As the solitary pro-health-care-reform attendee at last Saturday’s anti-health-care-reform protest outside Lois Capps’ SLO office, I’d like to thank those in attendance for their willingness to debate the issues, but let’s be clear on a few things:
1. Our health care system is broken and in desperate need of repair. The status quo will no longer do
2. We already have “rationing” under the current system, with the insurance industry’s propensity to rescind policies and deny claims for the most dubious of reasons.
3. Medicare is a government-run health care plan!
4. Let’s be real: The modest “public option” verbiage in the proposed reforms can hardly be viewed as “socialism” in the classic sense of the word.
5. No one will be forced to give up their current insurance.
6. No federal monies will be used to fund abortion services. I emphasize this point because it was, in fact, Congresswoman Capps who wrote the legislation prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortions. As a pro-choice American, I disagree with her on this point, but it is she who wrote the amendment to the bill.
7. The system as it exists now—with the un- and under-insured seeking treatment primarily at local emergency rooms—is cost-ineffective, unjust, and completely unsustainable.
During the protest I was faced with some two dozen people, maybe more, urging me to “get my facts straight.” The unfortunate reality is that those people had strong misconceptions about the realities of the health-care reform bill. Whether they have been misled or are willfully ignorant is beside the point. The time to reform health care is now; this is our opportunity. If we miss this chance, we will surely bankrupt the nation, one citizen and one medical disaster at a time.
-- Jim Mallon - San Luis Obispo