President Obama is talking about healthcare reform a lot, pushing hard to win public favor for the bill. Representative Dennis Kucinich is amongst those who have yet to decide how they will vote. He was also present at one of the speaking engagements in which the people yelled out their support, their desire to have health care reform. In a passionate speech, the President cited a 50 year old cancer survivor, Natoma Canfield, and how she could not afford the heath care premiums any more. It was even more pointed that she couldn’t attend herself, because she was lying in a hospital bed again, fighting through chemotherapy after 11 cancer-free years. President Obama emphasized that detractors were lying about losses of coverage via Medicare/Medicaid, etc. And all of that may very well be true. But the President isn’t telling the whole truth either.
The Natoma Canfields of America will find no relief in this bill. It’s very possible that they may not live to see the benefits kick in at all. Though taxes would be raised effective in the current tax year; those 30 million uninsured won’t see any relief for about 9 years. Some aspects may commence sooner, but we’re still talking about something that is going to take 10 years to happen, if we start now.
Health care reform is clearly important and necessary; even though it isn’t even clear what will or will not be in the Reconciliation bill. What IS clear, though, is that it does not contain Tort Reform, which is essential to ANY legitimate health care reform, and that it will do nothing for anyone any time soon. We applaud your enthusiasm, Mr. President, but please be honest with the people as you tug on their heart strings.