President Obama is enjoying a bit of vacation time as summer comes to an end and before the kids go back to school. The summer of town halls, death panels, and gross misinformation will soon be coming to an end. The award for most entertaining has to go to Congressman Barney Frank’s town hall. After the noise, President Obama will get a health care reform bill passed by the House and Senate and signed into law.
Health care reform is and has always been health insurance reform. At a minimum the bill that will emerge will eliminate the ability of health insurance companies from kicking people off of insurance due to so-called pre-existing conditions right when people need it the most. If the bill does not include a public option the bill should at least eliminate the antitrust exemption for insurance companies, which should lower costs by creating competition, preventing collusion, and price fixing by insurance companies.
Whoever doubts that health care reform is needed should consider the work done by Remote Area Medical. The organization who has been featured on 60 minutes for the free health care services provided in rural America recently provided free health care services for residents in Los Angeles. During their 8 day stay they had over 14,000 patients performing services approaching $3 million all free of charge.
Here is where the conservative argument goes wrong: If government run health care will lead to rationing of services, panels, government bureaucracy long lines etc. why would people choose it. Costs. Health care will costs more if nothing is done to stop the rising costs of private insurance. Now that the President is a Democrat Republicans are concerned about the deficit when Republicans who controlled Congress during the first six of Bush’s years created the very deficit they are arguing against. Maybe repetition will help here. Republicans created the deficit. Republicans created the deficit. Republicans created the deficit. They cut taxes for wealthy Americans, waged two wars one unnecessary and unprovoked and will costs Americans about $1 trillion. When Clinton left office there was a government surplus and the economy was in good shape. Republican President and Republican Congress dreadful economic conditions, budget deficits, and wars. Republicans created the deficit. Republicans created the deficit. Republicans created the deficit. Democrats in the House and Senate must restore tax rates to what it was during the 1990’s, this will eliminate a substantial portion of the deficit, as well as withdrawing troops from Iraq saving billions of dollars per month.
Another interesting aspects of the health care debate is the refusal of the mainstream media to lay out facts about what is being proposed. Instead of talking heads yelling at each other, the conservative spewing lies and misinformation and the liberal trying to provide reason and truth. Why doesn’t news anchors simply lay out the facts about what is being proposed without commentary. Perhaps it is because they would be considered liberal outlets for simply laying out facts. It appears that for over two decades the conservative right has been at war with intelligence, reasoning, and of course science.
The town hall debates reveal ignorance and misinformation on part of the American citizenry. Perhaps due to the right wing war on intelligence, reasoning, and of course science. Most Americans cannot name ten Presidents, can not find the United Kingdom on a map. Only about 29 percent have a college degree. Some show up at town halls with guns. Some do not know that the government runs Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Some show up with pictures of the first African American President bizarrely dressed and compared to the ultimate symbol of racism and hate. People do not know the difference between fascism (which is identified with authoritarian right wing regimes exploiting racial conflict proclaiming racial supremacy and economically corporate capitalist regimes) and socialism (identified with the far left, democratic countries such as Sweden and Norway who provide free health care and women get 480 days off of work after child birth). Some Americans are not educated on the details of the issues so they hear bits and pieces often from right wing radio which they believe to be news and not entertainment. They hear bits and pieces from colleagues at work who get the same information from AM radio. Instead of taking the time to learn truth for themselves or hear counter arguments people would rather follow the latest Jon and Kate news. As President Truman famously said, “I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who’s hitting you? It’s about time that the people of America realized what the Republicans have been doing to them.”