On Facebook, a former colleague wondered why there was so much anger about the proposed health care plan. Seemingly she didn’t understand why people would be so angry about such a good idea.
I wanted to take time to respond thoughtfully, because I’m one of those who believes there is a need for health care reform, but not sure that I understand what is being proposed and secondly, I not sure those proposing the idea even understand what it is they are proposing.
Before he was running for President, Barack Obama was an unabashed supporter or a single-payer system. But now, trying to appease all sides, he now wants a hybrid reform bill that he neither wrote nor seems to know much about.
It is my belief that the current bills in Congress are simply a trap to bring us to a single payer system. It would be more honest and refreshing if both the President and the Congress would admit it.
In the bill Congress supports (the Senate is still working on a variety of approaches) there are about 1,200 pages and not one Congress representative admits to even reading the bill. If you plan to make fundamental and sweeping changes to something as important as health care, you owe it to your constituents to read the dang bill. Every rambling, lawyer inscribed page of it.
Secondly, when did angry protests become such a problem for Democrats or the left. Heck, they basically invented the organized protest. Which brings me to my next problem with the health care debate.
It is not a debate at all. President Obama said he just wants all those who oppose his bill to get out of the way. Democracy and a Republic simply don’t work that way. Did then Senator Obama or the Democrats get out of Bush’s way when he wanted to push his agenda?
Just because you get elected President doesn’t mean you own the football and can decide all by yourself who plays the game, who wins, who loses and whether the game is played at all. You would think Democrats, after the last eight years, would understand that better than most.
The greatest community organizer of recent times shouldn’t complain that someone is using community organizing to be heard on a matter of great importance.
Let’s not forget we have already seen trillions flushed down a drain on rushed legislation both before and after President Obama’s election. If you go back to my postings from September 2008 you will see that I was totally opposed to the first bail out and remain opposed to all those since.
The first Obama stimulus plan was supposed to arrest unemployment at 8 percent or below. How did that work out? People don't believe their President and they don't believe their representatives anymore. Who could blame them?
Lately, we’ve seen Congress drop another $3 billion so my neighbors can buy a new car, subsidized by me and you. The Cash for Clunkers ran out of money three months faster than Congress anticipated. Imagine if they miss the mark that much with health care.
Wanting to confront a congress representative is a time honored right and tradition in America. Angry mobs are what brought America into existence. So don’t get mad at the mobs, get mad that you can’t explain what you are trying to do. It’s not my style, but as long as it works, the left and right will continue to use it.
The fact that none of this even goes into effect for three or four years gives us time to debate and work on a real reform for health care. And not a plan that just pleases Congress and the President, but one that the majority of the people will be satisfied with as well. That only makes sense.
My political leanings are basically Libertarian. I have little use for Republican or Democrat hacks. They live where the air doesn’t move. They abuse corporate CEOs for flying on private jets at the same time they are ordering an 8-plane private fleet for themselves.
They have the world’s best health care. They have a choice of top private medical plans and access to their own clinic and doctors. When asked if they will scrap their plan and join the one they propose for us the answer is pretty vague.
So here’s my idea. I think health care reform is an extremely important issue, one that needs to be addressed sooner than later. Of course, Social Security and Medicare are other extremely important funding issues that also need addressing.
The Congressional races are coming up in 2010, I think both parties should come up with their best plans for dealing with health care reforms. They should also explain how much the plans will cost and who will pay for them and how. Then the folks running for office should choose which of the plans they support and run on that.
That will basically turn the 2010 mid-term elections into a referendum on health care reform. People can vote for the single-payer plan or a reform plan that stops short of that. Then based on the results of that election, then Congress will have a sense and maybe even a consensus of what people want.
But what we don’t need is Congressional representatives shutting down debate or maligning folks who are expressing their First Amendment Rights, organized or not.
So Jennifer, I don’t know if that explains why people are angry, but the lack of respect for dissent – on both sides – is a disturbing trend.