Thursday, October 08, 2009

The False Sense of Urgency of Now

While the political world is all abuzz with health care reform bullshit... whether there'll be public option or not, etc... one thing that isn't getting nearly enough attention is this:

None of these plans take effect for three years.


That nugget'll be buried deep in whatever article you're reading, but for all the bullshit happening on or around the dance floor on this issue, none of it really makes a fucking difference for the people getting fucked by their insurance now. Or next year. Or the year after that. Or the year after that.

The Democrats could pass the greatest single-payer plan on Earth, and since they are so fucking stupid and cowardly they will let TWO elections cycles go by before anyone benefits from it, and they are rewarded for delivering it. They could, alternatively, pass the worst piece of shit corporate giveaway possible, knowing they can run for their House seat twice before having to face hte pissed off voters they sold out.

At this point I'm not sure I give a shit what plan comes out what Committee of Congress and what Obama ends up signing. No matter how good it is (and I'm not saying it will be good at all) we have to wait three goddamn years to get it.

Screw Baucus, Reid, and all the corporate whores on the Hill. And screw Obama too. This whole thing is a gigantic fucking tease.


Toast said...

This whole thing is a gigantic fucking tease.

You're not a stupid person, so I'll just assume you're uninformed.

Here's the deal: Private insurance companies are going to have a presence in the post-reform market. Right or wrong, that's a fact. Those companies are, however, going to have to deal with a fucking tsunami of regulatory changes. That's going to take an enormous effort to adjust to. I work on this shit. I know what I'm talking about. State XYZ passes some new reg? That's a six-month project. It's not trivial. What Obama and the Dems are proposing? It will take years for the industry to absorb it and change all their systems and procedures to account for it.

Stop your fucking crying. I'm sick of liberals wetting their undies over this shit, carping about how this is all crap and nothing will come of it. Healthcare is fucking COMPLICATED. Here, now, in the U.S., it is. The bills moving their way through Congress now will be an immense boon to millions of people in the not-too-distant future. Get behind them and stop your fucking whining.

Mr Furious said...

Not stupid OR uninformed.

Not as informed as you certainly...

Yes, this post is clearly reflective of my state of mind right now, which is... in a word... shitty.

And I feel like "fucking whining."

A week ago, or a week from now it probably wouldn't read quite like this.

Though I think the point about the lack of attention paid to the timeline on this is valid.

A lot of people are going to be disgruntled when the dust clears and Obama's "health care reform passed by the end of the year" doesn't help them until 2013.

John Howard said...

Toast is right, these things take time to change. If they tried to implement it immediately it would be a huge clusterfuck.

However, I think you're right that there isn't enough attention paid to the timeline. I'm sure most people don't even know that it won't be for three years.

Anyway, I'm less and less optimistic every day that we'll get anything good.

Mr Furious said...

I'm not done.

I think it's pretty fucking dick-y to come over here minutes after the comments I left at your place last night and to then fly off the handle on me for not fully appreciating how complicated and difficult this will be for legislators or the goddamn insurance industry.

Do you think I don't know that? You KNOW I do.

But here's the reality:

I lost 10 percent of my income yesterday, along with everyone else in my company.

In the last year my employer's contribution to my healthplan—a shitty, but very fucking expensive one I should add—has gone from 100% to 25%.

I expect any week now to get another letter like yesterday's that they will be contributing zero percent.

So fucking excuse me if I'm not doing cartwheels in five weeks when these fucking empty suits are patting each other on the back and having a signing ceremony for a watered down reform bill that's three fucking years down the road.

Do you think I need to work for a fucking insurance company to know what the hell is going on?

I'm looking at this from the other end. I have a daughter who's probably had $100,000 worth of medical care in her first four years. All of which was covered by my previous state job's excellent healthcare.

My current plan probably would not have covered much or any of that shit. So, I'd either be bankrupt or she'd've gone without two necessary surgeries.

Without an employer-based plan, she'd probably be uninsurable. That is something that might actually be addressed effectively, and before 2013, but it doesn't mean I could pay for it.

I'm not interested in debating this with you or anyone else right now.

