Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Latest Thoughts on the Healthcare Debate

I am back from a long weekend away and aside from the latest spin on the anti-Obamacare mob, there isn't much else I've learned about the health care reform effort. One thing that is almost as certain as death and taxes, is the wishy-washy "conservative" punditry and Republican moderates who have plopped down in front of the news camera once again to denounce the latest sentence spoken by Sarah Palin and the latest raised fist by the common folk who have attended townhall meetings over the past week. Once again, when Pelosi speaks ill of average Americans, the "conservative" beltway elite is there let her statement marinate long enought to find themselves believing that even her most ridiculous lies must have some grain of truth.

So, David Brooks and even Charles Krauthammer have issued the latest obligatory scolding to the unwashed masses, in exchange for sitting next to Mark Shields and keeping jobs as the resident conservatives at the New York Times and Washington Post. Oh, the respect these fine gentlemen receive from liberals, conservatives, and the ever important independent fence sitters who make the world go round when they decide to pay attention 2 months out of every 4 years. If only more of us could extract from our blood our passions of ignorance and stay above the fray. Let me say though that Charles Krauthammer is usually right on, but even he is not immune from looking downward from the perch at the little guy.

Fresh in my memory are the heavy street tactics of the Iranian Basiji and the lack of "meddling" on Obama's part. I fear the Republicans will put forth the same effort in defending those who once made up a large portion of their base from unwarranted verbal assaults and modest physical attacks and threats from hardcore Democrat activists. Those attending these townhall meetings along with Sarah Palin have received double barrel criticism from the MSM and the great moderates will slowly begin their criticisms as well. If the healthcare bill is passed, many Americans will have nowhere left to go but a 3rd party; one of great financial poverty, but perhaps the only party left with a penny of inspiration for individual freedom.

- Sarah Palin wrote a Facebook message recently, decrying the "death panels" that would result from H.R. 3200. Where does this woman come up with such rhetoric of the reactionary? Hurry David Brooks and David Frum, tell me why she is "insane" and how she is cursed with such troubling discourse! Then tell me of the time of reason when Ted Kennedy valiantly sounded the alarm and saved the U.S. from a Supreme Court Justice who would've forced women to rely on "back alley abortions". All I keep hearing about is cost, cost, cost, getting rid of those wasteful medical tests, we spend $6,000 more per person each year on health care than other western nations, stopping tonsilectomies, giving the 100 year old lady a pain pill instead of a pacemaker, cost, cost, cost, deficits, spending too much on healthcare, red pill, blue pill, end of life counseling, panel of experts. Just where oh where does Sarah come up with such delusions?

- I read in the Wall Street Journal that as a nation we spend nearly $2 trillion per year on healthcare, but still 46,000,000 Americans are uninsured. O.K., so are these 2 numbers supposed to convince me we have a problem? According to www.census.gov, the U.S. currently has 307,147,983 (307+ million) people living within its borders. If we were to subtract 46 million from this number, we see that over 261 million are insured. This would mean that people in the U.S. spend on average $7,629 per person in healthcare costs. Using this $7,629 figure; if the entire U.S. was insured, the U.S. would be spending just over $2.35 trillion per year on healthcare. So, if I changed what I read in the Wall Street Journal to read, "the U.S. spends just over $2.35 trillion on healthcare each year and everyone is insured", how does that sound? You know the saying; "your money or your life".

- If the H.R. 3200 or any bill quite like it passes, those who are so vehemently opposed and the great majority of Americans who say they are opposed to this kind of health care reform need to hang on to the memories of these latest months. Do not forget those representatives who admitted they don't have time to read the bill, said you reminded them of KKK during debates over civil rights legislation, or made news by saying that you brought swatstikas to visit your congressman. These are the words of the overprivileged court of 535 kings and queens, many who have reigned for decades and regularly re-districted their kingdoms to keep their electoral advantage and ruling power. These are the rulers who do as they please during off-election years and take full advantage of today's short memories the election year after. These are rulers who refuse to retire their power at 80 or 90, when many of us break our backs for 40 years and pray that we might live a little while past 65 to enjoy at least some years off the clock. There are so many bright and wonderful contributors to this society yet we have a political system with a door closed to most all except the very rich and connected. We all should know that this is not how it needs to be. A campaign can likely be won these days with less money than it took to win 50 years ago. This information age can make anyone relevant overnight. All it really takes is a vigilant public; perhaps an unlikely hope and wish, yet not one out of the realm of possibility.

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