Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Health sCare (health care reform part 1)

Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed by the 111th Congress as the 111th United States Supreme Court Justice. She is a woman. She is Puerto Rican. She grew up in public housing in the Bronx. Fine example she sets. The top taliban leader in Pakistan was killed by the United States. Former President Bill " Big Dog" Clinton talked two American journalists, from Al Gore's Current TV, out of North Korea's hard labor camps. So many people have taken advantage of the Cash for Clunkers program it has been approved to get more money. Along with helping auto dealers sell cars, it's fuel efficiency requirement has played a significant role in June's jump in average gas mileage (the largest in years). Saying this program is a failure is like saying a concert is a failure because it was sold out. Sadly, another plane crashed into the Hudson. This time, tragically, after colliding with a helicopter. There were no survivors. And newly released documents prove rover and miers' direct involvement in the political firings of US attorneys.

Now that all of that is out of the way, it's on to the health care reform "debate" that has Stephen Hawking and republicans (along with the Democrats who aren't afraid to speak) calling "bullshit" on protesters' ridiculous claims and lies. And by protesters I mean concerned citizens asking pertinent questions at "town hall" meetings on health care reform.

Here are some Fun Facts regarding the current Health sCare Reform "debate":
There are no "death panels" in the House Health Care Reform Bill, despite what republicant sentors, ex-governors , and faux journalists have to say. The "end-of-life" services in the legislation do not refer to euthanasia. They refer to hospice and assistance to the family in the last days of a loved one's life. To quote one republican, on the House committee through which the bill passed, referring to these services as "death panels" is "nuts". Though there is something that could be construed as similar currently at private insurance companies. There are no provisions in the House health care bill for "rationing" "abortions paid for by tax dollars" or "health care for illegal immigrants". You, or if your employer provides it your employer, can choose to keep your current insurance under the House health care bill. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did not call protesters "un-american". She said "[d]rowning out opposing views is simply un-American." She didn't call them "nazis" either. She said they were carrying swastikas, which they were. A swastika was recently painted on a Congressman, who happens to be black,'s house after his town hall " discussion". On a more positive note, the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, PhRMA (the trade group of the pharmaceutical industry) SEIU (the service employees union) and the AARP all support and are pledging millions in support of the health care plan. No need to remind me that there were deals made for some of this support, but I'm not afraid of a good compromise if it extends health benefits to 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured.

Violence and wild eyed hate is not the usual debate for a 1000+ page of legislation. A lot of the vocal protests seem to have little to do with the proposed bill itself. The more I hear the concerned citizens entering the free speech town hall debate on health with nothing to say but "I am afraid of Obama", the more I am afraid for him and for America. Bringing a loaded hand gun to the President's town hall in NH? They took my key chain when I saw Candidate Barack Obama speak in New York. Armed militias are on the rise. More guns and knives are showing up at town hall "discussions" on health care. Why? Who's responsible for distributing and pushing all the disinformation and slanderous comparisons? Look no further than lou "you gotta put a stake through his [Howard Dean's] heart to stop him" dobbs, rush "adolph hitler, like Obama" limbaugh, glenn "obama is a racist" beck, and sarah "death panel" palin, to name a few. They are calling fire in a theater, and throwing gasoline on the flames they create, along with the teabag/birther organizers who want No Reform at all. They, and handful of old politcos like dick "no nickname needed" armey, are responsible for being so irresponsible. Remember when the guy got tasered after refusing to leave the lectern for asking a volatile question? Remember the anti-Iraq war protesters being rounded up in NYC and held in a warehouse? Remember when the right wingnuts were referring to those of us protesting an unnecessary, illegal, pre-emptive war of choice as "zealots" and "nazis". I guess hanging US congressmen in effigy, threatening their lives, shutting down public meetings and shouting down elected officials so they can not speak isn't that bad to them. Billions for killing? Good. Billions for health? Unacceptable. I wonder how many of the protesters use the VA, are on medicare, or would be helped by the legislation they are being used to oppose. I wonder if the republicants that oppose "government run health care" will shed their tax payer funded federal employee health care plan to buy private insurance of their own. I say no government run health care for Congressmen and women who say they oppose it, and that includes the VA, Medicare, and TriCare.

Americans are dying and/or going bankrupt because they can not afford health care or their insurance provider has denied them treatments. The thought of this issue as the politics of a "win" or "loss" for the President or a political party is disgusting. Defending Health Insurance companies, who made a 428% from 2000-2007 while dropping one to two million people per yer from their roles isn't much better. The House bill is an attempt at extending health benefits to 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured. This debate should be about finding a way to provide health care to average and low income Americans versus the current corporate model, which puts the bottom line ahead of the health of Our country's citizenry. About whether or not we should treat the issue the same way we do police protection or national security or car insurance for that matter. Instead, it's a "debate" about whether a government providing for its citizenry is socialist.

Enough about the faux debate. I'm going to go read the 1018 page H.R.3200 - America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (full text, summary).

To your health!
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA

P.S. This same crap's going to happen during the Climate Change Bill debates.