End-game--again--on health care reform?

McClatchy syndicate's Joe Galloway offers a sobering call to disarm on the latest incarnation of health care reform in the United States. Following the appalling display by Connecticut's Joe Liebermann and the jaw-dropping turnabout by the DNC's Howard Dean, it is hard to argue with his sobering, thoroughly depressing critique ("Time to pull the plug on health care 'reform'"). The woefully picked apart 'reform' proposal which has managed to crawl out of the Senate is a sorry example of the inevitable outcome of something beyond legislative gridlock. I'm not even sure we have a word for it in American English. Maybe the Germans or the Czechs can let us borrow something that describes what happens when a gang of out-of-touch plutocrats, gutless wannabe-always-re-electables, know-and-do-nothing obstructionists, and thoroughly corrupt, lobbyist-owned boy-toys get together and pretend to seriously address one of the nation's most critical social needs.

It is inexcusable, incomprehensible that Democrats appear on the verge of blowing this opportunity to reboot the U.S. health care delivery system, and it pains me to admit that President Obama carries the lion share of the blame for this debacle. His "remain above the fray" strategy may have allowed him a dignified distance from the jackels on the House and Senate floors, but it assured that there would be little left worth signing when "negotiations" finished.

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Where was Obama over the last few months? Waiting for the lobbyists to finish snarling over the corpse, when he should have been crystal clear on the Hyde Amendment and Public Option from Day 1. There should have been no room for misunderstanding, craven opportunism, and political cowardice. He wanted everyone to be a little happy, and now no one except the status quo-circling vultures among the for-profit insurers and health care providers are getting what they want, which is, of course nothing—except the opportunity to continue to drive the American economy and individual families within it to ruin.

We appear doomed to another decade or so of the industrialized world's most expensive, least comprehensive and effective health care, a system sparkly with hi-tech shiny foil, encumbered by millions of fellow citizens rationed by income out of care, and abandoning thousands of families to bankruptcy because they were unlucky enough to include a loved one who become seriously ill in a profit-not-people driven system. What an utter shame.

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Meinrad Scherer-Emunds
8 years 10 months ago
Truly depressing, indeed, Kevin. As for a German word, may I nominate a Schlamassel (a really big mess), which in this case would be a Gesundheitswesen-Reform-Schlamassel.
Brian Thompson
8 years 10 months ago
What astounds me is that the dems were willing to give up what they saw as a plan which incudes meaninful reform of health care to preserve their holy sacrament of abortion. I know they had pro-abortion as an unalterable plank, but I didnt know they would rather throw the poor to the wolves than maintain status quo on public funding! That honestly floored me. They had this golden opportunity to help better insure the poor, but blew it!
Many of the dems are right, this is beyond salvaging and what is now present is such a rediculous chimera, it is not worth the trouble.
The congress should just put this bill out of its misery, and try again once they get their heads on strait. Maybe then they will find a way to provide for the poor without harming the coverage of others and without actively seeking to kill people.
8 years 10 months ago
"What astounds me is that the dems were willing to give up what they saw as a plan which incudes meaninful reform of health care to preserve their holy sacrament of abortion. I know they had pro-abortion as an unalterable plank, but I didnt know they would rather throw the poor to the wolves than maintain status quo on public funding!"
 
The same thing can be said alternatively about the republicans - they have thrown the poor to the wolves in order to diminish the existing access  to reproductuve care women have had before reform.
Brian Thompson
8 years 10 months ago
Yes, and that is a huge failing on the part of the Republicans, and similarly inexcusable. However, though a mandate of morality it is, there are letitimate differences of opinion in the best way to care for the poor. Whether or not to directly kill people or pay others to directly kill people is not a matter open to debate. Care for women all you want, I am all for reproductive health, but you cross the moral event horizon into unspeakable evil if you start killing people.
8 years 10 months ago
I think that if everyone thought that abortion = killing people, there would be no issue to argue and abortion would not be a legal medical procedure but considered murder.  Maybe the idea of what constitutes a person has not been universally agreed upon.
Brian Thompson
8 years 10 months ago
But that does not change reality of what a person is one iota.
Women didn't just grow equality in the 20th century, blacks didn't magically become persons in the mid 1800's. Truth is truth whether we like it or not.
I understand fully that not all people agree on this particular objective issue, but that does not stop some from being wrong, some being right for the wrong reasons, and some being correct. Ignorance may mitigate personal culpability of those who are wrong, but it does not diminish the evil of what they do at all.
Vince Killoran
8 years 10 months ago
If abortion is wrong why aren't opponents going all-out in opposition?  I'm not talking about blogging, including pro-life messages in our Mass petitions, and attending a march or two, but really putting it all on the line.  I've had many people describe it as a kind of holocaust-but doesn't this require every last ounce of pro-lifers' physical and financial resources to stop something so horrible?
I posed this question on the AMERICA website recently and exactly one person responded.  They assured me they were making progress in the legislature.  Given that fact that the Supreme Court decided ROE over 36 years ago this seemed like a glibe reply.
Marie Rehbein
8 years 10 months ago
None of this failure to reform health care has anything at all to do with the issue of abortion.  It has to do with Joe Lieberman's relationship to Aetna Insurance which virtually owns the Connecticut economy.  So, stop bickering about abortion, and open your eyes to how the special interests exploit any and all controversies to get their way.
Jim McCrea
8 years 10 months ago
If this country loses any MEANINGFUL healtcare reform because of obstructionists who hide behind the skirts of being anti-abortion, I will start donating significant amounts of money to pro-abortion groups.

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