• kalajibba

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand this fear some people have of healthcare reform. I’m a 22 year old woman, grew up in Canada. If I require medical services, I call my family doctor and I’m in within a week. Or I drop in at any clinic of my choice, or any hospital of my choice. I’ve never had to live with the anxiety of paying any any medical services I require. This is simply a human right to me.

  • bemused1031

    I was proud to be an American last night, but some of that ugly hurling of expletives outside the capitol just made me sad. Who are these crazy whackjobs? I just want to slap them upside the head and say are you freaking serious? I have health insurance. I pay a reasonable amount and have never had my company NOT pay for something, but you know what? I’m one of the fortunate. Now 32 million other Americans can feel the same.

  • crazycatladyinthemaking

    The comment about best health care technology vs best health care was astute. I wonder how many Americans opposed to health care reform in the USA are aware that of the G7 nations, the US has the lowest life expectancy at birth rate and the highest infant mortality rate. Countries with some form of “socialized” health care like Canada, the UK and France all outperform the US on these significant health-related measures.

  • mrsderusha

    Have you read John Chait’s blog entry on The New Republic website regarding the people who this bill would affect the most and their fear? It’s a great read and I’d highly recommend it for a theory in understanding the thought process for some people.

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/the-kings-and-i

    It’s mind numbing how ignorant so many people are on this bill. I do believe that the WH needs to use @blurb ideas and his fancy charts again!! ;-)

  • yay4tay

    I think the fears of taxes and long wait times are exaggerated quite a bit, but even if they weren’t… I am happy to pay more, and wait longer, in order to give my fellow man a chance at a healthy life.

    Jesus would LOVE the single payer option, by the way. How can you say that you don’t think it’s right for you to have to wait another month to see your doctor so that other people, parents and children and friends, can see the doctor at ALL? How!?

    Besides, I don’t think the wait times are going to go up, but that’s not even the point.

  • ragnag.

    @ krys72599 : before this bill the only type of care legally enforced was emergency care to save your life and/or stabilize your condition. Hospitals did discharge people after stabilization — follow up care then became the patient’s sole responsibility (financial and otherwise). Working at a huge teaching hospital I saw this type of thing happen all the time. Just because you didn’t personally witness people getting denied care (which is what happens when a person is discharged before full recovery), doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  • hallock

    I think that this reform will help certain people, as in the author’s case. However, the need for this reform raises a fundamental question: why is there still a problem? To paraphrase a podcast I listen to regularly, with all the power and control and regulation the government has over doctors (through the AMA) and the insurance industry already, why is there STILL a problem? The government is already deeply entrenched in the medical industry.

    It seems the government always needs to become even more entrenched to solve problems. This sounds like a vicious cycle, but we’re too addicted to the fantasy of the state saving us to admit it. Just one more time, one more ‘hit,’ so to speak.

    Don’t take my word for it: http://www.youtube.com/user/stefbot?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/7/BMWW1tIODyU

  • ebeth

    American society promotes free market capitalism (an inherently conservative ideal) and the idea of a meritocracy, meritocracy being the idea that the smartest and most industrious will float to the top in terms of financial success. Rather than being chosen by blood like a monarchy, under this meritocratic ideal, it would follow that just about anyone can succeed. I think most would agree (whether conservative or liberal and everything in between) that this notion effectively creates social classes. Unlike communism and socialism, which in pure theoretical form aim to be the great equalizers of social stratification, the free market ensures that there will always be a lower, middle, and upper class.

    Hard work being implicit in all of the following cases, jobs seem to fall into these categories according to our value system– highly valued jobs such as lawyers, bankers, and doctors are in the upper class range; teachers, counselors and insurance agents might be considered middle class jobs; and janitors, food-service workers, and wal-mart greeters earn just enough money to be in the poverty or below poverty range. Interesting how the jobs that are custodial in nature are also the least desirable and least lucrative. The individuals who toil in the salt mines– clean up shit and vomit off bathroom floors, get second degree burns from grease sloshing in fast-food kitchens, and change the trash in cubicles while watching middle managers surf the internet, get paid the least, usually have no health insurance, and because of their low wages are stuck in a cycle of contemporary hegemony: these are the sharecroppers of our times.

