OP-ED

Obama-ney Care

By SENATOR DAVID DURENBERGER

Tim Pawlenty used a recent appearance on Fox News Sunday to show a tougher demeanor and to prove he will not make health care cost containment and access a priority.   As Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney worked with the Democratic legislature and the health care industry to expand access to all residents of the state and to commit to cost containing behavior change. The coverage reforms came right out of conservative health policy playbooks at Wharton (in the 1980s) and the Heritage Foundation (in the 1990s) and the cost containment was to be accomplished by voluntary action of Massachusetts health systems and health plans. On which they have since foundered, leaving Romney to take the heat.

When President Obama made his commitment to reform of national coverage, access, insurance, payment, and delivery system policy, national Republicans refused to cooperate. The legislative policy approach he advocated came mostly from a bipartisan Senate Finance Committee report from 2008. Elements of it came from the bipartisan approach Romney took in Massachusetts. Congressional Republicans unanimously refused to participate in the process. Today every elected Republican has committed to repealing Obamacare (and now Obama-ney care).

What changed? The definition of Republican.  The election power of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint and the Rupert Murdoch/WSJ/Fox version of facts to bring out the “just vote No on government and on Obama” in a substantial enough minority of Americans turned the trick. While Pawlenty and Bachmann represent a state which has been committed to universal coverage and healthcare cost containment for decades, neither has done much to make it a reality in our state. Assuming “repeal and replace” implies state action is preferable to national, they’ve nothing to show for their efforts so far.

Senator David Durenberger, Minnesota, served in the US Senate from 1978 – 1995.

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3 replies »

  1. Currently I’m a piano teacher, I make enough money to be comfortable, but my life is tenuous. For instance, if I broke my wrist, I wouldn’t be able to drive, if I wasn’t able to drive I would make a lot less money. I might lose more than a few of my clients in the process, and that’s assuming that my wrist would heal normally in six weeks or so. I’m not living hand to mouth, but I’m definitely not saving enough for a calamity, or for the rising cost of healthcare. I have major medical with Anthem Blue Cross, my deductible used to be $3500, and my premium used to be $92. They recently informed me that now I’ll be paying $112 per month and my deductible will be $4100?! Why should I pay more to get less coverage? Well, if I want to avoid a check-up where I might be found uninsurable (I have no reason to believe I’ve got any health problems, and frankly I’d like to keep it that way), I’ve just got to let them shove this down my throat. Thank you corporate America, where even basic health needs can be profitable. I voted for Obama, I cried when he won, I was totally on board with the Public Option, and deeply disappointed when it turned into a mandate requiring citizens to purchase coverage. I’m equally dismayed that Blue Cross can still be so greedy. I decided I should become a bit more informed before I started railing on Obama, seems like I should wait til 2014 to make up my mind about the Affordable Care Act. The “Exchange” plan sounds promising… but if Republicans manage to get the Supreme Court to rule the mandate (not the Act itself) unconstitutional, then I’ll just panic.

  2. First of all, the link that promotes my attendance here:

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=44321

    Now, let’s entertain this little less than profound revelation on my part, but, needs to be said and considered by those who think and act, not just act and told how to think by those who allege better judgment and ability: government is really not interested in real independence and autonomy of their citizens, because, god forbid, people realize that sometimes what government offers as solutions and goals do not match up with everyone’s needs and wants. Hence one reason why I despise so greatly this health care legislation. It does not promote health care the way I was trained. It just redefines cookie cutter mentality to an awfully disruptive level.

    And some who comment here I genuinely believe are not just annoyed to read those of us who shine the spotlight on this agenda, but are also genuinely fearful if enough people come to realize what i see as truth and purpose of PPACA is only about money and control of people’s health, then there will be a substantial majority who can repeal this crappy law!

    By the way, this post should be labeled “FORMER” Senator Durenberger, as he is no longer Senator. Why is it people who do not actively hold a post or position claim to frame it as an active title? It is like the former Presidents Clinton, Bushes, and Carter. If I met them, I would not call them President so-and-so, as then what is Obama? Co-President?

    PPACA is not about improving health care. And, to any of my colleagues who read the following and agree, please take the 30-60 seconds to write that you do: if you became a physician to practice health care because at least partially you wanted autonomy and freedom as per the profession allows to care for people, then why the hell would you support this law!? It will clamp down so hard on independent choice and action, your gonads would ache so much you would eventually feel like someone punched you there!!!

  3. Politicians are wealthy Narsatistic bastards that deserve no respect than that of a gnat. Multi-millionaires can easily condemn the access of the masses while making love with their rich sponsers. Hopefully they get a rapid Infection that prevents them from enjoying that wealth. It would be great if they would Die quickly so we wouldn’t have to waste any more time on those useless excuses of being human Beings.
    Best of Luck in Hell!!!!

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