Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Progressives Hate the Bill, Too

Cross-posted from Critical Condition on National Review Online.

For those who are dismayed by yesterday's outcome, and are thinking about what to do next, read this piece in the Huffington Post. In it, Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher describes 18 myths about the health care bill, from the progressive point of view.

Her criticisms of Obamacare are withering, and are important to understand. Her 18 myths (with detail in the full article) are:

  1. This is a universal health care bill.
  2. Insurance companies hate this bill.
  3. The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.
  4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.
  5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.
  6. This bill provides health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured.
  7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.
  8. The "excise tax" will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.
  9. This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.
  10. The bill will require big companies like Wal-Mart to provide insurance for their employees.
  11. The bill "bends the cost curve" on health care.
  12. The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.
  13. The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick.
  14. The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions.
  15. This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.
  16. When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately.
  17. The bill creates a pathway for single payer.
  18. The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind.

As she summarizes, "Real health care reform is the thing we've fought for from the start. It is desperately needed. But this bill falls short on many levels, and hurts many people more than it helps."

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