Friday, March 19, 2010

Health care reform: an historic moment

SUNDAY IS LOOMING as an historic day in the test of whether America will move beyond its current version of a caring democracy. There will be a vote on a tattered and smattered health care reform proposal that has served to rally the worst instincts of American politics against even the mildest form of civilized behavior. Even for the excesses of politicians, the health-care fight has lowered us to the edge of a banana republic, where easily refutable lies and obfuscation have revealed a Republican Party without any claim to respectability. It has embraced unspoken racism from the Old South and recruited some feeble allies from across the aisles who have been shown to be sharing the zillions of dollars in bribes from the health care and pharmaceutical industry in the form of legal political contributions.

In their desperation to find a sane response to the health bill, the shameless Republican opponents have had no credible answer. Instead they have repeatedly given us a vision of death - death taxes, death panels, job killers. But they have conveniently ignored the large number of Americans who actually die each year for lack of health insurance. No other advanced western country need apologize for such neglect.

For the white-guy southerners on Capitol Hill, there has been more than one ugly glimpse of how, in their vengeance, they hope to destroy America's first African-American president. Their regressive battle cry has been Sen. Jim DeMint's notion that if health care reform fails, it will be President Obama's "Waterloo". It has been more than a casual thought of his brethren in the Senate. It is fertile with meaning.

Thanks to the resistance on the Right, the bill is a skeleton of its original purpose, but it is more than what we have now. The foolish talk that we need to start all over again is just that: foolish. It will be grounded well into future administrations. .

It has taken more than a year of gutter talk, from the bizarre Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs and their wannabes, to reach this crucial point in history. For the have-nots, it will be a helping hand if it passes. But for Obama's opponents, it will be a dream come true if it fails. For the nation, it will tell us of whether we can move intelligently on the business at hand, or be sorely troubled in the months and years ahead by a cancer that is spreading up on the Hill.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but the idea that people who oppose Obamacare are nothing but racist, uneducated bufoons that want people to die is extremely insulting. The fact of the matter is that there are LEGITIMATE criticisms of Obamacare. In addition, there are numerous FREE MARKET solutions that could help expand health care coverage in America. Anyone who watched the health care summit a few weeks back saw these ideas presented in a very articulate manner by Republicans like Paul Ryan and Lamar Alexander.

Both sides in this country need to move away from the name calling and work towards elevating the discourse. Covering your ears and shouting "racism" at any opposition does no one any good.

Grumpy Abe said...

Trouble with FREE MARKET SOLUTIONS is that they are never free - much like free agents in sports. But it seems like you are quite sensitive to raising the issue of racism in this debate. As for Paul Ryan, don't know whether you are getting Medicare coverage; would you feel the same way if his proposal took it away? Even today, co-pay Medicare has increased the cost to government (you!) enormously. .

Anonymous said...

I am not on Medicare, much like Social Security that program will be bankrupt long before I get to retirement age. That is why many people believe adding a new entitlement program is borderline anti-intellectual.

As for Paul Ryan, it is misinformation to say that his proposal would take away Medicare. He actually addressed this claim JUST TODAY while speaking before the House Rules Committee. Unfortunately, the Democrats on the committee clearly have no idea what they are talking about when questioning him.

Here is the video:

PJJinOregon said...

Three points:
1. The current debate is NOT about health care. It's about power.

2. Free markets gave us the housing mortgage mess. Even Greenspan admits that the free market failed. It will again.

3. The pro-life group wears blinders. They want to protect the unborn but leave the already born to suffer w/o health care.

Grumpy Abe said...

TO THE ANONYMOUS RACISM-DOUBTER: When folks in the tea party rally on Cap[itol Hill start shouting "nigger" at Rep. John Lewis and "faggot" at Rep. Barney Frank, do you sense that there is something in the wind that Republican leaders like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell ought to loudly repudiate immediately? Or might they quietly consider it helpful to their cause? Please don't be insulted.

And PJ: Yes, power is at the root of it - ill-sought and ugly, to say the least. The GOPers will never get over the pasting they took in 2008 and their sulk grows each say.

Anonymous said...

Re health care reform, a note from Jesus to those Christians who oppose it:

"Anything you have refused to do for any of my people here, you have refused to do for me.....Matthew 25: 41-46