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.
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'.