    Perhaps some do pull themselves up by their bootstraps and truly live the American Dream of the meritocracy, but what about those who are not able to, whose success is precluded by the free market and its poverty nourishing structure? Those who are systematically discriminated against, whether they are white or non-white, male or female. Those who simply cannot break the cycle of poverty because they are busy trying to survive. Are their lives worth less than those who are richer or smarter? Are their lives worth less than someone who did manage to pull himself out of poverty? When I look back on my privileged upbringing and how little I have ultimately done to deserve any of it, how completely arbitrary it is that my belly is full while a staggering amount of the world starves, I can hardly justify any argument of merit-caused success. With the great privilege of the free market economy comes the great responsibility to support and sustain those relegated to poverty. The only excuse not to do so is greed.

  • meganithappen

    Dooce! Love the post, of course…though I must say the anti obama health care ads on your site are confusing. :)

  • kristaly

    To Hallock: I’m a pediatrician. The AMA is not run by the government. It is run by doctors. Sure, we lobby, but we have very little “power” compared to the for-profit insurance industry. Which is why there is a problem. If the goal of the business is to provide the LEAST amount of care in order to have the maximum amount of profit, there isn’t much motivation to provide care–and you certainly don’t want to take on anyone who might be high risk–like those bastard hay-fever sufferers. Good God, what if they wanted allergy medicine?

  • jazzellis

    I am super-happy about the health care bill passing!

    My main reason for leaving this comment, however, is that I went to that flyer’s website, and I just had to give you this lovely tidbit (from another flyer) that nearly made me pee my pants giggling:

    “…they do not want homosexuality to be exposed for what it really is: a sexual conduct of sodomy, self gratification, toys, that should be kept private.”

    What?!

    I am totally hoping that they do not expose my private self-gratification and toys! Ha!

    People are so bizarre.

  • heather0131

    Please, Heather, write a blog about the picketers, with their racial and homophobic slurs (Not to mention the way that man with Parkinson’s disease was treated). I am so embarrassed and disgusted by these displays that I am unable to adequately articulate it. But if religiously reading your blog has taught me anything, you can!

  • throughthelinz

    Le sigh.

    I grew up in a very conservative, very Southern Baptist household in Central Texas, so over-the-top sensational rhetoric is certainly nothing new to me. I’ve even managed to maintain contact/friendships with some of the people I grew up with, despite my bleeding heart, liberal, feminist, vegetarian ways.

    HOWEVER, yesterday via facebook (of all places) I was reminded exactly why I left Central Texas, the church, and conservatism behind. I am still astounded by the hate and racism expressed by so many people in such a public forum after yesterday’s vote.

    I mean, HOLY SHIT! THIS is democracy, people! THIS is what the majority wanted and needed. THIS means my brother can have an actual (NOT provisional) diagnosis and treatment for his Crohn’s Disease, and that my parents won’t have to pay $1400 per freakin’ MONTH for basic coverage and ridiculous premiums.

    But what do I know? I’m just a lowly government bureaucrat giving benefits to veterans through the VA. Because that’s not socialized healthcare or anything.

  • reymiland

    Just saw you and John on the 9 o’clock channel 13 news.

    Two words: John:comb.

  • karen ethier

    But, Heather, you are a bit mistaken on the ‘pre-existing condition’ issue with this health care bill. Do you know the fine to insurance companies for breaking the law and denying a person coverage? A mere $100-a-day for one year. That’s only $36,500. So if they think you are going to cost them more than that for, say, a surgery you need they will deny you and pay the fine. This is not reform. This bill is not well-thought out. It panders to too many special interest groups. And it still allows insurance companies too much power. That is where they should have started – simply regulating insurance companies.
    I urge you to SERIOUSLY read the fine print. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice for all health care to be free for everyone. A wonderful, idealistic view. But the fact is, NOTHING is free. If you read the fine print of this bill you will see that it does NOT address the concerns of Americans. As a matter of fact, it panders to special interest groups. I would LOVE to have affordable health care. I just don’t think this bill is going to solve the affordable issue. Yes, the health care issue needs to be addressed to make it affordable for all but not with this bill. If some people are so willing for THEIR taxes to go up to pay for it, well, that’s their choice. But I don’t seem to have a choice here. I thought our country was founded on choice. But choice keeps getting whittled away more and more. Increasing taxes, pandering to special interests, robbing Medicare, these are not ways to solve this issue. We need in-depth thought and research. And we need to try things one step at a time. Let’s first start with regulating the insurance companies. They are the ones that are running the show. Now, I’ll take my deep breath. And here’s something else that my husband picked out of the bill (he’s reading the whole thing): the discrepancy between what insurance companies can charge a smoker vs. a non smoker is now going to shrink dramatically. What do you think the insurance companies are going to do, lose money? No, they will raise the rates of the people who don’t smoke. There are a lot of details in this bill just like that example. So EVERYONE will pay more, not less. This bill was not thought out properly. Insurance companies were given too much. Just wait and see what a fiasco this will be. (Deep breath again!)

