March 21st, 2010

buzzed, B&W

Health care reform

It's amazing how polarizing this issue is.  My view of the reform debate is pretty simple.  Our health care system is broken, and any attempt at significant change is good.  I concur with the right that medical costs are ridiculous, and tort reform and better regulation could help, but I align much more strongly with the left and the idea that better basic coverage for all will lead to reduced long term-costs, as preventative care cuts down on the number of ER and urgent care visits.  (And yes, I do realize there's a lot of education that needs to happen to encourage people to see doctors, rather than waiting till the last minute, but I believe change is good . . . )

Status updates and comments on Facebook have been interesting to watch.  I saw one that said: "This House and Senate were sent by the American people to represent them. They have gone against the people once again. Sad day for our country."  I think it's a stretch to say they went against them.  Most of the polls out there show that things were amazingly close, and even the most recent Gallup poll asking yay or nay shows that 45% favor, and 48% oppose, but there's a 4% margin of error.  If you look at this other Gallup poll, Americans believe on most issues that things will get better or stay the same for most.  (I realize this is a bit of spin, but I'm not sure Gallup's method of ignoring the middle is valid either).  In other words, this it a borderline issue for the country, and it went one way.  There is no way to emphatically say that elected officials did not represent their constituents.  If you believe that things were so heinous, take the appropriate steps - become involved in the process, vote, communicate with your officials, become active locally, etc.  Complaining on Facebook is a bit much.  (To the commenter: if you do the above steps, my apologies - I'm mainly frustrated with the number of people I see complaining about the situation that I know are not active citizens.)