Guest Column Submission – Health Care Reform
By Arturo Corso
Forty five years ago this week, MLK made it across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma and arrived in Montgomery to deliver a powerful prediction regarding the waiting time for racial equality: “How long? Not long!” It was his third attempt. Twice before that same week, peaceful Civil Rights marchers had been beaten back with bricks and clubs and hate. Facing down those who said racial and ethnic minorities are inferior, he said calmly, “No lie can live forever.”
So perhaps it is fitting that today – also the People’s third try to cross over this long bridge to equalities in health – when President Obama signs healthcare reform into law, we take a moment to again dispel those enduring lies spread by corporations and those who would carry out their marching orders. It is not a government take over; it will not fund abortion; it will not bankrupt the country; there will be no “death panels”; and it will never come between you and your doctor in medical-decision-making. Most people reading this letter will feel no effect at all.
Here are the Top Ten TRUE things you should know about healthcare reform:
1. Once reform is fully implemented, over 95% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured.
2. Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions — or to drop coverage when people become sick.
3. Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can’t afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums.
4. Reform will cut the federal budget deficit by $138 billion over the next ten years, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in the following ten years.
6. Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the “donut hole” gap in existing coverage.
7. By reducing health care costs for employers, reform will create or save more than 2.5 million jobs over the next decade.
8. Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people.
9. Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families’ insurance plans until age 26.
10. Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.
Great orators of times past like Ronald Reagan erroneously predicted that the creation of Social Security and Medicare would be the end of times for our country. He was simply wrong. Before Social Security and Medicare, most older people lived in poverty; now, most do not. You have to ask yourself: what do the modern-day “doom and gloom” crowd have to gain by denying healthcare to all Americans? They are not just shouting at clouds here. All their efforts and hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign ads are targeting American with lies that hit us over the head and leave us dazed and confused. With bricks and clubs and hate they want to turn this country back across the bridge. But no lie lives forever.