  • mmh

    This has to be one of the most depoliticized comments on this bill that I’ve read. And it makes sense. The fact that this bill was decided down party lines just goes to show that the Republicans in the US hate it simply because it’s Obama’s plan. They don’t want to hear the rational side of it. This is soooo frustrating. I am sending this link to the next person who rants about Obamacare.

  • vvlkova

    Thank you for this post! I am definitely on your side! Sorry that you had to deal with that flyer- at least you do not believe it like a lot of people. Keep it, it will be part of history. :)

  • Realisa

    I am a mother. I am a doctor. I own my practice and so I am also a small business owner. I see and feel this health care bill from every angle. It is not a perfect bill but it is movement. What currently exists is NOT sustainable. Healthcare should not be an “industry”. The health and wellness of our citizens (and visitors…b/c frankly the non-citizens that are marginalized wait too long to seek care and use the most expensive access points, the ER)should not be part of our GDP. Maybe….MAYBE we can now get to real discourse and debate. And muzzle the punditry.

    The pamphlet is no joke. These militant “real Americans” are serious. Our own brewing domestic, home grown terrorists…does anyone remember Timothy McVeigh?

  • Lucy mom

    Thank you Heather for this. I think it takes courage as a blogger to take a stand on an issue that is so politically charged. And it is really important for all of your readers to hear your story, to know why reform is so important to so many families. I am one of the lucky people in today’s society – I have an employer who recognizes how important it is for workers to be able to take care of their health (and their families). I know many aren’t as lucky as me and I believe this is something that must be addressed in our society.

    I’m not going to get into arguing the various points of health care reform with anyone. I think it is a straight-up issue of civilized societies doing the right thing for the good of our larger community. I have great respect for what you have done in this post.

  • sherardson

    I am also new here and i am still in the process of learning things in this site. I just accidentally saw the site and i registered
    Only One word to characterize such a great post “WOW” that was a very interesting read
    Muscle Boost

  • Vander

    @jazzellis: Laughing so hard right now. Thanks for sharing that.

    And @dooce, thanks for opening this up for comments. What a diverse group of readers you have. I’m glad it has (for the most part) been civil discussion on here. Too many other sites are terrifying in their hatred today.

  • undomestic

    HAY FEVER?!?!? Are you kidding?!? No offense to anyone, but I am so glad I am Canadian.

  • MichelleBarra

    Hay fever is an insurance-denial-worthy pre-existing condition?!?! Goodness gracious me, most of my snot-nosed family here in Australia would be denied insurance! I hate to think what else is deemed worthy of denial – Ingrown toenails? Cold sores? Wanton incredulity?

    Yippee for health care reform. I hope it all comes to pass SOON!!

  • sardonnica

    What about the 2012 fanatics? Maybe health care won’t matter when the apocolypse comes. Right!?!?! ;) Or maybe the government KNOWS the apocolypse is coming, and they are building metal ships in China that only the elite chosen will get to go on and they are using this healthcare bill to distract us! OMG!!!!!!! THAT HAS TO BE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • momtoOandA

    For many of us in Canada, watching the US struggle with healthcare reform is somewhat difficult to understand. It isn’t perfect yet, but a step in the right direction.

    I, and most people in Canada, get health and dental insurance for free from their employers. And the idea of ‘losing’ your insurance because you become sick seems so bizarre. Isn’t that why you buy insurance?

