Saturday, November 7, 2009

Health Care Reform - Exclusions and Compromise

To begin, I don't know all of the details of the current bill. As we're waiting on the House vote, two things seem clear: We're not getting anything close to what, "We the People," need, and the politicization of our identities/bodies, marches on.

The Stupak amendment seems to have passed. This seems to prevent any insurer from covering abortion services.
There is also, (not sure of amendment name,) exclusionary language for services provided to transgendered people.

I feel incredibly naive tonight.

You see, as far as I'm concerned: Abortion is a legitimate medical procedure and a decision that ought be made between doctor and patient. Refusing to cover it amounts to nothing less than reinforcing the notion that women are incapable of being autonomous citizens. Thank you, Congress, for once again reducing my value to that of my uterus.

(Note: The House Bill has just passed. It is completely meaningless.)

The fact that transgendered people are excluded, not just the transition-services, but ultimately, completely excluded as a class, troubles me deeply.

We have, I believe a public option that has a trigger. What's the point? Without a public option providing direct competition to insurers, they have no incentive to change.
We've won nothing except a tick in the win column. We beat the fuckers, now what?

This bill isn't going to help most of us who need it. As a friend just told me, "We only got the door slivered open."
Yes. The trick is to keep our collective foot jammed in that sliver of open door and keep pushing it open.
The only real, rational, effective reform possible, is adopting a completely new model. Build on what's been done in France and Germany, perhaps?
We need the safety net of an NHS, but a form of private co-insurance would be fine as well. I don't have a problem with keeping private options available for those who want and can afford them. However, being an ethical human being tells me that access to healthcare is a basic human right.
It's part of what living in a society requires of us.
We are interdependent, we must grant each other at least a minimum opportunity of health and education.
This seems so utterly simple to me. I cannot understand why it is such an anathema to others.
I really can't.
So tonight, while others celebrate the victory, I mourn a missed opportunity. For real reform, for taking our bodies and identities off the table in politics, for meaningful change in Washington. The saddest thing of all, is that it's been four months of political skirmishing, and now there's a win and even the win is meaningless. This bill is not likely to pass the Senate. The health insurance industry is spending 1.4 million dollars a day to ensure it won't.

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