Civilized, dignified healthcare may still be ours! (Action still required.)

It’s been a dispiriting period for everyone who will ever need health care without the benefit of employer-provided insurance (that would be most of us), but the trajectory may reversing. We start from a low point: California’s universal healthcare bill, SB810, was shelved due to fiscal worries. Of all things. Containing medical expense with preventive care and early treatment is part of a solution to individual, corporate, and government fiscal worries. Then, Congress said no, flat out, to single payer healthcare. Insurance companies protested they couldn’t compete with a government program, and it would be socialism, too. Hmmmmmm. People agitated heartily, and Senator Baucus opened the door to at least considering single payer. The rhetoric intensified. I woke up earlier this week to NPR’s Steve Inskeep badgering HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to assure us there would be no single payer system . The Secretary obliged; he crowed. (Tell us what you really think, Mr. Inskeep. Now we understand why NPR describes you as a “personality” rather than a journalist.) It was depressing and distressing. But wait! Late in the week Senator Dodd, speaking for Senator Kennedy, called his colleagues to task for plans that would still leave millions without any health insurance, and would leave preventive or early treatment our out-of-pocket costs. There was a pause in the rush to publish something, anything, rather than a responsive, responsible proposal. Now, today. The NYT published a survey showing 72% of respondents back a public health care option. 64% of persons earning less than $50,000 (these are people with very little discretionary money, really) would be willing to pay higher taxes for universal health insurance. And, today, the Times ran a thoughtful editorial in full support of a public health insurance option, compared to the alternatives. I’m encouraged. But this is a fragile recovery. Let’s keep speaking out for better, meaningful access to healthcare. Our voices make a difference. And our lives depend on it. (League Lady II)

All League News