Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I’ve Been So Pissed Off These Last Few Days I Forgot to Celebrate

Today’s meeting of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Science Panel was cancelled due to federal agency folks not being able to attend because the federal government is shut down by Congressional Republicans. The Tea Bagger wing nuts and their spineless GOP colleagues are holding the budget hostage to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. It's really a small thing, the Science Panel not meeting, among more major impacts to be felt when many of the government’s environmental and public health services (deemed “unessential”) shut down.

I’ve been so pissed off about the shutdown I forgot on Tuesday to celebrate the opening of the Insurance Exchange and the first day people who are uninsured can buy medical coverage. Sure, the first day was an online fiasco but you know what?-- it’ll get straightened out and the system’s in place to serve the uninsured. For those of us who have friends and family members with preexisting conditions, employed or not, we no longer will worry whether we can get medical insurance. Sure, it will cost money— nothing’s for free — but it will be there for everyone.

That’s not a small thing that went into place on October 1. If I’d had my way, we would have in place a much simpler system of universal health coverage, we'd reign in runaway medical costs
, and we'd improve efficiency and effectiveness of medical treatment. But what we got on October 1 is a step forward, a big step forward--- especially considering where we were four years ago.

And most important, we’re not going backwards. How fast we go forward in making our medical care system work for people depends on how important it is to us and to those we elect to lead us. But after October 1 we are not going back.

Which makes the Tea Bagger cum spineless-GOP-follower shutdown of the government (and what’s next for the debt-ceiling deadline) look nakedly cynical. What is there to negotiate about the Affordable Care Act when we are not going backward?

Maybe the next hostage-taking and act of domestic terror to threaten economic chaos will be to force us to build the Keystone pipeline. Dismantle the EPA? Rescind pollution controls on fracking and burning coal? Drill in the Arctic and off our shores?

The list can be endless and will go on and on until the real Republican leadership stands up to work to govern.

In the meantime, I’ll stop being pissed off for a while and happily celebrate what was achieved October 1. Then move on.

--Mike Sato

3 comments:

  1. I kind of don't think too many of the folks old enough for Medicare are able to understand much of the hull-a-ballooo. That program is not perfect, and could do more to rein in costs, but it works, seems to be reasonably solvent, and does not expect the user to jump through hoops backwards in order to use it! It seems like a danged good model - but not wanting to be followed for all.

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  2. Yes, infuriating. Know people whose livelihoods are being badly affected, small vendors, hotel/motel owners near the parks, etc. I unfortunately am going to get worse coverage now because my insurance company is getting rid of my current plan, upping my deductible by 300 percent while only dropping my monthly premium by 20 percent, and increasing my co-pay by 30 percent. Of course the insurance companies won't lose a dime on all this. However, I support national health care and the Affordable Care Act. I might be a little pissed when I see more completely how it's affecting my individual policy rates. More research so individual policyholders now don't get screwed.

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