Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Healthcare Now!

By now it must be clear to anyone with reason that healthcare reform does not mandate death panels and indeed, if one were to dwell on the idea of death panels then it would be to recognize that health insurance companies as they function today could be looked upon as death panels.

However, I do object to you characterization of the so-called Summit on healthcare of last week as well as what has now become “the” interpretation of the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

First, the Summit was a splendid idea and gave the public much food for thought and despite the mostly polite exchanges, it was still clearly an opportunity for the Republicans to uniformly tout their objection to working on the currently healthcare legislation at all. Scrap it was heard over and over again. It seems that that was the true Republican agenda, and we unfortunately know that starting over is a euphemism for let’s drop it altogether. Starting over again would no doubt take more than a generation at this point. We are also aware, those of us who follow such things, that our economy needs healthcare reform now. There is no way we can achieve economic recovery in a meaningful way without it.

Which brings us to polls, elections and such. We do govern by polls, or at least we shouldn’t and I am, thankful that no one has suggested a Constitutional amendment to allow for that.

Putting that poor notion aside, after observation and discussions with friends from Massachusetts, it is clear that Scott Brown’s election had nothing to do with healthcare. Massachusetts has universal healthcare and they may not care whether the rest of us have it, but they did take objection to the Democratic party’s nominee for senator deciding that she did not have to campaign because her election must be a slam dunk. It is unfortunate since her defeat has not been seen outside Massachusetts for what it was. A very poor candidate against a handsome, savvy candidate who had not trouble lying his way around the Commonwealth, telling voters that if healthcare reform passed, they would have to pay for everyone else. I am not even sure anyone paid much real attention to that. Many women may not have looked beyond the dazzling smile to listen to the words.

In any case, it has been mindboggling to see the spin over this election and it’s time that it stopped. It is paralyzing some of those in Washington who should be in full action mode working on getting the best healthcare reform bill possible passed, and passed as quickly as feasible, even if by reconciliation with an up and down vote. The country deserves no less.

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