I’m still taking in the news that the Health Care Reform Bill got a thumbs up yesterday. It’s hard to surmise exactly what this means for the 30-something slacker who works several part-time jobs. I mean, they’re talking about having this thing up and running by 2014, does this mean in four years I can maybe expect some health insurance? Because by that time I might actually have to get a full-time job or have cirrhosis of the liver, in which case this whole thing was a waste of time for me.
I guess I should look at this from the humanitarian side of things. I mean, it’s great that future generations of under-achievers like myself will not have to sit in triage at General Hospital for eight hours just to have that hole in their leg looked at, only to be charged $400 for a bottle of antibiotics in the end. I mean, it’s simply unacceptable that universal health care hasn’t been enacted in America already. I’ve always thought that it’s a cruel reality when people who make a lot of money have all their health care paid for by their jobs, while those who really need it (i.e., the poor, the unemployed, and the elderly), can’t afford it or can’t get coverage. Yeah, I know, blah, blah, blah. But it’s really one of the great crimes of the 21st century when you actually think about it. It makes the death penalty seem like a lot less of an injustice by comparison.
I also take a little solace in the fact that insurance companies will have to take the biggest hit on this one. I mean, they have basically been allowed to decide the outcomes of whether people live or die without being put in check at all. I know they are businesses and need to make money, and that’s why they shouldn’t have the right to decide these things. So now that problem should be solved. Of course, it will be the responsibility of taxpayers to do so now, but I don’t mind because someone has to do it, and I don’t particularly like living in a country where I could pay taxes my whole life and then die of a curable disease because I can’t get health coverage. I also find it very conspicuous that a health insurance company already called me first thing at work this morning trying to get me coverage. I bet they will now be offering great deals for people like myself with no pre-existing conditions. Those bastards are out drumming up as much business as possible to cover their own asses… it’s very hard to feel sorry for them. They truly are the casinos of health care.
The drug companies will, of course, make out well in this deal, and on this subject I really can’t say much. We tend to think of drug companies as corporate drug dealers, who slang pills for all your ills, but since working in the medical research field I’ve discovered that a lot of companies create incredible treatments and therapies that truly merit praise and are worth the expense. I just get pissed every time I see an ad for herpes medication, and I think to myself, “The high prices of all the drugs that this company makes are what pays for advertisements and the courting of doctors to prescribe this medication”. By the way – if you don’t like a certain drug company, nothing is stopping you from requesting a generic version of the same drug from your doctor. And it’s cheaper, too.
In the end of the day, it looks as if this bill will pass and we will finally begin the lengthy road to health care reform. I wouldn’t expect any miracles, especially since the government will be in charge of creating the programs that will increase Medicare and cover the uninsured. There will inevitably be great delays and inordinant amounts of money and time wasted along the way. Health insurance companies will bitch and moan, drug companies will stick it to the government because they can, and some people will continue to get inferior health coverage and have their cases mishandled. But at least we can say that we are trying, and this is the most endearing thing our government has attempted to do for the People since I can remember. Too bad Bill Clinton couldn’t have gotten this thing going back when he was in office. We actually had money then, and by now things could have stabilized a little. Oh well, better late than never, I guess?