A scary story - the public option?

By: Peter Yellowlees | Posted: 04th November 2009

Why is Congress so afraid of the public option as part of health reform? Why are politicians getting so worked up about a system that every other Western country already has, and which works so well in all of them? Why do they not want to extend Medicare, a widely supported and valuable system that even the most ardent republicans are now praising? Why are they afraid of a competitive system that will force insurance companies to be more honest and keep their premiums reasonable? Why do they want to seemingly continue with our current broken expensive inefficient health system?

Is the public option really that scary?

Of course not.

So let's look at this question? What are the reasons?

Doubtless some politicians have strong philosophical views that preclude them supporting the public option - that is fair enough, and at least they can tell their constituents without any health insurance in perfect honesty that they would like them to remain in the same uninsured state for the foreseeable future.

Others are clearly in the pockets of the insurance companies, and have listened to too many industry lobbyists giving positive presentations containing inaccurate data. They have taken contributions from the companies, and feel a sense of alignment as a consequence. They may even have some of these companies based in their states, allowing them the self-deception that they are helping retain jobs in their own states by opposing the public option.

But most of them are scared. They are scared of making decisions. They are scared of change. They are scared of losing their seats, and their power and influence. They are scared of upsetting their current position. They would prefer to retain the status quo, and are afraid of a different world. We need to examine why this is the case. What will make them less scared. What will give them the courage to stand up and promote change, when it is so patently needed?

Members of Congress need to understand that if they can identify this fear, as fear of change, that they will be able to conquer it and move forward. Congress is well known as a slow moving place, where change happens at a glacial pace, so it is hardly surprising that our representatives are suddenly scared of the rapid pace of potential change, and are frightened.

And it is true that some of them have much to lose. They may be up for re-election and feel considerable pressure from advocacy groups and funders. But they have to make a decision. Do they stand up for themselves, and do something right? Do they make a vote to save lives? Do they try and help save the life of the many people currently dying needlessly in our wonderful land of plenty? Do they take the advice of 70% of doctors, like myself, who support the need for a public option to help keep the health system more honest?

Fear of change can be overcome. Remember that a life without change is often boring and monotonous. Think how much more fulfilled our Congressmen will feel for having done the "right thing" and voted to implement change, and a public option in healthcare. Change is essential in our lives. It opens up new vistas and opportunities. When you face change, and overcome it, you can then go on and face more changes in your life and successfully overcome them. And enjoy your life more.

Our politicians need to overcome their fear. The public option is not really a scary story. Change must be embraced. They need to do the right thing for themselves, for their constituents, and for their country. This way they will grow, and will become bigger and better people. For that is what happens when you embrace change and move on and overcome your fear.


Peter Yellowlees MD has recently published "Your Health in the Information Age - how you and your doctor can use the Internet to work together". It is available at http://www.InformationAgeHealth.com and most online bookstores.
This article is free for republishing
Printed From: http://www.a1articles.com/a-scary-story--the-public-option-1216366.html

Back to the original article

Tags: alignment, honesty, pockets, health insurance, current position, insurance companies, constituents, medicare, politicians, premiums, different world, status quo, health system, members of congress, health reform