    Since my daughter was born 10 months ago, we have been regulars at our family doctor’s office – for vaccinations, well baby checks, weigh-ins, consultations on a fever, check-in on a rash… all free. She has been to see an eye specialist to see if she is showing signs of a lazy eye that her brother has and has been to a pediatric allergist to test for a milk allergy. Free and free.

    I can get her in to see our family doctor the day I call if I sound urgent enough and we have not waited for longer than 2 months for a referral to a specialist.

    Healthcare should be a basic human right in any country – but especially the richest country in the world.

  • BigMamaCass

    I could not agree with you more. 110%

    As far as the flyer…OMG! That is BULLLLLL! I am livid just reading it and it wasn’t on my door! *shudders*

  • former-miss-know-it-all

    Yes Dooce, post more political stuff. It’s great to be able to have an intelligent discussion about pertinent issues, without someone getting super defensive and crying foul.

    Isn’t it ironic that the idea of health care for all had it’s genesis in Massachusetts, with a Mormon governor named Mitt Romney. I lived there when he hatched his health care plan, and all Mormons were calling him a visionary because of it. But when Obama does the exact same thing, suddenly it’s socialism… which again is ironic when you consider that Mormons covenant in the temple to adhere to the Law Of Consecration which is basically religious socialism (giving what extra you have so that those who are without are provided for).

    It also seems a bit ironic that the states that are most against this bill are the states that claim to be the most Christian. Yes, I bet Jesus is on the side of the Capitalists and the insurance CEO’s. When he was driving the money changers out of the temple, what he was saying was, “Why are you waisting your time HERE, when there’s so much more dough to be made on the sick and dying?!”

    It is a shame that the nut jobs are using the scare tactics about the United States being pitched in to a financial abyss over this. It’s simply not true. Our debt as a nation, in comparison to our GDP is nothing..maybe two or three percent. We are rock solid as a nation and healthy people make for a healthier workforce so we are poised to be even stronger in the future.

  • smoemeth

    I think the HCR bill as passed is a steaming pile of crap — not for the reasons the wingnuts are espousing, but because it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Nothing short of 100% single-payer is an acceptable system, and unless and until we have that, we are still going to be held hostage by the insurance companies.

    I’m happy for you and your family in that you will now be able to purchase private insurance, but I hope you’re prepared for the trajectory of your premiums, since this legislation does not include any meaningful cost controls or insurance industry regulation. Also, I hope you continue to be as successful as you are, because once everyone is required by law to purchase insurance from this still-unregulated bloodsucking industry, it’s the freelancers and low-middle income people who are all going to be royally screwed.

    And that’s not even getting into how every American woman of reproductive age got thrown under the bus just to make this whole fiasco happen.

    Finally, that flyer you got in your door doesn’t surprise me in the least. People need to wake up and realize just how much trouble this country is in. The wingnuts are out there, they’re getting organized, and they’re *armed*.

  • katy910

    Heather,

    I have been a long time reader but never really commented. (I lied, I tried for the xbox….didn’t win). I have always really appreciated your and Jon’s views on health care. In fact, some of Jon’s posts on his blog taught me a lot. Reading this post nearly brought me to tears. I woke up early this morning to find the bill had been passed, and was so excited.

    To the people that believe this is not perfect legislation, while that may be true…it is a step in the right direction and let’s face it, with the way government works after health care did not pass in ’94 under clinton if it didn’t pass now it would have been another 30 years before we got a chance at it again. And facts are facts, compared to the rest of the world… our system is pathetic.

    Last week, I went to pick up food at a local bagel shop with some friends (i live in long island) and there was a man with posters put up with pictures of obama with hitler mustaches, the captions “I’ve changed” and “Impeach Obama.” The pictures he had up were horrific and his message full of hate. I could not help myself.. and ripped some down. I could not handle that in a predominantly jewish area (although I am not) this man was comparing our president to Hitler. He was comparing this bill.. to the holocaust. It angered me to the point where my friend and I asked (maybe not so nicely) this man to leave, and I told him I thought he should be ashamed of himself and he was disgusting.

    I’ve learned, most people regurgitate what they’re hearing on foxnews (or something comparable) without actually educating themselves first, and forming their own opinions. Whatever buzzword they go with (socialist, radical liberal, etcetc) spreads like wildfire. And as much as I like to believe I live in “liberal” new york… the hate and the ignorance is everywhere. Let’s face it…most of our government officials haven’t even read the whole entire bill.

