The ‘Morning Joe’ panel had another passionate healthcare discussion and a little of doomsday predictions for President Obama thrown in for good measure. Republicans are trying to say that the troubles with healthcare will be Obama’s Katrina, meaning that he will never recover, and he is now a lame-duck president.
This morning’s panel consisted of Joe Scarborough, Nicole Wallace, Katty Kay, Harold Ford and Howard Dean. Harold Ford is a conservative corporatist Democrat who usually agrees with Joe Scarborough. Howard Dean took issue with the other members on the panel because he thought that in nine months; health care would be the forgotten subject because the troubles would be behind them.
The discussion took a different course when Nicole Wallace challenged Howard Dean when he said that insurance companies should not be allowed to sell junk policies. Joe and Nicole said that all young people needed were the cheaper catastrophic policies. Nicole also said that people resented the government having the final say on what should be included in a basic policy. Howard Dean said consumer protection is a must because insurance companies have been ripping off their customers for years. Nicole Wallace said that insurance commissioners should make that determination. Howard Dean said when he was governor he would not allow those junk policies to be sold.
It wasn’t until I got my first job with benefits that started weighing my insurance options. I tried using what I had discovered on my mom, who was throwing her money away her whole Life insurance policy. She would have none of it because the insurance salesman was a family friend; in fact, when he came to collect, he often ate breakfasts or dinner. Yes, she had freedom to choose her policy but when she passed away, we all had to pitch in to defray the cost of her funeral. I’m glad I didn’t convince her because sometimes you have to work around what’s better financially and what is practical.
I believe in consumer protection and the freedom to choose. You have the freedom to go buy a junk truck, but if you want to drive it on our highways, it has to meet inspection. It’s the same way with healthcare insurance, if the policy doesn’t cover the basics; we’re back to square one. Republican Representative Fred Upton’s bill that will be voted on today will allow insurance companies to sell policies that predate Obamacare in yet another attempt to derail the Affordable Care Act.