As the title says, what is happening does not make any sense. Unless, of course, you feel that the problems with reforming healthcare and an ever increasing deficit are problems that occurred when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President last January.
Would the arguments against health care be taking place if John McCain had been elected president? I doubt it, simply because the issue of national healthcare would never have occurred to him.
It will come as surprise to many but the debate on universal healthcare is not new. The first proposal for universal health care was not in 1948 but rather in 1912. A key plank in Theodore Roosevelt’s 1912 Presidential campaign was a call for national health care. The debate has been out there far longer than anyone can probably imagine and it is not going to go away.
Sure, this is going to cost money but what doesn’t in this day and age? What will be the cost if we don’t do something now instead of trying to go slow, take our time, and hope that it goes away? Yes, the deficit will increase if some way isn’t found to make the whole process “revenue neutral”. But this idea of “revenue neutral” is not new; the concept has been around since the Tax Reform Act of 1986. And the deficit has been increasing most of the years since then.
And where were all these individuals who are screaming about the increase in the budget deficit now when the previous Administration, which apparently could do no work, was doubling the deficit?
When protestors say that they don’t want some large bureaucratic organization telling them what healthcare plan they can or cannot have; or they don’t want their healthcare rationed by this large bureaucratic organization, what exactly are the healthcare companies doing now? The premiums that average citizens are paying increase each year and force many people to stop paying; is that not rationing? When an insurance company denies treatment because of a pre-existing condition or the treatment is experimental, is that not some private sector bureaucrat telling us what we can and cannot have.
The debate is fueled by words that focus on emotion, not logic. And while the majority of individuals protesting have the right and the basis for complaint, are their talking points original or fed to them by those whose agendas include keeping themselves in power?
I am not saying that the present Administration and the present Congress have the right idea. The Administration did not have a comprehensive plan in place when it started this whole idea, apparently fearing the backlash that accompanied President Clinton’s attempt to bring about healthcare reform. But relying on Congress to put together any sort of reasonable plan is like giving the keys to the city to Attila the Hun. This is the same Congress that has tried to authorize the building of jet fighters that the Pentagon did not want and personal jets for Congressional use.
We have been hearing the same arguments about waste and large government spending for too many years. But Congress keeps spending the money and they keep getting re-elected. In the meantime, the majority of the people in this country do not have adequate health care, the number of people relying on food closets increases every week, and our infrastructure and schools are physically decaying beyond repair.
Why are we even having this discussion in the first place? It only makes sense if we see that the parties driving the debate, on both sides of the political fence, are only interested in maintaining their status quo.
Instead of trying to create a healthcare program that meets some vague and unclear set of guidelines, why don’t we start with what everyone acknowledges is the best healthcare program right now, the program that covers Congress and all Federal employees and their families.
Everyone who knows anything about healthcare knows that the plan that covers our Senators and Representatives is among the best in the world. But Congress won’t give it to the rest of the country because they don’t like sharing with others. There are a set of rules for Congress and there are a set of rules for the rest of us and the two shall never meet. And if the majority of Congress were to have a moment of serendipity and decide to share their program, conservatives throughout the country will call it socialism or some other “ism”. There will be horror stories galore about how this can’t work and how it will wreck this country.
If there is anything that I have learned from growing up in the South, it is that conservatives are only concerned with themselves and no one else. To protect states’ rights is to protect the rights of the rich and powerful while the poor, be they black, white, yellow, or brown, can all be damned for all they care. So I take anything the right says today with less than the proverbial grain of salt. The words may have changed but the meaning still remains the same.
And, to be truthful, I can’t say much about those who call themselves liberals today either. True liberals would put all the people first, not just those whose votes will get them re-elected or those whose checkbooks have preprinted checks with the names of Senators and Representatives on them.
All that has occurred in the past few days, weeks, and months is to show that no matter how much change is suggested or talked about, all things have remained the same. And it doesn’t make sense because we, the people, honestly thought that change was possible. Change is possible but only if we realize that we have to make the changes.
The world doesn’t make sense unless we realize that we have let it become this way. We, the people, willingly let others with their own agendas, tell us what to believe and what to say. We accept wild ideas with no hint of truth because they feed our fears and not our hopes. We are not willingly to do the work that it takes to preserve our freedom.
We, the people, have forgotten the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We have forgotten that we cannot trade our freedom for security, yet that is what we have done. We had a chance to walk a different path and make the world safer but we opted for an easier path and this is where we are at.
What is happening doesn’t make any sense unless you stop and think. And that is what we haven’t done; we did not stop and think. And now we have to pay the price for ignorance and our willingness to let others lead us. We have an opportunity to change the direction, to fulfill the goals of the American Revolution and what this country truly stands for. But it will take what we haven’t as a nation shown for the past few years, some sense and some guts.