    Anyways- I share in your joy today. I can relate to needing insurance. I’m 24 and recently laid off thanks to our excellent economy with chronic stomach pain and migraines, doctors have told me to get more and more tests that I just can not afford. And now I can go under my parents plan again. I don’t have to live in constant pain. And i know my story SEVERELY pales in comparison to others, but it is still mine. Today was a victory for the little guys like me and you and I’m damn proud I lived to see it.

    thank you for sharing that joy with me <3

  • Rich

    I live in a country with universal health care. There are no socialists around, there is no one talking to my doctor. Has anyone checked wiki for the term, socialized medicine? Wow!
    I see any doctor I want and since I am self employed, I pay for this myself. It is about $60 a month for a family of 3. I pay about $5 each time I see a doc and do not pay for meds.
    I made an appointment this week to have a mole checked ( thanks Dooce) and could have gone in same day to see specialist.
    That Americans believe all this trash the tea party and faux news puts out there is pathetic. It is pure hype and politics. It is sad really. I feel sorry for the people who do not know that US pays the most for their health care and does not get the most or best coverage. Amazing and sad.

  • eocookie

    Heather-
    I will try to be short as I see a lot of other people have not been. I have been a lurker on your site for quiet a while and I felt the need to speak up about this post. It makes me so happy that you have educated yourself so well and understand what the upcoming changes mean. I appreciate that you provide links to your readers to that they can become well inform. I like you have a pre-existing condition (depression and gad). I thankfully have health insurance through my job but there may be a day when I wont be in the postition I am now.

    I did not read the comments people wrote because I am sure some of them are horrible but kudos to you for this blog!

  • SexGrinch

    I love it when you get all political on us.
    *smooches*

  • Cheryld

    Wow! Thanks for putting a human face on this very real problem. I had no idea someone could get turned down for insurance due to the pre-existing condition of hay fever! I personally do not think the bill goes far enough, but it is a step in the right direction. Thanks for the great post!

  • Bowleserised

    “Didn’t the Nazi’s universal health care involve special ‘health camps’ where you could receive a ‘shower treatment’?”

    This is hilarious. And terrifying.

    The German healthcare system was a nineteenth century developement; can’t blame that one on the Nazis. For the ignorant, here’s some information:
    http://www.amiexpat.com/2009/08/18/health-care-in-germany/

    For the record, I’m from the UK where we have truly socialised medicine, and I didn’t notice any of my peers disappearing into death camps, nor did I ever stand before a death panel. Morons might care too remember that we fought against the Nazis. The welfare state was our reward for that.

  • sneakertick

    Hayfever? Really? That’s like getting denied because of acne. Geez.

    Btw, yes, people do get denied health care, even at the ER, even if they can pay out-of-pocket, even if they have insurance. Sad but true.

  • Mindylyndy

    I have lived in a country with socialized medicine (Scotland). Do I think it’s perfect? No.
    Heather is right. This bill is not meant to establish socialized medicine in the U.S. It is a bill that is providing basic health care to individuals who have been discriminated against by insurance companies and for those who cannot afford to pay sky-high premiums. It is a step toward making affordable health care attainable; which, in my opinion, is a basic right that should be available to all.

  • suburbanmummyuk

    I live in the UK and from the outside looking in to your country I can only see this as a good thing. I can see that people who are on the poverty line or below might actually be able to see a DR now. People who are organ transplant recipients can have more ease.

    I think it’s great that finally something positive is being done for the people of America

  • windowlicker

    I was originally denied for health insurance from two companies because I apparently have “a recurring disorder that effects my kidneys.”

    You know what I’ve had that caused this? Two UTIs in a three year period. That is all. No joke.

    I think people want to hate on health care reform just because they want to find something wrong with America actually showing an ounce of care for its citizens for a change. Or they’re stupid and greedy.

