can also buy coverage under his bill into a basic doctor and hospital schedule of benefits. And there will be no one refused under any situation because of a pre-existing condition.
I think this sounds pretty good. I think we should also provide retraining for all health insurance industry employees who lose jobs - just like we should for the auto workers, auto salesmen, and unemployed recession sufferers, generally.
And I will pay the needed tax increases.
After all, I received a four-year Navy college scholarship before serving 17 years in the Navy. Two of our three babies were born on or near Naval Air Stations. My wisdom teeth were extracted by a navy dentist. Flight surgeons provided us with excellent care for the personnel aboardship and for our families back on the beach.
An old classmate of mine, from grade school through university, grouses about the possibility of Obama's "Socialized Medicine." He also is now on Medicare and deposits his Social Security checks.
Let's call the new 2009 healthcare legislation "Everybody's Medicine."
- Gord Prickett, Commander, USNR