Thursday, January 20, 2011

When the "Government" Complains about Itself

Is this new Congress going to waste time on grandstanding about phony issues rather than work on the real problems of the nation, such as unemployment, tax reform, immigration, the budget? As they moan about the deficit and the spending, they somehow don’t see that they are the government they complain about and they are the spenders they claim to hate. The hyperbolic Boehner doesn't recognize irony. Can anyone be surprised at the lack of intelligence of many of our lawmakers? Only if you have denied yourself the exhilarating experience of even one day of Congressional debate over anything. Those Congressmen shouting down the halls about government takeover of healthcare should consider giving up their own "government" healthcare.

Yes, there is a stupid syndrome that has struck Congress. It is also true that for years many physicians have been bemoaning the fact that insurance companies interfere with their practice of medicine. On the other hand, years ago, at the thought of taking the initiative to change how medicine was practiced and healthcare delivered, they were paralyzed by the fear of socialized medicine. Because of their inability and/or disinclination to change the practice of medicine, the insurance companies were able to step in and literally take over. Now their pockets are so deep and heavy, we can’t rid ourselves of them. You know, one of the people who frightened everyone about changes in healthcare was Ronald Reagan who, before he was president, made films cautioning everyone that any changes, and, particularly introducing Medicare, would bring socialized medicine. Now of course everyone thinks that Medicare is wonderful, and so they will come to see this new affordable healthcare law, which is quite good as far as it goes, and it goes far enough to make some very positive changes. It will need to be tweaked along the way, just as social security and Medicare, etc. had to be.

As for the best healthcare we could get, I think it’s clear to most people in the field that a single-payer system would be best (and many doctors now say they feel that way). But the greatest impediment to that is of course the health insurance companies, so we should be grateful to have gotten this far after so many years.

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