Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts. Thank you. I know so many people who cannot get health insurance right now. I know others who can't afford it. I'm glad that my children, when they are adults, will regard that sort of situation as unbelievable. I'm thrilled that none of my kids will be stuck in the wrong job, simply because a pre-existing condition keeps them from switching to a better one. I could cry with relief knowing that I won't have to empty my retirement account to help out an adult son or daughter who might become unable to obtain health insurance.
I know some of my readers think that Obamacare is a bad thing. But please understand that we are one of the only first-world countries where citizens routinely go without medical care, where hardworking people are bankrupted because they drew the short straw in the cancer lottery. Please realize that, in a country as rich as ours, there are third-world style medical missions taking place ALL THE TIME, because we have not had policies in place that would ensure access to basic healthcare for everyone. That's just not acceptable for the greatest country in the world.
Government takeover? Hardly. Insurance companies are still firmly in place as the gatekeepers to health care. Obamacare merely sets up exchanges (done individually by states) to facilitate the purchasing of health insurance from these private companies. Federal workers already purchase their insurance from this type of exchange. It provides a broader range of choice and fosters greater competition among insurance companies. Sounds pretty capitalist to me...
There's still work to be done, of course. Medicare needs to be reformed, with its fee-for-service structure being replaced by salaried doctors with less incentive to perform unneeded tests and procedures. Mental health needs to be covered more comprehensively, so suicidal patients aren't kicked out of their psychiatric hospital just because their 5 allotted days are up (to name just one problem with the system). DENTAL should eventually be included in general health insurance. Our mouths are part of our bodies, people. Go figure.
But for now, this is enough. This is more than we dared hope for. I'm off to order my Team Roberts T-shirt. Anyone else want one?
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