On Friday I called my Congressional representative Betsy Markey. I wasn’t able to speak directly to her, but I did get a call back from her representative, and we had a nice long talk.
The main thing we talked about how was much the premiums will go up on our customers, and her constituents, if this healthcare reform passes. (That’s looking like a bigger “IF” than ever, by the way).
When it happens, it will be easy to look back in history and see where this has occurred before. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, several states passed legislation that was to guarantee affordable health insurance to all. Here’s a few quotes:
“This is an incredibly exciting moment that should make all Vermonters proud”. – Vermont Governor Howard Dean, 1992
“Tennessee will now cover at least 95 percent of its citizens” – Tennessee Governmor Ned McWherter, 1992
“Massachusetts will now be the first state in the country to enact universal health insurance.” – Massachusetts Governmor Michael Dukakis, 1988
These were signing ceremony statements, for poorly considered legislation that has now been repealed in every single state listed.
Unfortunately, you cannot pay for healthcare will slogans and good will. The biggest problem with the proposals now making their way through Congress is that little attention has been paid to reducing costs, and thus these plans are doomed to fail.
When it all comes crumbling down, the pro-government forces will again try to blame private industry, and suggest that an even bigger government solution is the answer.
But (here’s a bold statement), I think that there are enough smart people in Congress to realize that the current healthcare reform proposals are a huge mess – that we may not see anything at all pass. And this country will have dodged a bullet, for sure.
Betsy, I hope you’re paying attention, and thinking very carefully about this.