The amount of money we spend as a nation on health care is going to double in the next 10 years. 14,000 people lose their health insurance every day. Forget quitting your job if you have something wrong with you; you'll never get insured again. HALF of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills.
There is something, perhaps, wrong with the health care system in this country. And it's so big, and so unwieldy, that obviously something needs to be done at the national level.
What SHOULD happen is that Congress passes some kind of comprehensive health care bill that will allow every person in this country to have access to health care at a reasonable rate that he or she can afford. It better include some kind of preventive care incentive and probably needs some price controls. As part of my job, I sometimes have to look at medical records, and I was just looking at one itemized bill that listed hydrocodone tablets (i.e., Vicodin) at 18 dollars each in this particular hospital. When you can get a prescription filled at Wal-Mart for FOUR BUCKS, there's something seriously fucking wrong with this picture.
What WILL happen is that Congress will pass some sort of watered-down, cobbled-together mess that won't work and will cost way, way, way more money that anyone can imagine and that everyone will hate. There are a couple of reasons for this:
(1) Members of Congress are basically owned by, and beholden to, lobbyists and major donors, and do you think those lobbyists and/or donors are people who have just gone bankrupt due to medical bills? BZZZZZZZT MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE CLASS PLEASE. Do you think maybe it's health insurance companies and doctors and people who make $18 vicodins? BING BING BING BING YOU WIN A GIANT STUFFED PANDA.
(2) Plus, you got the right-wing crazies out there like the guy I heard on radio yesterday saying that Obama is like Hitler (no joke) because the health care bill encourages old people to kill themselves. THE HOST OF THE RADIO SHOW AGREED WITH HIM. I've got to scour this bill and find that provision now. These nutbars are fucking loudmouths and people (i.e., Republican politicians) pay attention to them and they influence national policy to some extent as a result.
(3) Then there's the fact that you could easily set up a national health insurance plan and charge people between 1 and 2.5% of their income for it and everyone could be covered but no one wants to talk about what would be considered a new tax and plus the insurance companies are all like "WAHHHH WAHHH IT'LL PUT US OUT OF BUSINESS" and wouldn't that just be the saddest day? Because your health insurer is your BIGGEST BESTEST FRIEND and wants nothing more than to give you all the delicious health care you need.
So we'll get the plan we deserve. It won't work, you won't be covered, and it's going to cost more than 3500 gold-plated F-22 fighters with a DVD player and a bidet.