- CRITTER TALK
At this very moment the president is hosting a summit in an effort to pass some type of health care reform. In attendance: the usual collection of Republicans and Democrats. The president made an opening statement and talked about the passionate emails he had received from folks who were in dire and desperate straits for want of affordable health care. Several of his fellow Democrats followed suit:
In their opening statements, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid focused largely on the why of health care reform instead of the how. They told the stories of people struggling with their health insurance and didn’t do much to tie it back to how their proposals would make life better for those folks.
When it came to the Republicans there was no mention of human life or suffering. Instead there was the cold-blooded discussion of money, and twisted statistics, carefully couched in seemingly sympathetic tones. Here is an example of an exchange between the president and Lamar Alexander:
President Obama said it’s untrue that the Congressional Budget Office says that Democratic reforms will raise premiums, as Republican Sen. Alexander said. Alexander interrupted Obama to cite the CBO report’s findings. And Obama refuted Lamar’s reading of the report insisting that it didn’t say premiums would go up, but that people would choose to buy better, more expensive insurance.
The president is well intentioned but he should know by now that the Republicans don’t give a rat’s red rump about the suffering of people. Their only care is the potential suffering this reform may cause to the insurance industry. When Harry Reid speaks of dying mothers and anguished fathers the republicans are thinking about angry CEO’s and campaign coffers:
The Republicans are a wholly owned subsidiary of the health insurance industry…..Anthony Weiner
This is a sham. It is an embarrassment to the nation as are the Republicans who take us all as fools by subverting the facts in a continuing effort to cloud the real issue, which is America’s health care system is broken and people are dying.
Almost immediately following Barack Obama’s inauguration the Republicans began their campaign of obstruction, obfuscation, and prevarication. The Republican National Committee and the insurance industry poured over $263 million dollars into a nationwide televised effort to convince the American people that reformed health care was very, very bad. They managed to persuade everyday rational folk that reform would mean death panels, back breaking taxes, government takeovers, and other nonsense. They painted the democrats and the president as fascists, socialists, and murderers. It worked.
The majority of the American people are now opposed to health care reform, not because it is bad for them and the country but because the republicans have convinced them that it is bad for them and the country. It appears that the Democrats will lose seats, possibly a lot of seats, rivaling even the 1994 congressional upset, partly as a result of the Republican campaign, but also because of the dithering of Democrats who can’t even keep their own majority together.
I am hoping the President and his men have called this summit for two reasons. One of course is a final, sincere, and very public effort to demonstrate to the American people that every effort is being made to work with the Republicans, despite their obstructionism. The other, more importantly, is to lay the groundwork for reconciliation:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that Democrats haven’t suggested that reconciliation is the only way to pass reform. While that may be technically true, Democrats and the White House have said that they’re prepared to go the reconciliation route if they don’t get Republican support. And if the first 45 minutes of the summit is any indication, Dems will be using reconciliation.
In conclusion the only real losers in this debate are the American people. The politicians will keep their Grade A health care and their cushy jobs, at least for the most part. The Republicans will luxuriate in the praise heaped upon them by the Tea Baggers and the Democrats will continue to wring their hands and blame everyone but themselves. If reconciliation doesn’t work, or if the Democrats don’t have the courage to pursue it and do so quickly, the bill will die and so will the hopes of millions of Americans…..
Michael (MadMike) ScottClick here for reuse options!