Sunday, September 20, 2009

Government Takeover?

 A few nights ago I saw John Boehner on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.  He tried to justify the "just say no" republicans  opposition to any of the health reform bills pending.  I may have missed something due to my frequent memory lapses, but as I recall the present theme of the republican's opposition is --
  • There is no Tort Reform (or Tort Reform is not strong enough.)
  • Budget busting price tag.
  • A government takeover of health care.  (This is the 'biggie')
Taking them one at a time:    
TORT REFORM  was enacted in some states (most notably Texas)  and was a dismal failure. It did nothing to bring down the cost of health insurance.  A study of Medical Malpractice Reform done by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation   3 to 5 years after it was enacted  found that premiums were not lowered.  Even if premiums had been reduced, this is a small component of health care costs and had no impact on reducing overall costs.   You can read the findings here:
PRICE TAG - (see previous post).  Ultimately the savings more than offset the costs.
A GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE -  This one gets tricky because if I had my way it would be correct.  However, it is NOT correct in the current bills that are being considered now.  Therefore, that is not a valid excuse for not supporting reform.  Even the Public Option (Medicare for all) was dropped from the terrible Baucus bill.            
I have repeatedly given my reasons for a single-payer health system.  It is the only one that eliminates the biggest reason that our health care system is so fragmented and costly - the profit made by a few large insurance companies and by the pharmaceutical companies (who now spend inordinate amounts of money advertising drugs that need a prescription  from your doctor).         
But there is another reason for the Public Option: some things are done better by government.  Social Security and Medicare are the best examples of a government run system as opposed to private industry.  The republicans tried to scuttle both of them using the same tired arguments they are using today.         
The big bad government is out to take over your life like they do with gasp) Medicare, the insurance for veterans and current government workers like your Congressmen and Senators.   Which individual that is the recipient of these government services would willingly give it up?   Reality Check:  There are some things that only a centralized government can do in a country with 50 states and an array of contradictory and confusing laws.              
The U. S. Postal Service does a wonderful job, in spite of gripes about it.  Think how quickly a letter goes from NYC to LA now.  Then there is Transportation, the regulatory agencies like the FDA (making sure your food and drugs are safe), Public schools offering an education for everyone, the FAA, and, dear to the heart of conservatives, the Department of Defense.  State governments regulate things that make us safer like the Police Department, Fire Department, speed limits, etc.   Many of these regulatory agencies came into being after private industry failed miserably to do a good job.           
We all agree that the census is accurate in spite of the monumental task to achieve the results.
All these things are  doing the job at the least cost.  (Remember, there is no profit.)        
To sum it up, there are no VALID reasons for the conservative opposition to health care reform in it's  current form.     The republicans whine that they weren't included in the process.  This is not true.  Obama bent over backwards to get bi-partisan support and, in so doing, lost control of the message.  He is now having to do double time to regain it.      
They simply refuse to help Obama because it might stop them from their dream of a Republican take over of the House and Senate in the next election.  Politics trumps everything else.  They are playing the same game they played for eight years; whether the legislation is good or bad, they vote as a bloc no matter the consequences.        
Why do I keep fighting?  The following quotes might explain why.             
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." --Samuel Adams --'  
Personal note:  I am really disgusted with Blog Spot.  I have spent hours trying to put spaces between paragraphs,  eliminate unwanted spaces, etc.  I have it looking fine and when I post it (saving it all first, you understand) the spaces are gone or double spaces are where I don't want them.  The text is a different color, etc.  Blog Spot is really messing with my mind.  However this comes out I am posting it for the umpteenth time and what you "sees' is what you 'gets'.  


Nancy said...


Please do not worry about how your spacing or print color appears on your site. We are reading and absorbing what you are saying and not what it looks like.

You remind me of a boss I once had who used to take a new 2,000 page
book of Government regulations and throw it on my desk saying,
"Read this and tell me what it says." What he meant was "How do these regulations pertain to me or to my business?"

It was my job to reduce the regs from 2,000 pages to about 200 pages of regulations that were of interest only to us.

That's what you are doing with this Health Care Bill. Until you began to reduce it to a size that we could all understand, I was thoroughly confused. I would think What does "Public Option" mean? You explained that in such a fashion that it became clear to me, and I'm sure to others.

You are telling us who the obstructionists are and who we should call or write to to express our approval or disgust. I have done both, thanks to your advice.

So, Darlene, the last thing you want to worry about is what color or size the text is. That does not matter.

What matters is that you keep writing the truth and informing us about what we can do to make this Health Care for Everyone a reality.

Rain said...

on the editing problem, are you using Edit HTML mode to do it? If you are, then I'd write to blogger and try to see what is going on. Edit HTML mode normally lets you take out all code and then put in what you want

la peregrina said...

Love what Nancy wrote about you making the health care bill understandable and I agree with her completely. Adding my "thank you" to hers.

Rummuser said...

Ditto Nancy.

Darlene said...

*Nancy - You make me feel so much better with your sweet comment.

*Rain - Yes I am using Edit HTML and the more I try to fix it the worse it gets. Blogger doesn't have customer care and you have to post your question to other bloggers. I hate that because I seldom get a helpful answer.

*La peregrina - Thank you so much.

*Rummuser - Ditto to Nancy to you.

Looking to the Stars said...

I agree with Nancy also. Sorry you are having problems with your blog. I am working out the weird things in mine. I had to delete the friend follower thing and a number of other things.

It still isn't right but I can make comments now. Am going to try to do a post next.

Hang in there kiddo

Anonymous said...

Darlene--Blogger and I have never gotten along, so I don't know what to tell you about your editing problems. Good luck in solving them!
You do a great service to your readers in "digesting" a lot of the information that is swirling about out there. Keep on keeping on, please.
Cop Car

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I really hate having to solve computer problems, not having a geek bone in my body.

Cop Car - Thank you for the nice comment. I don't think I can stop if I want to. It has become an obsession. After legislation is passed (or not) I hope to stay away from politics for awhile. It's hard on my blood pressure. ;-)

karin said...

Darlene, I agree with Nancy, don't worry about how it looks, just say it. You do make things clear. Did you sign that petition to Harry Reid that's been going around telling him to not let Baucas or whatever his name is remove the public option. It's on Credo, the activist arm of Working Assets.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I finally get over here and read your very informative post...and you are so frustrated over the technical mess that Blogger always seems to put you through. I'm so sorry Darlene. I wish we ALL could be tech included. You've had your problems with Blogger from the day you began your blog it seems. We love what you have to say, so don't get discouraged sweetie. It may not always come out perfect...but it's perfectly okay to us. ~Joy

Darlene said...

*Karin - Yes, I signed the petition. I am not sure how much good they do, but I sign anyhow. Calling and writing our representatives has more impact.

*Joy - Thank you.