By RUFUS G.W. SANDERS, Register columnist
Finally the time has come for this country to do what it has been trying to do for the last 100 years: Pass a national health care bill that will ensure the bulk of the American public is afforded the Constitutional promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- and, might I add, decent health care. It is a shame it has taken this country this long to come to this point. Of all the industrialized countries in the world only America has no national health care plan. That is moral perversity, a travesty and a social insult to the very principles of democracy.
On Thursday President Obama, along with the Democratic leadership, met with would-be obstructionists to discuss what will be the most important social legislation in this nation's history since Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. He laid out the most clear, civil, and fair arguments one could make as to why all Americans should be entitled to health care. If the issue of health care is not solved, this country -- in a very short period, like when the president was forced to infuse the economy with stimulus money -- is heading for major economical collapse. He ended the meeting by conveying to the obstructionists if they have a better plan -- then lead us!
It's no secret historic conservatives have always been opposed to programs which generally benefit the entire American people. They tend to represent the elite segment of capitalism who, many more times than not, have sacrificed the weak, tired, poor, hungry and disenfranchised amongst us to bolster their own status and philosophy of strong rugged American independence. By doing so, they have committed genocide against Native Americans, enslaved Black Americans, isolated Hispanic Americans and ostracized Asian Americans, all in the name of democracy.
The president's bill, for sure, has problems. But it is innovative and creative enough to at least guarantee the subsidy of health care coverage for 30 million Americans who presently are without it. He knows the major concern in this capitalistic society is that insurance and pharmaceutical companies will suffer from government-mandated health care, but any thinking person also knows it's the insurance and pharmaceutical companies who kill us with exorbitant prices, along with their rules which discriminate by deciding who can live and who must die. The president simply proposes to regulate them before they begin to turn on themselves in the process of killing us all.
Then there is the fear this bill will really be about redistribution of wealth to the tune of $200 billion to help pay for the working poor's insurance. Well, to that I say: It is the working poor whose cheap labor allows 10 percent of this population to control 90 percent of the assets and wealth. Maybe after 234 years, we need a redistribution of wealth and power. When the obstructionists wanted to wage two undeclared wars at the same time, all while saber rattling with Iran and North Korea, we heard not one peep from them as to the astronomical cost of funding not only their folly and foolishness.
The president's plan would not only cover 30 million presently uninsured and under-insured; it would also reduce future deficits and control medical costs through the meager regulation of the industry. Most important is the oversight of excessive premium increases. He would alleviate the gap created by Medicare's drug coverage program which prohibits many elderly patients from paying for their medicines. He would even help states that say they can't afford to expand their Medicaid Plan.
The president's plan is not perfect and it is costly, but we must begin somewhere and we must start now. The obstructionists will not reduce the number of uninsured and they will not provide for affordable insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, something we all will eventually have. And they make no real provisions at reigning in cost. The independent office of the budget declares the president's plan really is the best plan, even with its flaws. But it will eventually reduce the national deficit by $100 billion.
So if these obstructionists are really concerned about real reform, they must put their ideas on the table. Stop being "busters." Give this guy a chance. He is willing to work with you.
Mr. President, this will be our last chance probably for some time to fix this thing, and it's in the best interest of our country. So go for it! All that it takes is a majority vote for passage in the Senate. You have that majority of votes. They know it. You know it! And we know it! So just do It! Pull the reconcilation trigger! Pass this bill! It's their health as well we are talking about. The day will come when they will need health care reform too.