Thursday, March 18, 2010

What to say to opponents of healthcare reform

Claim: The Democrats' health care reform bill forces taxpayers to pay for abortion.

Answer: This is a lie. The bill actually reduces access to abortion. Which is one reason why associations representing 59,000 American Catholic nuns support it, along with the association of Catholic hospitals. And in fact pro-abortion rights activists are extremely disappointed by the bill's anti-abortion provisions. This is a case of doctrinaire Catholics and Fundamentalists being sore winners.

Claim: The Democrats' health care reform bill is a European Socialist government takeover of health care.

Answer: If so, then the Republicans are Socialists, because the bill that's about to be voted on is basically a rehash of the Republican healthcare bill that they proposed as an alternative to "Hillarycare" in 1993--which they quietly dropped in favor of nothing as soon as they go back in power. So it's actually the healthcare reform Republicans wanted before the Republican Party was taken over by wack jobs and corporate tools in 1994.

Claim: the Democrats' health care reform bill will cost American taxpayers a trillion dollars--we just can't afford it.

Answer: the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan institution that the Republicans frequently quote when its estimates favor them, said in their preliminary estimate released today...that the Democrats' health care bill will save taxpayers $1T in its first 20 years.

Claim: the Democrats' health care reform bill is wealth redistribution from the majority of Americans who are satisfied with their health care to bums and illegal immigrants.

Answer: the Democrats have emphasized the extension of health care to the many millions of Americans who now lack any kind of health care insurance. Although the original proposals included illegals, it now explicitly excludes them. And the rest do get free health care today--only they're charged enormous amounts by the hospitals, which are usually not paid, and the cost is then transferred to us, or they go bankrupt paying and we wind up on the hook for their welfare payments.

And despite the bill's backers emphasizing its altruistic aspects, there's a lot there for us from a selfish viewpoint.

Moreover, the bill has many provisions that will aid ordinary Americans who now have coverage. If you change your job and go to a small company and have a pre-existing medical condition, this will keep the health insurance companies from denying your new company coverage that includes you (or pricing so high as to be impractical). If you fall seriously ill, your health insurance company will no longer be able to rescind your coverage based on some error you may have made in filling out the forms a decade previously.

In other words, things that could easily--and routinely do--happen to people who think they have good health care coverage will be safe once the bill is passed.

Claim: the Democrat Party is using parliamentary tricks instead of putting it to a straight up or down vote. Those tricks are unconstitutional!

Answer: Well, if they are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court with its hard-right majority will promptly strike it down, so you not only have nothing to worry about, but you should let the Democrats pass it as quickly as possible so you can get that SCOTUS overturning judgment handed down before the next election.

Otherwise--the parliamentary tricks are ones the Republicans used routinely, dozens of times--even on financially significant legislation--when they were in power. Those "tricks" were approved by Republicans now complaining about them..when they were in power. Hypocrites much?

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