The Real Issues for Health Care Reform

Boomers face the highest levels of unemployment since our post college days, which, of course, includes loss of medical benefits – none of us yet qualify for Medicare.

So, reform is crucial for us, particularly at our age (we need insurance more to stay healthy).

Yet some of us remain vehemently opposed to this legislation, purportedly because it unacceptably adds to the federal deficit, and/or does too little to impact change that is significant enough to matter.

Both objections are founded in specious reasoning (or for some, no reasoning at all, unfortunate for the most educated generation our nation has ever had…).  According to the CBO, the bill will reduce the deficit, and the elements of the bill clearly provide long overdue protections, some immediate.

The issues, it seems, are not those on which Boomer objectors have based their lack of support.

They are:

  • How the insurance companies will respond to the legislation… Will they increase their prices as soon and often as possible?  And what protections exist for that scenario?
  • What else is needed to ensure consumer protection in a capitalist system where businesses, designed to make an impressive profit for their shareholders, are key players in our health care.  And, in the case of health insurance companies, they can do so without regard for their impact on the lives of those they “serve”

So I ask my fellow Boomers to concentrate on all the ways we can make this legislation better, and more cost efficient – including Medicare Advantage plans which pay for member perks by charging all Medicare recipients – meaning the majority who don’t use/get those perks (since in as little as one year, this will impact us)

We know this process is far from over, so let’s make sure that by 2014 we have something really excellent.

We Americans, all of us (particularly our children and grandchildren), deserve it.

Gay Marriage

This past Sunday, a gentleman by the name of David Blankenhorn, an identified liberal Democrat, had his commentary published in the LA Times: Protecting Marriage to Protect Children: you can read the full piece at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story

As a Boomer (as I believe is he), also a Democrat (albeit a somewhat conservative one…), and someone with a professional background working with highly at-risk children and youth, I have formulated my thoughts on his thoughts (yes, I know….too much thinking…what can I say, that’s what we Dem’s do…).  Here they are.

I would like to help Mr. Blankenhorn with a few of his “facts”:

§    “Marriage is the “primary license to have children” –
this fits very nicely with homosexual unions, as many have children…biologically…

§    “Marriage unites the three  core dimensions of parenthood – biological, social and legal” –
see above for biological, social was resolved in the last century, and I believe it is the legal category that pro-gay marriage legislation is attempting to fix

§    “People wed primarily to reproduce” –
this motive for marriage ended after we ‘won the West’ and no longer needed to populate small towns…

§    “Children have the right…to know and to be cared for by the two parents who brought them into the world…” –
as a Guardian ad Litem and a mental health professional who has worked for over a decade with homeless/runaway youth in two of this
country’s major cities, I have seen more unfit biological parents (heterosexual, by the way) than there are pork barrel projects in Washington,
and it is precisely an emphasis on the “right of the biological parents” vs. the best interest of the child that anyone associated with child
protection will agree stands in the way of getting children moved out of foster care and into stable, permanent homes: which speaks directly to
your assertion that they are indeed “society’s most voiceless and vulnerable group.”

§    “Every child being raised by gay or lesbian couples will be denied his birthright to both parents who made him.” –
see bullet #1, and add to it that many homosexual unions include one or the other partner’s biological child with access to the other biological
parent, no different than in a heterosexual divorce situation

§    “Losing that right will not be a consequence of something…tragic (such as divorce, unexpected pregnancy…)…On the contrary…those
unions…will be explained to everyone as something wonderful (that) has happened!” –
you’re comparing break-ups and unplanned reproduction to a union of two people – apples and oranges – sly…but didn’t get by me…

§    “Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those couples as well as the children being raised in those homes.” –
hey…make up your mind…and it doesn’t “almost” benefit those children, it does so absolutely

§    “But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation…undermines the gift of birthright…that is marriage’s most
distinctive contribution to human society.” –
it would seem, given all the above, that you’ve actually done a fine job of proving that marriage, regardless of who with whom, is a key
component to the things needed most for the raising of healthy children; stability; access to parents who treasure them; and legal recognition
so they can reap all the benefits therein.

I hope this helps you in future, and oh, by the way, thanks for actually making a fine case for the importance of gay marriage particularly when it comes to the well-being of the children involved!