It was February 25 2010.
It was a day of singular accomplishments.
On this day, our top elected officials sat down to discuss the state of health care in our country.
Then after noting that the state of health care was in an abominable state of disrepair they agreed that it had to be addressed with a sense of urgency.
For even as each faction acknowledges that the number of Americans who lack health insurance now stands between 40 and 46 million, the nonchalance with which they declare these numbers is disconcerting.
For, it is relayed in a tone that suggests that 46 million is not a crisis threshold but, conversely, is a number that should merely trigger the ludicrous posturing we are seeing from both sides. Ideology seems to have superseded pragmatism at this juncture and the health of citizenry has become a very perverse pawn in this battle that is being waged to reinstate and preserve the politics of don’t have, too bad but well think about it the platform of our country’s conservative center.
Prior to this historic sit down by our elected officials, one faction listed a set of demands upon which their meeting was contingent. The President had to agree not to stand at a podium, lest he appeared to be professorial; neither was he allowed to sit in head chair position, lest he appeared to be the country’s head official; title of President notwithstanding.
The Presidents deference to the hubris of these demands was foretelling and for those of us who enjoy good political theater we could hardly contain our anticipation, as we grabbed our popcorn and soda and commandeered our armchair to witness what was forecast to be a parody of health care deliberations.
The cameras rolled and the opposing faction to health care Reform, held true to character. Their props were abundant. It was necessary to conduct effective show and tell to convince a nation, forty six million of whom could hardly afford to have a headache, that there was no difference between their health needs and the demands of the health care industry which consumes some 17% of GDP.
We anticipated some double speak; we anticipated profuse use of the term Free market principles; we anticipated hearing about the ills of socialized medicine and how the health care bill would increase the tax burden for generations to come.
But we also anticipated firmer Democratic push back on most of the baseless assertions of the oppositionists.
We expected the Dems to highlight Bush’s socialized medicine plan a 17 billion flimflam which guaranteed 38% increase in pharma profits; a 17 billion flimflam which prohibited the leveraged use of numbers to negotiate with the pharma companies, to receive lower costs based upon demand.
We expected to hear The Dems highlight every portion of the wars that was funded on the backs of taxpayers. Instead, we saw a limp thrust and parry exchange coming from the democratic side of the aisle.
Political aspersions were abundant from the oppositionists. Like well rehearsed theater, there were punctuated cries of start over with a fresh piece of paper, referring to the configuration of the health care proposal – notwithstanding the fact the current configuration took one year and thousands of pages to benefit 46 million citizens who are still uncovered and many millions more who are straining under the burden of daily rising premiums
Posturing was on the menu and posturing was served up. But posturing aside, the irony here is that America prides itself on being known as the worlds de facto leader industrially, politically and socially; a distinction that our posturing oppositionists trumpet at lib.
Yet, in actuality, many of the third world nations that are so categorized, are way ahead of sophisticated America, in administering this base need to its citizens. Cuba is known for its quintessential health care, cutting edge strides, which are available to all citizens. China spends a mere $850 billion Yuan (USD$124 billion) to offer health care to its 1.3 billion citizens an example of universal health care at its best. By contrast, our population is a mere 300 million and a much greater amount is spent annually on its health care.
America is undoubtedly a leader in the field of science, medicine and technology. The bathos here is that, in spite of all of its superiority, it cannot devise an intelligent way to provide a base need for its people. Instead, it allows this provision to be steered by ideology and monopolized by palm- greasing lobbyists and an industry that has the capacity to keep the economy in the depths of the red.
We are in a country and in an era that determines its propensity to fail based upon the word, big and based upon which party’s verbiage this word adorns.
Two years ago, our banks were too big to fail – a Bush 43 maxim. Billions of dollars were pumped into them and from all accounts there has been relative recovery, both in the financial health of the institutions, as well as, in the country’s economy.
In this instance, big was in the lexicon of the ruling party, so big was adapted to suit their purpose. Government intervention was the only way out. And the concept of pumping government funds into private institutions was never paralleled to socialism.
At the recent bipartisan sit down on health care, and in diametric opposition to the context of too big to fail two years ago, an oppositionist senator, Lamar Alexander said Our country is too big, too complicated, too decentralized for Washington to write a few rules about remaking 17 percent of the economy all at once.
Translation? In this context, big was too big for government intervention, and unlike the intervention with the TARP of Bush and Paulson, which benefited the dividend paying behemoths that many of their ilk had a financial interest in, creating a health care vehicle for those who simply cannot afford it would be the fulfilling of the socialist prophesy that many had foretold about this liberal, Barrack Obama.
Then as in point finale, the backhanded snippet: That sort of thinking works in a classroom, but it doesn’t work very well in our big, complicated country, had to be thrown in for good measure.
For there is always need to let the public know that our Presidents background, much to the chagrin of many, is one that is superiorly academic; so he just might not know the difference between the hypotheticals of a classroom and the economic reality of a health care budget for this big, complicated, decentralized country. What a demerit, this burden of academic superiority.
So, the cries to start over continue to pierce the boiler room atmosphere that is now the climate within the congressional chamber, as health care reform is being reconciled.
I agree. Start over is the best option. Only this time, I pray that starting over is done truly heeding the voice of the people.
Last I heard, the Public Option had been transformed into a gift horse for many. Votes were leveraged against tax payer dollars. Politicians were being made into political saviors for their states, as they sold their votes for programs that secured their political longevity back home.
So I agree. I agree that start over we must. Only, this time, let us start where we truly began; for if my memory serves me correctly, the hotly contested Public Option is only a very diluted, shamefully adulterated version of the Universal Health Care Plan, so many of us anticipated when we voted for the change we believed in.
Already the oppositionists have labeled the option to use reconciliation as the Presidents nuclear option.
So I say nuke it. Nuke the whole Public Option mockery. For if we truly allow ourselves a trip down memory lane, we may well recall that the Public Option was the spawn of Harry and Louise who banished Universal Healthcare with such absoluteness that now, it can only reappear disguised as a hybrid version of its former self, with an off shoot of the ineffective Public Option, which comes loaded with its current deficiencies, rewards to the health care and drug industries and lots of suspect promises to amend as we go.