Sunday, September 02, 2012

Healthcare: Romney V. Obama

Living in Massachusetts has granted me the prevledge to come under two of of the two hottly debated healthcare laws this election season. Obama-care V. Romney-care. Romney care which, has been in effect for several years now, I can safely say it has not me feel any better. I remember the debates when Romney was Governor of my fair state. One measure that seemed fair, to me, was a tax (or fine) on businesses that did not offer healthcare to employees (now the fine only applies to business of 10 fulltime employees). I mean, if indivuals were to be fined for not having healthcare it seemed fair to fine companies. I was all excited by this prospect, given that I work full time for a company that refuses to give their full time staff any benefits. I thought maybe this would motivate my employer to actually look around for some healthcare plans. Alas, that provision was thrown out, because Romney saw it as anti-business. Now I'm stuck in the donut hole, too rich to get state assisted healthcare, too poor to afford private healthcare. Thankfully, I don't have to pay the fine because I'm technically too poor to be expected to buy private health insurance. Oh, did I say fine, I meant tax (sorry Supreme Court). I'm likely to continue to sit in the donut hole under President Obama's legislation as well. Although, I'm unclear on that, namely because I'm not living under Obama care. Obama's plan has not even gone into effect, the only plan I know first hand is Romney care. Funny thing: Obama's plan is largely modeled after Romney's plan, a lot of similarities between the two. The GOP is screaming socialism and tryanny over Obama care and just don't discuss Romney care. Romney's plan was the center piece of his time as Governor of Massachusetts, it is litterally his biggest acchoplisment. Romney's offical portrait as Governor has the healthcare plan on his desk (see above photo), he himself thought it was the most important thing he had done. Given that Mitt has only held one elected position in government, and this was the biggest thing he did, wouldn't you expect him to be touting his accomplishments?
Of course Obama-care is unpopular, although we haven't even had to deal with it yet. Everything is speculation at this point. Not to mention there is a large and very well funded opposition to this legislation, who are giving it their all to smear and dismiss this law. Here is a big difference between the two: Romney-care covers abortions, unlike Obama-care. Romney has some numbers to boast about. 98% of all Mass. redsidents now have healthcare, and our spending on emergency care has dropped 40%. Imagine these numbers on a national scale. Obama-care might eliminate 2/3 of the budget crisis social security is facing. That's better then Paul Ryan's voucher system, which fails to recognise the natural inflation over time of healthcare costs.
Oddly enough, Romney-care is more popular than Obama-care. Although these plans are extremely similar, and only one is actually in effect. People complain about the short comings of the Massachusetts healthcare legislation, but they are not taking to the streets demanding its repeal; why? Because now that it is law we can ammend it, change aspects that are not working, advocate for inclusion that were first thrown out, we can work on it. This is my feeling of Obama-care. Although, I'd be the first one to give to a laundry list of what Obama care doesn't do,  I also regonise that this legislation can be change and updated. Overall, both Obama and Romney are correct in thinking that universal healthcare coverage should be a right. I feel as Obama-care proved a greater point, a need has been regonized. Now, the GOP can try to tear down this law, but many people like the kind of reforms Obama-care should bring (most people are just unaware of some of the more practical healthcare reforms in the bill). The law set a new president in this country when it was ruled constitutionally valid. This was the biggest hurdle to any national health care law. The GOP can try to widdle down or repeal the current law, but they know if similar legislation is proposed it is not unconstitutional. Political currents change and a need for decent healthcare will continue to exist. Obama-care may or may not survive the 2012 election, but universal coverage will come. After all it was Ronald Regan who signed into law the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act in 1986 which required hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay. As long as we are a nation that still thinks people have a moral obligation to save a dying man, we will continue to pay that price.