HEALTH CARE AND THE SNOWE VOTE
a needed vote
The Baucus health care plan had an up vote yesterday of 14 to 9 in favor, by the Senate Finance Committee; with the sole Republican vote of Senator Olympia Snowe joining the majority to pass the bill. Yet, that was stage one, as there were other bills being considered by both Houses of Congress; the final merge of all of them was still a long way away.
The bill that passed did not have the Public Option proposal that was present in most of the other bills, and therefore it did not exactly reflect a truly universal health care coverage that was promised by the principal candidates of both the Democratic and the Republican parties during the 2008 electioneering campaign.
The candidates were advocating for two different plans that were both geared to cover all citizens, and thus not leaving anybody out, including of course the 45 to 50 million people that were not presently insured.
That was the picture presented by both sides on the hustings on the campaign trail, and people judged them and voted according to their own choices.
They felt that the politicians were all talking about the same thing, but in two different ways; and that was concerning the fact that a Universal Coverage plan for all Americans was what the voters should expect, whether it was affordable or not.
The missing part of the bill that was passed by the Senate Finance Committee therefore did nothing to fulfill that promise made during the campaign, because the only way to have a health care plan that would cover everybody would be one that would include a public option proposition, which would cater to the many uninsured.
The White House sent all its health care advisers to Capitol Hill yesterday to proselytize members of Congress, some of whom were Democrats, to agree to make public option a part of any plan that would finally emerge, to really make it (plan) universal.
What the Insurance companies were jointly doing was to scare people to the death, that anything but a reform would ruin the health care industry. They had no specific plan of their own, except the status quo, which has left such a large number of people out and for so long.
They were talking about government control at one point, and the overall cost of health care at another; yet, they refuse to accept that they were the cause of all the confusion that we saw today in the industry.
They were more concerned with profits (their profits) than the people they were supposed to take care of.
The Snowe vote was a step in the right direction, and it was going to be needed all the way through to the final stages that would provide an appropriate bill for the president to sign into law; but she herself has said that she was not for a plan that included public option as part of it.
Let us hope that she would change her mind, and the minds of others (lawmakers) like her would also change along the way, to provide everyone in America a good universal health care plan.