I watched as much of President Obama’s health insurance speech as I could absorb, and then I had to go outside in the sun. I’m painfully pro-Obama. I voted for him because my family wanted me to, I want him to be a great man, and I’m finally coming to terms with reality, thus the pain.

He nixed single-payer health care because it’s a new system and “would represent a radical shift that would disrupt the health care most people currently have. Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch.”

I think of radical shifts as change, which I thought Obama used to favor. So even though creating an entirely new system from scratch might be the best idea and has been successful everywhere it’s been tried so far, he’s against it because there’s so much money involved. Like our rapacious financial system, our expensive, half-assed health care system is also too big to fail.

He said that in his plan insurance companies could not deny us coverage because of a preexisting condition or cut off our coverage when we get sick, and some more stuff that sounded like good ideas. Obama’s health insurance speech reminded me how slowly things usually change, like cargo ships, which take miles to turn around no matter how urgent turning might seem. Health care’s not turning around, though, it’s just veering a little.

People without health insurance would be able to purchase insurance through an exchange market that will enable lower premiums for people who don’t have other insurance, and there’d be a federally operated public option available only if you couldn’t find any way to get enough money pay a regular insurance company for coverage. He figures it’ll all be paid for by plugging the holes and eliminating waste in the current system, and I don’t doubt there’s enough fat around to pay for whatever we need.

The American Medical Association will still have a stranglehold on legality, and I don’t expect the energy-vibration woo-woo wackos to get any recognition, or the Drug Enforcement Agency to quit persecuting self-medication, or the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the proliferation of poisonous substances. There will still be plastic off-gassing all over the world and sixty jillion internal combustion engines adding their bits, and stylish radiation sources shooting it through our flab. The reform is only of health insurance, not health care. In the course of a great speech—President Barack Hussein Obama is a good talker—he recited several instances of the insurance racket’s greed and meanness, and his plan provides them with tens of millions of new customers if they’ll just ease off on the gouge a little. And so it goes. I think I’ll reread Das Kapital.
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Posted Thursday, September 17th, 2009 under health care, money, President Barack Hussein Obama, Uncategorized.

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