I’m all for public debate. Obviously, it’s not a democracy if people can’t express their opinions to their elected officials. But, clearly, much of the health care “debate” has gotten out-of-hand. What should be a give and take of civilized conversation has degenerated into shouting matches where no one listens to the other side.
I understand many people are angry about the spectre of government-run health care. We’ve all heard the horror stories of rationing and long waits for critical tests and procedures. (Hmm…could that be like my four-month wait for an MRI to determine if I had breast cancer last year…the wait that occurred while my doctor and I fought it out with my insurance company?)
What I have a hard time understanding is why people are willing to believe outright lies about the plan which has been proposed, when it’s so easy to (a) actually read the bill or (b) find legitimate sites that report the truth.
Personally, I support the mixed option being proposed. Keep private health care and private insurance companies, but provide a public option that will allow the uninsured and under-insured better choices. There are so many arenas in which private organizations compete with public organizations, and both are better for it. I’d say the education sector is a great example of just such a realm.
And, yes, I am willing to pay to make sure that all people in America have access to preventative as well as emergency health care. Anyone who believes that we aren’t already paying for the health care of the uninsured hasn’t visited a hospital emergency room or talked with anyone in the health care field in recent years. We must fix the system, preferably by changing the focus from dealing with problems that have become acute due to lack of care options to preventing those problems in the first place or catching things early if they can’t be totally prevented. In the long run, this will only strengthen our economy and make us more, not less, competitive.
But, agree with the proposed plan or not, I would hope that the citizens of this country could mutually agree to discuss the challenge we face without resorting to childish namecalling or outright fabrications regarding the proposal. And, even better, if they simply can’t resist childish name calling, at least get the historical facts right. Regardless of the misleading name (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), Hitler and the Nazi’s were Fascists, not Socialists. Those swastikas are a bit misplaced considering that the Nazi’s were just as opposed to socialism as those who seem set on displaying them in association with our elected officials.
I’d like to hope that all of this will actually happen. That we’ll raise the level of political discourse in the country, that those with opposing views will actually listen to one another and work together to solve our health care crisis. Because hope is what I had when I voted for President Obama. Hope is what I still have.
Somehow, though, I think it’s going to be a long, hot August in more ways than one.