It’s no coincidence seven of the top 20 search terms on Google in the past hour relate to the health care reform bill passed last night by the U.S. Congress. Plenty of Americans have feelings about the bill’s passing, but in reality, few understand what it means for them.
Already, there’s a wave of opposition that threatens a single-term presidency for Barack Obama, but it seems silly his efficacy as our leader would be judged on this one bill which won’t entirely take hold until 2014 — two years after the next presidential election.
Here’s what I mean to say: People want to be really, really passionate about health care reform without taking the time to know what it means. Health, I realize, is a very personal issue, but reform can only be looked at through a broader lens. This will provide 32 million previously uninsured Americans with coverage. This means children will no longer be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. This means college graduates entering the worst job market in decades could still have coverage under their parents’ plan. This means cheaper prescription drugs for Americans.
Stop me if all of these things sound too good. I’d hate to sway your opinion. Besides, it’s my opinion that legislation is never as good as we want it to be or as bad as we fear it might be.
I’m avoiding the soap box today and encouraging each of you to read up on the health care reform bill. This is arguably one of the most important pieces of legislation in a generation and you won’t go long today without hearing a heated debate about it. It’s important you know the facts, and these come from the most unbiased sources I could think of:
From BBC: Q&A: US healthcare reform
From Toronto Globe and Mail: Obama staked it all on health care — now he’s assured of his legacy
NOTE: If you’ve read any interesting articles from other unbiased sources, please send them this way.
In the past 24 hours, I’ve observed plenty of unrequited adulation and vitriol on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve even been hooked into a few exchanges. This is just one of those topics where passions run high, sometimes without justification, often without constructive dialogue. It seems most of my friends and colleagues working or planning on working in the health sector are virulently opposed to reform. Those of my friends who support seem to be, well, Democrats.
You know I love all of you, but if you’re going to be so embolden to posture an opinion, please be so kind (to yourself and others) to make that opinion an informed one. Anyone can yell. Anyone can come up with a dozen clever ways of saying “I disagree, here’s why you’re wrong.”
All I mean to say, really, is be sure of why it is you support or oppose this bill. I dare you to step away from the partisan implications and come away with an opinion that’s not informed by your voting record alone.