Thursday, July 30, 2009

Health Care: The Dirty War

The battle over the President's health care initiative is gaining momentum. I have previously aligned myself with the forces calling for a drastic reform of the US health care system, and if anything, I think that the bills currently making their way through Congress don't go nearly far enough. However, those who profit from the status quo are clearly mounting a counter-offensive in an effort to kill health care reform yet again.

Last week, a colleague sent me this link, purportedly an official Congressional chart showing the structure of the health care organization after the proposed reform. If you open the link you'll be shocked and amazed at what appears to be a byzantine maze of bureaucracy. Perfect. This is exactly what the powers behind this document want you to think. However if you look carefully, you will see that this is not an unbiased document, it is, in fact, a biased piece of propaganda, a weapon, if you will, in the dirty war for the future of health care in this country.

This document, while apparently stored on a legitimate Congressional server, was prepared by the Republican Staff of the Joint Economic Committee (see lower left hand corner of the document) and was submitted by Kevin Brady , Republican Congressman of Texas who, according to the Washington Post, has voted with his party 94.5% of the time in the current Congress.

Well, some of my colleagues took this document - which is intentionally designed to look confusing and intimidating - to be the actual proposal put before Congress. If the chart is so confusing, goes the rhetoric, how can the actual plan be any better?

Here is my take. I am not versed in the full details of the bills that are now circulating through Congress, but what I do know is that if you resort of misinformation or misdirection to drive your point home, something is truly wrong here. It may very well be that Congressman Brady has some productive points to contribute to the discussion. Hell, he may even have the holy grail of health care which he can deliver to Congress to the sound of grand applause by the American people. If so, let him be constructive. However, from reading the papers and watching the talk shows, it seems to me that Republicans are simply doing their utmost to scuttle the President's health care reform, regardless of the consequences to the American people. Forget about being constructive. Forget about finding a solution to a critical problem effecting all of our lives. All that seems to matter to them is the chance to deliver what they think will be a critical blow to the President's political standing.

I think enough is enough. Health care must be reformed. We all know it. Even those moneyed interests who stand to gain from maintaining the status quo (only they are cynically pushing for their short term financial interest, rather than for the long term betterment of society). If you have valid points to make, make them. Come to the table and argue for the type of change you would like to see, but enough with the scare tactics, misdirection and politics already. We need leadership, not idiocy.

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FV said...

The GOP has ceased to be a party of ideas. What they stand for
is obstructionism and disinformation. Their only guiding principle has become "I hope Obama fails". This may work with their shrinking base but in the long term this party is doomed to political irrelevancy.

Anonymous said...

I've read through much of the bill and while most of the GOP criticism are either intentional or incompetent misreadings of the bill, I believe there are some real issues worth debating. Unfortunately, there's apparently no one in a position to mount such a debate with the Republicans in full attack mode and the Democrats on full press.

One of my biggest concerns is that we already have too strong a link between employers and health care and this bill strengthens that link by an order of magnitude. Health care insurance should be much more similar to other forms of insurance than it currently is.

There are good things in the bill as well, such as standardized minimum coverage levels in different plan packages.

Shadox said...

Ren - you're one up on me. To be honest, I have not read the bill. All I know is that the current situation cannot be allowed to continue. I understand that there are concerns with the current bills being discussed. That's fine. My point is that productive discussion and problem solving is called for, not demagoguery and political scoring.

FV - Look, I hate the position that Republicans are taking, being the party of "no" and let's sabotage all proposals at any cost, however saying that the Republican party is doomed to eternal opposition and irrelevancy is ridiculous. The pendulum swings. It was only a few short years ago when the Republicans owned both houses of Congress and the White House and people were saying the Democrats were forever relegated to outer darkness. Nothing is forever, and thank God for that.

There is only one thing that can be guaranteed: just like Republicans turned power mad and dirty and had to be removed from office, the Democrats will suffer the same fate. Power corrupts.

Just look at our one party state of California...