11 August 2009

Town Hall Confusion

These town hall meetings in which loud crowds protest the encroachment of health care into the lives of all Americans leave me perplexed. When we invaded Iraq – a move certain to kill thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of Americans (and, as it turns out, a move that has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans) – there were no loud protests, no town halls, no “this is not my America,” cries from an angry and disenfranchised polity.

Now that we’re moving towards health care that covers millions more Americans and promises to end the 8,000 annual deaths of those without coverage, we kick into free speech, full protest mode


Big Al said...

When we invaded Iraq, we were doing so "to fight terrorism!" as GW Bush told us, and any protests were deemed by our Commander in Chief as being "un-patriotic and un-American".

With attempting to get Universal Health Care, one of the difficulties facing Democrats is there is no one single Health Care bill they can all rally around. And it doesn't help that Conservatives, especially Republicans like Sarah Palin, are having a field day throwing out inaccurate fear-smear statements like candy tossed during the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

There's an old saying that people hear what they see. What so many folks are hearing about Universal Healthcare is what Conservatives and Republicans and Health Insurance companies are showing them: it's all bad.

This is a hugely defining moment still early in President Obama's administration, any Republicans are VERY MUCH aware of it. If Obama perseveres and gets a Healthcare package approved, no matter what Rush Limbaugh or his ilk say, Republicans will take a significant body blow. But if Obama doesn't get legislation passed, it could very well be "One and Done" for him.

Anonymous said...

I think the biggest fear out there is government intrusion into the lives of Americans. Further, if our blessed commander-in-chief would for once be able to articulate his plan, it may calm some of the fears down but instead he makes statements that he thinks will play to the audience but most likely are false. He is evil.

Big Al said...

Anonymous, I agree with you the biggest fear probably being government intrusion into the lives of Americans. Which is worse: the fact if you have medical insurance today the companies providing that insurance are already intruding into our lives or wondering if the government would do worse?

One thought . . . medical services for active members in the US Military are very, very good. I have several relatives in the military and one that's a physician. They all rave about the care and services. I know the private sector isn't the same as the military, but if they can get it right for military personnel, why not modify the military model for civilians? Just a thought . . .

I don't necessarily agree with your assertion of Obama making statements that are "most likely false". Even he realizes making false statements will come back to bite him in the butt when proven inaccurate, no matter how it's spun. Or are you thinking that maybe he's stating wordss provided to him he believes are correct w/o knowing that in fact the statements are inaccurate, ala Colin Powell?

I am *SO* eternally grateful I've never ran for office.

Anonymous said...

1. Insurance companies may intrude into our lives but in general, all services are readily avaiable when needed. I understand that there can be hassles depending on the level of the policy (HMO vs. PPO) etc. BUT it is available to us.....my concern is adding however many million people to the system, no new doctors and the way the House bill reads as of now.....a march towards a single payer system.

2. On the "most likely false"...if you listen to Obama at his staged town hall meeting....if everything he stated at the town hall meeting is what is going to be in the bill, I could accept it...no medicare cuts, no lines, decisions made between patients and drs etc. etc. but again, I don't think he has read the House bill because I don't understand how he can make those statements if he has read it. No logical person can convince me that the planned Medicare cuts really are only for wasteful spending etc.

Further for Obama to stand up there and blatantly state that the Dr. is amputating a foot instead of treating diabetes because of a greater payment is idiotic and laughable. I do believe the Dr. treating the patient is most likely not the surgeon!!

I further get irritated at this administration attacking industries and the general population.....oil companies, insurance companies, likening concerned citizens to Nazi's, unpatriotic to protest. That is when I state that it becomes the tyranny and evil empire.

There will always be policy disagreements but the road Obama, Gibbs, Pelosi and Reid have taken have awakened a few people and I think they all will have a short future in government.

Big Al said...

1. All services are there but depending on your insurance plan you may not be covered. You have pointed out 1 big issue: we'll need more doctors to support everyone. As for a single payer system, it "could" drastically reduce overhead costs as you wouldn't need mega-employees having to deal with the myriad no. of insurance plans.

2. understand what you're saying. I'm guessing Obama is getting info. spoon-fed.

Where you wrote about the current administration attacking industries and the current population with "unpatriotic to protest", isn't that what we also just encountered under the previous administration? The person in the President's chair changed but some of the habits remained the same. Sigh . . .

Anonymous said...

Understand all your points.....no further comments.

David said...

Gosh and I thought all those protestors in Sacramento and Wash DC and cities across America were really angry and speaking out against the war and Bush. Now you're telling me there were no cries, no loud protests. Hum?

Maybe it's just when people speak out against things I believe in that I see them in "full protest mode?"

Lifehiker said...

Actually, I took a very uncomfortable bus trip to Washington to protest the current Iraq war, and I joined thousands of others. But in truth we were few.

I'm fortunate enough to be on a Medicare Advantage policy. One of my sons, currently unemployed after many years of success, has no insurance and can't afford to buy any. He and his employers paid into insurance companies for 25 healthy years, but that counts for exactly nothing. It's a great system we have!

Health care currently costs our country 16% of GNP, and the percent is sure to rise. France covers everyone has better overall health outcomes at 7% of GNP.

Conservatives say they want lower spending, so that they can have more left over for themselves. Well, 7% is lower than 16%, whether it's private or public spending, Mr. Anonymous!

This health care argument is simply over how much is going into which pockets, and those on the current gravy train are pulling out all the stops to keep theirs coming in. It's not about us at all.