  • amgmom

    I appreciate how you phrased your post. I think on the whole, most people who consider themselves conservative (as I do) would not go for what was on the flyer. And I also think being denied for hay fever is crazy!
    My husband and I look at this from the standpoint of a small business owner. As a SBO, there will be a minimum of 8 new taxes levied on his company to cover the people who will now be part of the MediCare program. There will be a tax on his payroll, a tax on the insurance he offers his employes if some IRS worker deems it too much/good. There will be a tax of around 4% on the salaries of his employees that make over $200K and these are the easy taxes. After all is said and done, my husband’s company’s accountant and lawyers have said it may be cheaper in the long run to fire all the employees and hire them back as contractors (it’s an internet ad business). This would eliminate at least some of the extra $$ the gov’t wants back.
    My husband and I do agree that healthcare needs to be reformed- but we do not think it should have been done in such sweeping fashion. Tort reform, interstate competition for ALL insurance companies, dealing with big Pharma–taking things in smaller pieces and doing it well would have been more my fashion.
    What we have now is a bill/law that even effects student loans. Not exactly what most conservatives wanted.
    Thanks for your thoughtful post.

  • sarah b.

    Thanks for sharing! It’s important for people to see how REAL changes are happening for people. My mom has Lupus, can’t find any affordable insurance in Texas, and also doesn’t get disability. The simple fact that this bill means she can’t be flat out denied will make a HUGE difference in her life right away.

  • cici

    This issue is a hot spot at our house. We own our own businesses as well and finding affordable healthcare that is worth anything has been a challenge. WE DEFINITELY NEEDED A REFORM. Hopefully this is the right reform. Becasue Lord knows it won’t come around again for a loooonnggg time. More importantly (yes more important than hc reform!) is that our leaders start working together to solve our problems and strengthen our country. The time for partisan politics is LONG past. We really don’t have the time or money for Washington to continue their in fighting…. My idea to send that message is here: http://www.getbettertogether.net

  • ter-o-fla

    It does not bother me at all when you get political. Life is political, whether we like it or not.

    I am very relieved that there is going to be at least some health-care reform. It may not go far enough, but there is hope.

  • cablearms

    Welcome to the land of universal healthcare. You guys can now know how it feels to have to go to the doctor and only worry about the wait time in the doctor’s office waiting room instead of being sent away as you have ‘hay fever as a pre-existing condition’. I know it may sound like I am making it seem so inconsequential, but I am not. As a Canadian, while the political arena here may seem boring and stodgy to the outside world, one thing I am very proud of is that the people are actually cared for, specially the ones that need it the most, the sick. No one has to wait in line for a shower treatment or the death panel… imagine that!

  • lkarelee

    If I could choose between directing my taxes to healthcare for a middle-class family with pre-existing conditions or sending my taxes to Iraq…..hands-down – I choose healthcare.
    YES WE CAN!!

  • hippiedaze

    Very sad that people are so afraid of change. This is probably the best thing that could happen to the states.

    I thank my stars everyday that I’m from Canada.

  • mariann

    The flyer in your door is very similar I’ve heard to the ranting that went on when Medicare and Social Security were being proposed. The country would go to Hell and would become a Socialist nation if either were enacted said the naysayers.

  • amymasson

    My daughter had torticollis too, but luckily we were able to correct it at home with a few stretching exercises. I’m so glad we didn’t need to go to physical therapy, because when she was diagnosed, at two months old, our insurance was still busy denying my emergency c-section!

    Man, those were fun times.

  • alh071

    2 things:

    First, homosexuals AND lesbians?! I didn’t realize we were so dangerous that we needed to be separated out from the other homos!

    Second, I cannot believe Jon was denied health coverage because of HAY FEVER. It’s bad enough that you were denied because of depression and Leta because of her (resolved) torticollis, but HAY FEVER?! That’s really messed up.

  • crazycatladyinthemaking

    I just loved this piece. “Hope had a very big weekend.” North of the 49th parallel, it’s thrilling to witness all the Hopey Changey life altering stuff happening for you all with the added bonus of some breathtaking basketball thrown in. Reclining in the comfort of our universal-coverage and gay-marriage-are-so-boring-and-ordinary Canadian living rooms, we have the best seats on the continent.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=macgregor/100322

  • tanyaself

    Unfortunately yes people do believe this especially here in TX. What scares me most is that some will act violantly because of this change. We all deserve decent healthcare and I hope that information becomes wide spread to the people so the panic can subside.