Rep. Dingell On Healthcare

Why Health Care Can't Wait

An excerpt from the smackdown...
Our current system is failing the patients. People are having to choose between feeding their families, paying their bills, or filling their prescriptions. Copays and other fees are so high that even people with health insurance are opting not to see a physician. Further, the most simple, cost-effective, and efficient medical procedures, such as check-ups, physicals, and other preventative measures, are being forgone for more expensive, reactive treatments.

For years, people made the case against a heath care overhaul, claiming it would ration medical care. I would say that because of our failure to act, that is what we now have. Instead of taking care of our people, the best health care goes to those who can afford to pay for it.

Health care providers themselves are unable to navigate the inefficiency of our health care system. Primary care doctors, our first line of defense and the physicians most likely to serve underserved populations, can no longer maintain their practices. They can't keep up with payroll because of slow turn around on constantly shrinking reimbursements. We are driving doctors running small family practices into merging with mega-offices, where patients do not experience the kind of personal, quality care Americans need.

Our failing health care system is also hurting our businesses and industries. Everyday, our businesses are forced to choose between providing much needed health care for their employees or surviving to see another quarter. Many years ago, my father and Walter Reuther used to discuss how health care would eventually break the back of our industries. Our current system has placed American businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the world market. I see it nearly every day in Michigan with our automakers, which need a leveled playing field to compete with automakers in countries with national health care. In a time of such severe economic crisis, we simply cannot afford to let our companies fail under the weight of our inaction.
This is an awesome way to come out swinging! Go read the whole thing and cheer him on! And to be clear: He isn't talking about single payer... But it looks like it is game on for the debate. Arm yourselves with healthcare knowledge.

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