Mr Furious said...

I'm also not interested in anyone telling me I'm lucky to have my job.

I work in publishing. I am fully aware of that.

But I am allowed to be fucking digruntled, and I do NOT need any perspective.

Bob said...

In the last couple days, I have become more hopeful that not only will something pass, it will include a public option. Some Dems might be growing a spine.

On Rachel Maddow, it was reported that there may even be leadship threats of losing committee chairs if a Dem votes with the Republicans. If true, that is the kind of leadership I have been looking for. That is how to get shit done.

As far as the phase-in:

I work in Government. Much simpler things takes years to implement. It's just a big ship to turn on a dime.

Bob said...

"Without an employer-based plan, she'd probably be uninsurable. That is something that might actually be addressed effectively, and before 2013..."

Yup. My sister has a genetic condition. When I hear liberals say that want all or nothing, I think that, while disappointing, I would take reform without a public option. At least they would have to cover my sister and likely spread the cost to everyone.

Feel free to vent. It's your blog. I have done the same at ATK when things sucked.

Mr Furious said...


Thanks. The timeline and the lack of attention paid to it was my point. Whether Toast is right or not, that is something sliding completely under the radar of the coverage by the media and the rhetoric of the politicians.


You're more optimistic than I am right now. I hope you're right. After Lieberman, I'll believe Democrat discipline when I see it. Not one second before.

Bob said...

"You're more optimistic than I am right now. I hope you're right. After Lieberman, I'll believe Democrat discipline when I see it. Not one second before."

I reserve the right to be completely disappointed at any moment.

Smitty said...

My problem with a delayed ramp-up? It gives insurers time to look for loopholes. While I am dubious about the Dems' collective spine, I absolutely 100% do NOT trust insurance companies one single bit. The horror stories I hear about every day from one of my clients about what insurance companies do to people who pay their premiums in full and on time every month of every year is enough to make me puke fire.

And Mr F, you have a sense of URGENCY for it. You are the poster family for change-before-it's-too-late.

So no, don't stop whining. Blue Cross in Michigan wanted to raise their rates BY 44% FUCKING PERCENT despite the fact that they sit on more than $3 BILLION in reserves.

I'm with Bob: I feel more optimistic about a public option now.

Hey...we found Rickey Henderson. He's at our place now.

Mr Furious said...

My problem with a delayed ramp-up? It gives insurers time to look for loopholes.

It also gives them time and an incentive to gouge the shit out of us as much as possible beforehand.

Unless the regulatory part of the reform package is strong and immediate, we will pay dearly while we wait for whatever relief comes in 2013.

If insurance companies are forced to accept/cover/not drop people in the near term, why WOULDN"T they jack rates further?

Smitty said...

Exactly, Mr. F. Unless the part of the bill that says what they cannot do to fuck people happens immediately, we will get blue cross-like 50% insurance premium hikes DESPITE the fact that their risk pool just dectupled.

Toast said...

Sorry. I realized after I posted it that my rant was ill-timed in that regard. I'm just frustrated with the relentless negativity about healthcare reform and I took it out on you. That wasn't fair.

steves said...

This doesn't happen all the time, but I agree with Mr. F 100%. While I agree this is complicated, a long timeline just makes me nervous. Not only will they look for loopholes (as Smitty suggests), but a longer timeline will let Congress tweak and tweak it until what passed will probably not resemble what is implemented.

ツロ said...

Sorry, Toast; but, you are not convincing.

There is an opportunity to really change our system now. To sell that change short because of some misbegotten sense that we have to preserve those in the insurance industry is just silly. I have no doubt that our elected officials in DC squander this opportunity. They fear the wrath of the US insurance industry. That doesn't mean its right and it doesn't have to be this way.

Even if we do get a bill that reduces the suffering in this country, to wait three years is ridiculous. I don't give a damn whether or not its hard for an insurance company. Do it anyway. Do it now. Or suffer severe penalties under the law. Anything less is letting mediocrity win and letting many thousands of people suffer or die.

ツロ said...

Or, more succinctly, why should we let thousands of people die because a big company is slow to move and might lose its profits. That's immoral.