Saturday, March 27, 2010

Healthcare Bill Passage: Truth and Consequences

Well, the eighteen month fight over healthcare, and who controls our healthcare, is over. Obama and his House Democrats pulled off an impressive, hard fought victory. While I oppose even the concept of someone, especially the federal government, having a say in my personal health choices, I commend them on their tenacity and ability to stay on message; both the hallmark of any good media campaign. I’m sure Joseph Goebbels is looking up from his fiery abyss and smiling.

Of course, I’m still a little puzzled about some of the comments made by various House Democrats. A number of them commented that they were casting their vote in favor of the healthcare bill to demonstrate their “commitment to the American People”. Some claimed they were “standing with America”. Really? How do you do that when poll after poll, partisan or independent, show Americans so overwhelmingly (around 65%) opposed to this healthcare bill in any form and you ignore them? How is that “standing with America”? Approximately 15% of Americans lack some form of healthcare while the remaining 85% have some healthcare coverage (their level of satisfaction, I’m sure, is a measure of degree). So, again I ask, how is making the majority pay for the minority is a good thing? Isn’t that simply involuntary wealth distribution by other means (a polite way to refer to the theory of socialism)? It reminds me of the little add-ons our cable or phone companies put on our bills to for those who can’t afford cable or phone service to have it (mandatory charity? If so, why isn’t it tax deductible?).

What happened to the America where one went to school and studied hard and then went out into the world to earn their own way? What became of our pride of competition? We’ve watered down our education system in the name of equality, and now we’re watering down our healthcare in the name of “equality” and imposing what could be crippling costs on businesses and individuals. We have mediocre school systems producing a host of mediocre students who, in many instances require remedial education just to qualify for a job, and now everyone will get the same mediocre, rationed healthcare instead of the quality of healthcare we’ve earned through our hard work. Costs (and coverage) are best controlled through more competition not less. I suppose the good news is that there will be quite a boon in the underground healthcare economy. No more dealing in just prescriptions and cosmetic surgeries.

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, on returning to Louisville after enthusiastically casting his vote in support of the bill, said that he was “proud” of his vote and that if it resulted in his defeat in November, he could retire happy. I’m sure many Kentuckians wish Mr. Yarmuth a happy and early retirement. I have yet to hear, however, what Mr. Yarmuth sold his vote for. No, I’m serious and I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all. If you’ll recall, there were several House Democrats pretending to be “on the fence” over their votes. Obama promised them billions for this or that project in exchange for their vote. Politics as usual. So, anyone know what Yarmuth got for his vote other than a warm and fuzzy feeling? By the way, you just have got to love how Obama used our money to bribe our representatives to vote for something that most of America didn’t want.

Something else happened with this vote that’s a little unusual. In most cases, after either party supports something unpopular (such as the GOP did with its impeachment of Clinton), the public gets angry and gets over it. Not in this case. Several Democrats have not just been threatened (nothing to usual about that I suppose), but a few have had their office windows knocked out. I heard one comment that this was “just politics and no one should resort to violence”. Another said that we “no right to get violent with elected officials”. I certainly agree that there is no place for violence in American politics. Our best weapon remains the ballot box; however, our Founding Fathers may disagree when it came to dealing with a tyrannical government. For better or worse, many in this country see an out of control federal government becoming ever more tyrannical, and that’s scary.

Personally, my suggestion would be to lay off the threats, bricks or whatever. That will only get you jail time and nobody is of any use in jail. Instead, pickup a megaphone or sign. Show up wherever they are. Picket outside their offices; picket outside their homes; picket outside the restaurant they’re eating at. The same goes for their legislative aides. Get involved in their opponent’s campaign. Register people to vote and remind them what their “non-representing” representative is doing. Call in whenever they appear on a TV or radio show. Always be polite, non-violent and civil in any of these endeavors. Remember, the objective is to remind them that their votes have real consequences. Never let them forget for a moment that they work for us.

As for the oft used phrase of “standing with America” by Democrat House members, I suppose its intent was engender some sense of comradeship with the American People, when it fact, it just made it easier for them to pick our pockets once again.

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