I’m really happy about it because I have a pre-existing condition through no fault of my own. I both have the selfish reason that I may not live in Massachusetts my whole life and might find myself between jobs at some point, and the unselfish one that I think I understand more than most people what it’s like for someone with a medical condition and how devastating it would be to be denied medical care.
I think there are reasonable arguments against the specific law and I don’t think anyone thinks it’s perfect. I don’t think any bill anyone thought was perfect would ever have any chance of passing anyway though. To steal a phrase from one of my favorite blogs, creating a passable health care bill didn’t require walking a fine line, but a “line of negative width“. That’s why all the horse trading was needed and that’s why no one has managed it up until now.
Despite many legitimate warts in the bill, the rage against it is so completely and utterly disproportionate to what’s actually in the bill and I find that really scary. At it’s core it drastically changes regulations on insurance companies and makes sure everyone can get private insurance. Yes, it raises taxes. I doubt it but maybe, as the right is saying, this will make premiums go up faster then they’re already going to (they’re going up pretty damn fast now). Guess what, no one likes to pay taxes. How does that translate to sending death threats to congressmen and throwing bricks through their windows?
Last summer when the Tea Party groups were shouting at town halls, they were doing so based on an memo explaining the best ways to be disruptive and intimidating and express outrage. There’s no question that I disagree with the Tea Party substantively, still I’m for political engagement whether or not I agree with you. My problem with the Tea Party is that they’re just interested in shouting their opponents down. I believe people need to be more politically engaged, but we really need to opposite to happen. We need to listen to each other and approach complex issues with humility.
I don’t know how the health insurance industry is going to look in 5 or 10 years down the road. I have my opinion and you have yours. Now there’s only one way to find out. In the meantime I think we could all stand to take a deep breath. You wouldn’t want that elevated blood pressure to put you on the fast track to one of Obama’s death panels.