Healthcare Funded by Cigarettes

Now this is totally ironical, isn’t it? Health care reform funded by cigarette tax money. Great idea if it actually could get off the ground. Pennsylvania gave it a good run for the money, but found out that despite what everybody “said” no one wanted to actually “do” anything about it.

Super idea, right? Give everyone access to health insurance in the state, with a particular focus on the uninsurable and those without insurance access to health care. Really, what a novel idea, and it would work in other states as well with the political will and enough motivation.

Well, it appears those two words were in short supply when it came to actually putting the idea into action. The general population in Pennsylvania liked the idea and thought it had a great deal of merit. The politicians, seeing a chance at future votes, decided to get behind the plan and give it a boost. Problem was no one could agree on anything. Now really, when have a whole group of politicians EVER agreed on anything that involved spending money?

Isn’t that a downright shame that the political infighting caused the idea to be stillborn? An idea, by the way, that would have made an enormous difference to the over $30 trillion (yes, trillion) dollar Medicare deficit. Programs that run that far in the red are in serious trouble. This isn’t to say the whole deficit would have been wiped out, but even part of it would have helped.

Once again those elected tanked a viable idea that actually had the potential to help people get access to health care insurance. What is wrong with that picture? A great deal if you consider the ramifications. The political figure you once voted for decided not to help you because they could not agree on how to spend the money. The rub here is being unable to decide how to spend the money, the potential access to health insurance was taken away from you.

Health care and the health care deficit are major issues in every state, and not just at election time. Every year, there are media reports about the high costs of Medicare and what is the government going to do about it? Every year, the number of uninsured Americans gets higher and everyone wonders what the government is going to do about it. We might as well continue to wonder, as there doesn’t appear to be any “doing” going on.

To “do” something would mean having to agree on issues that involve partisanship. Odd when you stop to think about it, as those elected are supposed to be in the House because they represent YOUR interests on issues – and one of those huge issues is the Medicare deficit. Kind of reminds you of that old saying (with a bit of an adaptation); “Those that can – do. Those that can’t – are politicians.” Really people, squabble all you like, but please remember that our access to Medicare is something we need, want and demand.

So, what we have here is an issue that burns brightly daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and yes, even for decades – the Medicare deficit and zip has been done to accomplish anything. Why is that? Nobody really wants to solve a problem that is going to cost them some big bucks.

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