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What Health Care Reform Really Means

March 23, 2010

I received the following message via Facebook from a friend of one of my brothers last night.  Not only did it make me feel good, like I’ve been doing my part, but it’s also a perfect illustration of what health care reform really means.  Health care reform is not about a “socialist government takeover” or about taxes for taxes’ sake; rather, it’s about making sure that individuals like this young man aren’t run over by a capitalist system that pretty much only takes profit into account.

I agree with capitalism; I, like the GOP, believe that it is the best economic engine out there.  But left unchecked, it can be a vicious, inhumane thing.  That’s one of the reasons why a relatively activist government is necessary: in order to protect more vulnerable individuals from being exploited and harmed by the more powerful, whether in the form of a human (say, an armed robber) or a corporation (say, a health insurance company).

Here is the text of this courageous young man’s email (his name has been redacted in order to protect his privacy):

Hey, I’m a friend of your brother’s. I think we’ve met once before. Anyway, this might be weird to say but thanks for being really passionate about health care reform here on Facebook. I have a pre-existing condition and I have to rely on Medicaid for my coverage. Things are looking up now though and a part of my life is actually about to change for the much better. Just wanted to say that your updates, blog entries, and such have been a relief amid the usual bickering I read on here everyday. Thanks.


Now tell me who can possibly be against that?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. marcie moore permalink
    March 23, 2010 5:00 pm

    He didn’t say he was not being treated on Medicaid and hedid not say much of anything. He has no assurance that he is now in safer hands. I don’t know how he can feel so safe now–no one knows how this is going to turn out, so I can easily disagree with that.

  2. Marcie permalink
    March 26, 2010 9:20 am

    No one knows what health care reform really means which is the title of your article. This “courageous” young man doesn’t know how fortunate he is. Everyone has a pre-existing condition of some kind. How pitiful that he has to rely on medicaid. My daughter has to rely on Medicaid. What a courageous young woman she is! She had a tumor on her overies removed, has had a huge kidney stone dug out of her back and a history of kidney stones, which is one of the most painful things one can go through. Poor thing had to rely on Medicaid. We can’t all have a cadilac plan, you know. Does this courageous young man think he is going to get that cadilac plan with the health care reform bill? I bet my bottom dollar he wishes he had his medicaid back.

  3. hslaton permalink*
    March 26, 2010 9:41 am

    I’d like to point out that Medicaid, like the new health care reform law, is a government program.

    Not only that, but Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security were all government programs created by Democratic presidents in the face of fierce Republican opposition, not to mention warnings that the creation of these programs would lead to socialism and destroy the nation.

    None of that, obviously, has happened. It is nonsensical to praise Medicaid while railing against a “government takeover of health care.” If not for the Democrats and for government intervention in health care and retirement security, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security would not exist today.

  4. Marcie permalink
    March 26, 2010 10:00 am

    Why don’t you tell me something I don’t know. What, do you think I’m 10? You don’t get it. Maybe you should read what I said again. I really get tired of the same old “talking points.”

  5. Guest permalink
    March 27, 2010 1:43 pm


    I’m the “young man” in question. I don’t believe I will be receiving any kind of “Cadillac plan” once health care reform becomes a reality, but I have suffered some of the problems this article highlights. I have a rare blood disorder and I have had trouble finding doctor’s who will accept my Medicaid coverage. In fact, after a year of going to the only hospital that would offer me blood transfusion treatment (on a monthly basis) in my region, and having to educate hematologists and other blood specialists on my condition (because they had never heard of it), I decided to travel three hours every three weeks to see a doctor who understood my specific needs.

    I am thankful for Medicaid because I cannot be insured any other way, but I am hopeful that with this legislation, in time, I will have more health care options. Can I be sure that it will be better for me? No. But I am hopeful that my life will be easier, not to mention all of those other Americans with pre-existing conditions that will finally have some form of coverage. And that’s only one slice of the pie. I have read studies that expose a higher mortality rate among Medicaid patients than the uninsured. For a lot of people, it has become extremely difficult to find a PCP in their area that will accept another Medicaid enrollee, and even more difficult to find a specialist. I have faced these problems, and if I’m able to benefit from health care reform so that I will not have to face them in the future, I bet my bottom dollar I’ll never look back.

    I’m not trying to speak for everyone and I’m certainly not trying to take anything away from your daughter’s suffering or the Medicaid coverage that helped her. All I did was express to Hunter my excitement, on behalf of myself and everyone else who will no longer have zero choice where there coverage is coming from. I’m confident that our nation will endure these initial troubles with health care reform until (most) people realize that our country has become a better place to LIVE.

  6. marcie moore permalink
    March 28, 2010 12:25 pm


    You realized that America is now a better place to live? After 1 week? You are a trusting sole. There is no way you can know what you think you know. Plus you are advertising to others for something unseen and untried in our country. I think what you have is hope. Hope is a good thing but you can’t speak from an experience that you have not had. Let me hear back in 3 to 5 years when all that is confirmed to you. My daughter and I have been through all that you talked about. It all sounds familiar. I am so grateful that after all we went through together that my daughter got help and I didn’t have to loose my house over it. We didn’t deserve all the help she got. We didn’t have a right to it either, but it was provided anyway. I would think anyone that has received the care you have would be very grateful and realize that America already is a great place to live. You are already living in a great country. That bill didn’t change your life–not yet. Please let me know when things are truly working our for ya.

    Martha Lee(Marcie) Moore

  7. Guest permalink
    March 28, 2010 6:36 pm


    Please read what I wrote again. “But I am HOPEFUL that my life will be easier…” I already wrote that I don’t know it will be. I do have hope. A lot of it. I know this and I expressed this in my previous post. I know America is a great place to live. I wrote that I am “thankful for Medicaid.” But to deny it has its problems is being obtuse, in my opinion. If it’s broke, fix it, right?

    I also didn’t write that I “realized America is now a better place to live.” I wrote that I’m confident that we, as a nation, will face the inevitable hiccups of this legislation until many non-supporters realize it was the right decision. It is not knowledge or certainty. It is an opinion. A belief. Just as you are wary of the problems of reform, I am confident in its abilities. I BELIEVE that when 32,000,000 more Americans have health coverage, America WILL be a better place to live. The end.

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