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The Wright Perspective℠

Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠

A Blog by Gary Wright II

Why Congress should fix health care reform - not repeal it!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

There is no valid argument that our system of health care is working as it is. Anyone who says we should repeal the health care reforms hasn't read them. Personally, I haven't read all 2000+ pages, but I've skimmed through them. I admit that the health care reform has a lot of bad ideas, but there are a lot of good ideas that deserve to stay in place. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Congress needs to fix health care reform - not start all over.

Despite all of the GOP rhetoric, it WILL NOT be repealed. They don't have enough votes to do it. President Obama would (and should) veto it if a repeal is passed, and the votes needed to override the veto don't exist either. It would be a huge waste of time to even debate repealing it. Since most people (including Congress) haven't read the reform bill, there are a lot of misconceptions that need to be corrected. It doesn't fire all of the doctors and force people to go to a government physician. The government already has a decent health care system in place for our veterans. I can go to any doctor I want to, but if I can't afford it I can go to the VA hospital.

The cost of health care is out of control. The cost of medicine is way too high because the old system allowed hospitals to milk the insurance companies for every penny. Twenty dollar band-aids, hundred dollar visits, and thousand dollar surgeries. Despite having great insurance and a high-paying job, when I needed surgeries to treat my muscle disease I quickly went bankrupt. As my muscles deteriorate, the wheelchair I will need costs $54,000. The modified van I will need is another $50,000. The pain patches I used were $400 a month. Just those three items are $108,800 and we haven't counted costs for x-rays, lab tests, doctors, physical therapy, and hospital visits.

I hope you never need it - but do you have a few hundred thousand dollars sitting in the bank in case you ever get sick or injured?

The reforms don't take away all of our options, but provides more options to all of us. It provides a safety net for the disabled, seniors, and people who can't afford it. It prevents insurance companies from dropping you if you get sick or denying you coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition. People on fixed incomes are having to choose between paying for their medicine or paying for their mortgage. Children aren't getting the preventative care they need to stay healthy. Our country has some of the best medical technologies in the world, but the high costs put care out of the reach for most people.

There is one part of the reforms that have the lobbyists and Republicans so upset. Under the reforms, the majority of payments made to insurance companies must go toward the actual health care costs and not to all of the executives running the companies.

So far, this session of Congress has wasted every single day. Two Republicans missed their own swearing in ceremony. How can you miss that? Shouldn't that be one of the most important days of your life? They participated in a vote which wasted the rest of the day correcting the record and clearing up the confusion. The second day was wasted when they spent time reading the Constitution out loud to each other. What scares me is that some of them stumbled through it like they had never read it before. Shouldn't they be familiar with the Constitution before they took an oath to defend it? Not to ignore the tragedy in Arizona. but they shouldn't have taken last week off. I think that is what the victims would have wanted.

There are so many important issues facing our country and we can't afford to waste any more time. I hope you will take a few minutes to become familiar with the details of health care reform. We need to call our Congress members and tell them to get busy. Fix the current reform efforts - don't waste precious time trying to repeal them.

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Best regards,

-- Gary Wright II

UPDATE: On January 19th, 2011 the US House of Representatives voted 245 to 189 repeal the health care reforms. They do not have enough votes to pass the repeal in the Senate.

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