Friday, August 14, 2009

The Doctor Will See You Now….. Finally

My three faithful readers may have been curious why I have not weighed in on the contentious health care reform debate that has been raging in recent weeks. Been traveling folks. In late July we flew to Michigan to visit our friends Pete and Shirley for a few days before riding together to Buffalo where Pete and I attended our 50th high school reunion. Yeah, I know. I find it hard to believe myself.

Loi and I then drove on to Schenectady to visit her brothers and families. The day after we got back I headed back across the border for the weekend gathering of the annual UDT/SEAL (NW Chapter) Assn. Yesterday we finally got back to Whistler…. Just in time for rain and 50 degree temps.

I have been paying attention to the debate and the unfolding drama as Obama and his left wing allies try to ram “health care reform” (later focus group renamed “insurance reform”) down the throats of Americans. Obama proclaimed it had to be passed before Congress went home for the August recess even though the final version of the bill had yet to be completed by either the House or the Senate. What finally emerged was HR 3200, another 1100 page behemoth that the President himself had not read even as he tried to sell it.

Of course, none of the esteemed legislators had had a chance to read the Stimulus bill, the spending package or the Cap and Trade bill either. John Conyers (D-MI) laughed when asked if he’d read the bills and opined that no one reads them and if they did, they’d need two lawyers at their side to figure them out. Hilarious. The Obama Team knew that if anyone, especially the citizens, actually had a chance to read what he intended to do to American health care and American freedoms that resistance would grow.

Democrats have enough votes to ram this thing through without a single Republican vote. But, the “Blue Dog Democrats” and those in districts won by McCain could see their political careers flashing before their eyes and refused to vote on it before recess. As they headed home to meet with constituents, people started to read the massive bill, distill it down to bullet points and distribute it on the internet. You can read a synopsis of HR3200 at: The whole thing is online if you have the time and inclination (and a couple of lawyer friends). As people read the thing with deep misgivings already over the quick accumulation of massive debt (five times larger than Bush’s biggest) and concern over the sagging economy, they started to rebel. Huge numbers of angry voters began turning up at politician’s town hall meetings. The Dem leaders responded and with the assistance of the MSM began calling these citizens “un-American, “Nazis” and a “mob”. Harry Reid called them “astroturfers”. This is a time-honored technique of the Left: accusing your opponents of the dirty tricks you yourself employ. Consider the irony that it was Obama’s campaign manager, David Alexrod who perfected the Astroturf Strategy and coined the term.

The Democrats then immediately called out ACORN and union thugs to disrupt and dominate the protests. George Soros donated $5 million to help the reform effort and the pharmaceutical industry agreed to kick in $150 million in exchange for restraint by the White House in pushing for drug price controls. Someone should remind the CEOs of the pharma industry about the story of the frog making the deal with the scorpion for a ride across the river.

With support for reform slipping badly in the polls and Obama’s popularity with it, BHO decided to go into campaign mode, confident that his charm would turn the tide. Obama sufferers from the ego driven conviction that he can fool most of the people most of the time, especially when protected by the likes of ABC, NBC, Time, etal. Thus, he feels no need for restraint in telling untruths. He’s told some whoppers lately. For example, he stated he was not in favor of a “single payer system”. Unfortunately, he was caught on tape a couple of times during the campaign saying the exact opposite. In the early going he said the purpose of health care reform was to contain costs. The CBO came out with an estimate that the cost of this thing will be about one trillion dollars. He told an audience during his own “town hall” that AARP had endorsed the bill and the next day AARP denied it. He said there would be no rationing, Medicare would not be cut and that there would be no bureaucrats deciding to terminate treatment for seniors. If you check out the link on HR3200 above you will quickly find that all of those statements are ….. Well, lies. Despite a protective press, people are catching on that you cannot trust this guy.

The take over of the health care system in the US has never been about containing cost, covering the uninsured or improving health services. Some 85% of Americans are happy with the health care system. (Ironically, 88% of Canadians, who have a single payer system, say they would prefer to go to the US for their health care than receive it in Canada.)

As pointed out by Mark Steyn in a “National Review” piece entitled “Dependence Day” (July 20, 2009) that 45 million uninsured number is BS. One fifth, he says, are not Americans (illegals would be covered under the proposal), Medicare covers another fifth, two fifths are young and don’t care because they will live forever and the other fifth are wealthy and choose to self-insure.

The take over of the health care system by government is purely about power and control. It will, as Steyn points out, insure that once implemented, left of center governments will prevail forever. The UK and Canada, both with single payer systems provide a perfect example for, however imperfect, it becomes the proverbial third rail of politics. It has the power of life or death over citizens and they are fearful of attempts to cut services further.

Then too, the British National Health Service has 1.4 million employees in a nation 1/3 the size of the US. This massive bureaucracy that has more managers than doctors, wields considerable political clout. If you look at the huge new bureaucracy that HR3200 proposes to administer nearly every aspect of citizens personal and financial lives, you can see where Obama plans to create employment and, Democrat voters.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this monster is the intrusion into the freedoms of Americans. Steyn states that: “A government-directed medical system can be used to justify almost any restraint on freedom.” He points out that smokers in Manchester, England have been refused treatment for heart disease and obese people in Suffolk told they are ineligible for hip and knee replacement. When you turn over decisions for your health care to a bureaucrat with instructions to cut costs, your individual needs get tossed out the window. A headline in yesterday’s “Vancouver Sun” proclaimed that due to cost issues several thousand surgeries had been cancelled and hundreds of health care workers laid off. Too bad, folks.

I am at a loss to predict where this thing will go. The Democrats might ram it through thinking they will never have another chance like this one. They might calculate that losses in the 2010 election are acceptable and that since the law would not actually kick in until 2013 that people will have forgotten and Obama can get re-elected in 2012 while retaining control of the Senate. On the other hand, they might decide to try to modify the plan to get some Republican support for a compromise. Right now they are losing serious support among seniors and independents and those groups make the difference in elections… especially if they turn out in large numbers. Obama, Pelosi and Reid have tremendous egos and are drunk with power. They might well decide to say the Hell with the public and cram it through.

If the idea of turning over your life to the government does not appeal to you it might be time to get off your ass and do something. Contact your representative, email everyone you know, attend a town hall meeting or write a letter to the editor. If you’re happy with the idea of a government bureaucrat coming into your home and telling you how to raise your kids or what to eat, or that “Sorry Mrs. Jones, that surgery you need is not available at this time because of budget cuts”, do nothing. Your choice. Good luck.

1 comment:

Heide said...

So, if you guys get sick in Canada do you have to pay up front for care or do you come down to the US? I'm just curious how other countries handle illnesses and injuries of foreigners (regardless of legal status). I can't imagine that someplace with socialized medicine is too keen on footing the bill for foreigners. I've not read the health reform bill down here, but I'm curious about how the bill proposes dealing with the issue in the U.S. because obviously it's a big expense.

ps, I finally found my copy of Duck Hook that had been printed and left in one of my girl's rooms. Very funny!