Now, most of you who follow the blog know that I’ve followed the health care reform issue pretty closely. It’s near and dear to my heart and mind for a variety of reasons. Three weeks ago, I had serious doubts that health care reform would get done. I have very few now. It looks as if the House will pass it tonight, which means that tomorrow, as far as I’m concerned, we’ll all wake up in a better country.
So here’s this — the President’s comments to the House Democratic Caucus yesterday. Worth reading. These passages, in particular, stand out for me.
…this year, small businesses will start getting tax credits so that they can offer health insurance to employees who currently don’t have it. Because this year, those same parents who are worried about getting coverage for their children with preexisting conditions now are assured that insurance companies have to give them coverage — this year.
Because this year, insurance companies won’t suddenly be able to drop your coverage when you get sick or impose lifetime limits or restrictive limits on the coverage that you have. Maybe they know that this year, for the first time, young people will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26 years old and they’re thinking that just might be popular all across the country….
….Some of you know I get 10 letters a day that I read out of the 40,000 that we receive. Started reading some of the ones that I got this morning. “Dear President Obama, my daughter, a wonderful person, lost her job. She has no health insurance. She had a blood clot in her brain. She’s now disabled, can’t get care.” “Dear President Obama, I don’t yet qualify for Medicare. COBRA is about to run out. I am desperate, don’t know what to do.”
Do it for them. Do it for people who are really scared right now through no fault of their own, who’ve played by the rules, who’ve done all the right things, and have suddenly found out that because of an accident, because of an ailment, they’re about to lose their house; or they can’t provide the help to their kids that they need; or they’re a small business who up until now has always taken pride in providing care for their workers and it turns out that they just can’t afford to do it anymore and they’ve having to make a decision about do I keep providing health insurance for my workers or do I just drop their coverage or do I not hire some people because I simply can’t afford it — it’s all being gobbled up by the insurance companies.
Don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for the Democratic Party. Do it for the American people. They’re the ones who are looking for action right now.