Anyone interested in the health care insurance reform debate going on in Congress these days is probably so confused by now that they don't have any idea what's right; what's wrong; what's good; or what's bad. And the funny thing is, that's just what the doctor ordered.
We have an incredible disconnect in this country when it comes to so-called experts. We want to believe that someone smarter than us knows what's best for us. This 'Father Knows Best' syndrome makes for great television (well it was a great show back in the day) but should be viewed skeptically in the real world. And in fact that old TV show had mom as the smarter parent but that's another story.
Yes there are always going to be smarter folk somewhere but why do we believe they have our best interest in mind? Simple logic would say that those in power want to stay there and they do it by pleasing the electorate that elected them. But you need only delve a tiny bit below the surface to find the truth.
Just as beauty is only skin deep so too is loyalty. Our Congressman, and nearly any elected official down to state and city office must play the game of politics in order to stay in office. That means they must trade or give in on many issues lest they be doomed to sitting on the bench for the duration of their time in office.
We just saw that happen in the latest watered down version of a health care reform bill that is slowly but surely becoming an instrument to help only big insurance companies make more money.
Compromise is always a good idea when it is needed for the greater good but when it is used for self-serving means by a small number of people in power it is awful.
We trust our officials to take care of us. Trust is good. So what is anti-trust? It sounds bad but wait, not so fast.
A law that has it's birth dated back to the 1890s (see the Sherman anti-trust act) but its spirit even older is aimed at stopping monopolies from performing acts and practices that are harmful to the consumer. The theme was enhanced years later with the Clayton act.
In other words if you felt that the price of bread was too high at $20 a loaf but found that every market was selling it at that price you would be stuck. The fact that the cost to the manufacturer might be 10¢ would not help you. Well the law states that the producers of bread (to keep the analogy going) would be guilty of price fixing and consumer gouging and would be subject to fines. The Anti-Trust laws keep the fair practice of open competition alive and at least the possibility that items will be priced fairly.
And the law works well, at least in some cases. The funny thing is if you were to open a store in your hometown and have two competitors in that town selling the same items AND then you got together with the two other owners to raise all the prices in tandem the law would be all over you.
BUT one industry has been exempted from this law. Irrational as it may be that industry is the Health Care Insurance Industry. The wall that has been placed around these controllers of life and death harbors the true heads of the infamous death panels. They decide whether or not you shall live and if so how much money it will cost you to do so.
And to paraphrase some words famously uttered by the Republican God Ronald Reagan (I'll pause here so the 'Right' has time to genuflect) CONGRESS TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!
Every argument that is used to show the insurance companies are acting in harmony with each other and practicing unfair anti-competitive policies is met with lies. These lies are at times eloquently delivered by insurance lobby puppets such as the traitor to the people Joe Lieberman or not so eloquently mouthed when it comes to the embarrassingly ignorant Michele Bachmann or other "Rogue" morons. These people have their own agenda and crave the attention they otherwise would never get. And they care not who dies as a result.
And yet the less informed among us continue to rely on their opinions without question. The country has prospered on the tenets of free enterprise so why not have our illustrious insurance companies join that arena?
Since our Government does not seem to have the cojones to make that industry comply with the Anti-Trust LAW a public insurance option would be a great first step.
So why is it not happening?
Big insurance has made so much money from their unfair practices that they are able to throw around millions upon millions of dollars to keep the status quo. And when millions of those ILL-gotten dollars find their way into the pockets of our congressmen it is easy to see why the fight rages on against reform.
And the most annoying part of the entire ballet between battling talking heads in DC is the fact that the ones who are deciding whether or not you and I will be allowed to have true affordable universal health care ALREADY HAVE IT!
Just like father deciding if we can have another candy or stay up to watch just one more TV show Congress holds our lives and future in its hands. Please daddy? Can I please have affordable health care insurance.
No! Now run along. And don't forget to floss.
Oh well, you know best.