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POLICY/POLITICS: Congress acts in health care emergency

Last week a young Florida child sank into a coma. Due to recent cutbacks, he
wasn’t eligible for the state CHIP program and with no health insurance and
precious little money available from her job at Wal-mart, his mother had skipped
on taking him to the ER until it was too late. With a sudden realization that
American health care was in crisis, late last Saturday night Congress passed a
bill completely changing the nation’s health care system. President Bush flew in
from yet another vacation to sign the new law, saying that the health care
system ought to preserve the culture of life. Evangelical religious groups
picketed Congress holding banners denouncing the impact of the lack of health
insurance and the high cost of health care for poor and middle class Americans.
Self-appointed moral values spokesmen denounced the nation’s courts for doing
nothing to improve the infant mortality rate, claiming that it was below that of
Cuba. Finally, all the cable news channels turned their networks over 24 hours a
day to covering the crisis. Even though there were bitterly opposing sides in the dispute and polls seemed
to show that most Americans didn’t agree with Congress or the President, the
politicians insisted that the moral imperatives made their action necessary. Sage editorials in the major newspapers explained that the Florida
tragedy had at least had the virtue of having families in the nation discuss
whether or not they wanted access to health insurance. Sadly the young boy died unaware that his fate had transformed a nation.

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9 replies »

  1. Good luck, BW McCartt. Unfortunately we aren’t rich enough to deserve the attention. Peter Jennings’ recent announcement, while sad and tragic and I truly hope he recovers, demonstrates that.

  2. While this may be a joke, it’s not funny. As Mel Martinez (FL)sought to build his conservative religious base through the Terri Schiavo case, and as the Bishop of Orlando FL intoned that a good society must protect the weak and helpless, our family – members of the working poor who literally live from paycheck to paycheck and have no health insurance – learned that my husband has testicular cancer. There were no prayer vigils, there were no Right to Life folks around, there were no priests berating the Judicial system, and certainly no Congress seeking to pass a special law to save HIS life. The circus surrounding the Schiavo case only showed that in this country, Right to Life is only for the unborn or the extremely disabled or PVS folks – in other words, for people who are like babes. The message to the rest of us? Basically it boils down to three words: Go to hell.

  3. I too, have rated GW as among the worst of all time, and certainly the worst of modern times – let’s define that as “since the industrial revolution”. I had a hard time putting him in front of LBJ since Vietnam was so tragic, but then I considered another noble, if not well-intentioned, domestic failure: The War on Poverty. It seems to me that our second recent President from Texas has the same thing in mind, yet misunderstands (I was sooooo tempted to write GW’s own word; “misunderestimated”) the concept. The point of the War on Poverty is to eradicat Poverty itself, not those who are living in Poverty. Could someone please explain that to him?
    In order to provide some factual information to support my point rather than to act in the manner of a neocon and just rant and rave and speak over anyone who would dare disagree, it is my understanding that:
    1. More Americans have died in combat (I include 9/11 victims as GW termed that an act of war) under GW than any president since Nixon.
    2. Largest national debt in the history of the world – I won’t presume to argue inflation-adjusted dollars – it seems to me that $7.8 trillion is high enough.
    3. Presided over the worst terrorist attacks the US has ever witnessed. Don’t try and argue that the planning and execution occured during Clinton’s Presidency…it all happened under GW, not under BC. Those who might be blustering about GW’s newness to the Presidency should talk to Richard Clarke. GW was warned.
    4. Enron and WorldCom both happened under GW’s reign and the CEO’s are (note that I didn’t say “were”) good buddies of GW. I must allow, however, that Enron’s plan that eventually lead to their downfall began in June of 1999. No excuse for GW, though. If you were Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling and knew that BC was leaving and GW would likely win the election, how would you choose to act? They behaved in a manner that fit their understanding of a GW-run government which would be one that was friendly to big business and not likely do anything based upon any kind or moral or ethical standards. Hey, we all know what Dick Cheney did for Haliburton.
    5. The real impact of GW’s plan to privatize Social Security will do only one thing: make Wall Street execs richer. No one talks about how much the investment bankers at Goldman Sachs, Merril Lynch, etc make, but it is well into the millions of dollars. With privatized accounts, those would be our dollars. Current Federal administrators make, maybe, six figures. Even GW says it won’t fix the solvency issue of 41 years from now.
    6. Valerie Plame – This should rank up there with Watergate and it is absolutely of much greater importance than “Monicagate”, yet nothing happened other than two reporters who weren’t even the ones to originally release her name are indicted.
    7. Tom Delay – no one who has any kind of moral or ethical compass can justify his behavior. The list is too long to put here and it is getting longer. Email me if you can make any kind of coherent argument that he should not be censured by Congress.
    I am a Reagan Republican and never voted Democrat until last election. GW is so bad I almost miss BC. To paraphrase a question Ronald Reagan asked of us, “Are we better off now than we were?” The answer, in every shape and form, is a resounding “No”. We are not safer, we are not wealthier (unless you were already wealthy and now you are much wealthier), we have fewer jobs, higher debt, our soldiers are dying without a plan, and our government representatives and appointees do anything they want without fear of reprisal. The 2008 elections can’t come soon enough for me as I am going to be optimistic and believe that we can’t get any worse.

  4. maroonman1967,
    I would put forth two other names for worst President of History. Although, I think B-43 is up there, I would say that Millard Fillmore, who signed the Fugitive Slave act is probably a little worse and my all time most hated President is Andrew Jackson. Let’s face it, Jackson was responsible for Genocide with the Trail of Tears. However, if you look at his refusal to accept the SCOTUS rulings against the forceable removal of Native Americans, you will see what a truly impeachable act looks like. Throw in his lack of fiscal understanding and his feud with the Second Bank of the US, which resulted in the Great Panic of 1837 and you can probably see why I think the man was an absolute abomination as a President. However, you will note that he is somehow still lauded in schools and seen as one of the great popular Presidents of all time, which is a very good parallel to B-43.

  5. At what point does b43 see that “free” health care is a right, not a privilege. Of course taxes would go up. If you get a bang for your buck, so what. If the “moral” b43 won’t give us national health insurance, at least let us write off private health expense dollar for dollar.
    On the social security private accounts, which I’m against. If b43 is so interested in younger workers,why not allow the money stay in local financial institutions instead of sent to Wall Street. W. St brokers would not have to bribe congress yada yada.
    Last, but certainly not least, why did b43 jump on ss as an Iraqi diversion tactic? Why not medicare, the system that is really in trouble? b43 wants to bankrupt all social programs in the country so we can be more like Mexico.
    As a history major with emphasis on U.S. history, I can say with some degree of authority that b43 is the worst president in U.S. history– yes worse than johnson & nixon. Just think how bad a pres has to be to be worse than lbj & tricky dicky?

  6. Ouch! I didn’t realize the date and completely fell for this. :-O
    The sad thing is that this is the Florida story could be true – yet unnoticed, unreported, and not the stimulus to the least bit of action.

  7. OFF TOPIC: At the risk of saying something completely inapropriate: if the Pope does in fact die on April Fool’s Day … what exactly does that imply for humanity?

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