This morning, readingEzra:
According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will
release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the
basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years
and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the
second 10 years — so, 2020 to 2029 — it will reduce the deficit by
$1.2 trillion.The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95
percent of the legal population.
Emphasis mine. You get everybody health insurance, great.You still have shit like this happening:
Listen to this story from a new report on maternal mortality in the U.S.:
Trina Bachtel, a 35-year-old white
woman, was insured at the time of her pregnancy, but the local clinic
had reportedly told her that it required a US$100 deposit to see her,
because she had incurred a medical debt some years earlier – even
though the debt had since been repaid. Trina Bachtel delayed seeking
care, unable to afford the fee at the local clinic. She finally
received medical attention in a hospital but her son was stillborn. She
was later transferred to another hospital in Ohio where she died in
August 2007, two weeks after the birth.
For a country that supposedly has the most innovative health care system in the world, we seem to suck at the basics.
That’s because we think of insurance as the basics. We think of the opportunity to see a doctor as the basics, not the actuality of seeing a doctor.
The same health care system that keeps people from going to the
doctor when they have a cold keeps women from getting decent prenantal
care. The stresses of living at the bottom of the economic ladder make
it even worse.
Many women report not being able to go to the doctor because they
risk being fired from their jobs for missing work. Medicaid can even be
a barrier in itself – for Medicaid to cover a pregnancy, a woman first
has to get a letter from her doctor confirming her pregnancy. How do
you go to the doctor to get the letter if you don’t have health care?
Even if you have insurance, and even if you can keep your insurance when you need your insurance, and even if there’s a hospital within driving distance and even if your car works that day and even if you can get an appointment with a gynecologist to practice their love and even if that appointment doesn’t cost anything, you’re still mightily screwed if you can’t take the day off work or if you get paid by the hour and can’t afford rent if you take off the hours.
And the reason we don’t consider shit like that in the debate we’re having is ain’t none of our congressional betters EVER about to be in that situation. No one leading the debate in this country has a job they can’t ask off from, has a car they pray will start every morning, has a thousand miles to go before the nearest emergency room. If they did, we’d start seeing things in legislative form like mandating post-7 p.m. or pre-8 a.m. doctor’s office hours, billions in give-aways for increasing public transportation to and from hospitals, and stronger laws protecting even part-time workers from punishment if they get sick.
The legislation will cover 32 million Americans. I’ve said this before, but the goal is not to get everybody health coverage. The goal is to get everybody healthcare. Not even single-payer, not even the wildest, reddest fantasies of the craziest socialist in this country right now would accomplish that, not in this country today. Not when you do not have the doctors to treat the sick, nor enough hospital beds to hold them, inexpensive drugs to prescribe, pharmacies to fill those prescriptions or employer-employee relations that allow for the humanity of illness of oneself or a family member.