Recently one of the family members of the Flying Wallendas traversed a wire no thicker around than a cigar, strung between two cranes eighteen stories above the ground. He went one way on foot and the other way on a bicycle. Before he set off to set a world record he was asked if there was some form of cushion that would suddenly appear if he looked like he might fall, or indeed, did fall. He quickly said that he would never have something like that for this stunt nor would he practice with a net because it would give him a false sense of security.
I began to think about the false sense of security so many Americans have with their health insurance. We pay exorbitant premiums to feel as if we will have a safety net below us if our health deteriorates and we fall off the wire.
Yet, in testimonials on television and out of the mouths of our presidential candidates we have learned that even those of us who are insured really have no more of a safety net than those who have no insurance. For if we get sick there are employees hired by our insurers to find every way possible to deny coverage for tests, procedures and medicines that might make the difference between life and death. For many of us being denied by our insurers leads to something akin to death: bankruptcy.
It is well known that Republican candidate John McCain has declared that our system of health insurance needs to be completely revamped and he's the guy to do it. He has set forth a proposal to give every working family a $5,000 health tax credit. Analysts have concluded that this health tax credit will be taxed in other ways so it is not a true tax rebate and it will not even cover the cost of a health insurance policy for the average family who usually must pay at least $ 12,000.
Further, he would take away regulatory oversight in his plan much as he has voted to take it away in the economic sector (and we have seen the results of that)! His plan will make sure that whatever small safety net we now have will evaporate over time until we are all thrust headlong into the marketplace to fend for ourselves.
What makes McCain's plan so odious is that he has always had a safety net for himself where health care is concerned. He was raised in a military family where medical care is always covered in full. Some have even called it the perfect socialist system!
When he became an adult, he joined the Navy and continued for the next twenty-two years to receive the same socialized medical care (that means FREE) as he had when he was his father's dependent. Then he ran for the U.S. Congress and finally ended up a U.S. Senator where today he still lives off the tax payer funded medical plan that he would deny to all other citizens.
The man with the perpetual safety net just doesn't get it, does he?