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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Choose to See the Glass as Half-Full on Health Care

Hello Papamoka Bloggers! It's been a roller-coaster of a week trying to ride the ups and downs related to the health care debate in Washington and across the country right now. To be really honest, the reason it took me so long to post this week was due to extreme conflict within my own mind about how to react to events. I don't like to blog unless I feel well-informed and comfortable about an issue, and this one has pushed me to the limit.

First of all, I would like to say that I think the Republicans and a few bought-and-paid-for "conservative" Democrats are doing a great job lying about the health care debate. Like the president says, they are out there sewing fear hoping to terrorize the electorate. They are using every opportunity to skew the debate, distracting people from the real legislation.

It's sad to say that their tactics are working somewhat, since most of the national polls are showing a decline in support for the health care initiative overall, however, it's interesting to note that when the polls actually tell people what's in the primary legislation, the overwhelming majority of Americans favor it. It's also important to point out that most of the polls are misleading, manipulative and unworthy of reporting.

I don't wish to get into the nitty-gritty of the debate in this post seeing that I want to talk more about why we need to stay focused, but suffice it to say that after talking to a few Washington insiders this week I feel better about the delay and most of the legislation being debated in the House and Senate.

The bill forged by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) led by Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) are very positive. Their work along with a few other Senate committees provide some kind of public option and clean-up most of what is wrong with the health care system in America. Hopefully the Senators will be able to find common ground during their August break.

We should be highly skeptical about the legislation coming out of Senate Finance led by Baucus (D-MT) and Grassley (R-IA) pushing for eliminating employee health benefits in favor of ineffective health cooperatives, but the good news from what I hear is they do not have the support of the majority of Democrats in the Senate.

I also hear they've earned a bit of a bad rep lately. The other Senators fully realize just how much health care industry money has been pumped into that committee, so much so that it's been embarrassing for many in the Senate. FYI, after working up there, Senators do keep an eye on their colleagues and donations - often looking for motive before a vote. They don't always like it when committees sellout to overzealous industry profiteers.

Donations from lobbyists work best when the amounts donated to each politician remain secret. When the process takes time and legal reporting leads to open accounting (past legislation thanks to Democrats), it can create conflicts between officials. There are signs it is beginning to happen in relation to the Senate Finance Committee, as some Washington insiders report many are tiring of Baucus and his industry friends.

There is also the fact that most of the committee chairs and co-chairs receiving the bulk of the money represent less than 3% of all Americans - a fact that sticks-in-the-craw of many elected officials.

The other side of this debate is - of course - the Republican lies. They are bigger and better than ever. Again, despite the August delay, I'm hearing good news from my friends in Washington. There are signs the Republicans may have gone too far once again. They may have "jumped the shark" in their opposition to health care. Many are reporting that their latest lies - the elimination of Medicare, loss of personal health care choices, and forced living wills and early death - may be one step too far to say the least.

It doesn't matter if Hannity, Limbaugh and others repeat the lies ad nausea, as long as they can easily be disproved. In the end, the lies themselves can ruin the credibility of the opposition.

The polls show that when Americans learn about the primary legislation, they support it. The bulk of the legislation goes far enough to solve most of our health care problems. The special interest groups have been spending millions on ads and the polls haven't changed that much. Most important, the president and others are willing to sacrifice their valuable political capital (something most politicians won't do) to get a bill. If the legislators spend August learning about the options and informing their constituents, then we may just have a chance to change the system come Fall.

To me, the glass is half-full. To me, the signs are pointing in the right direction.

It's easy to get discouraged these days when it comes to Washington, politicians, corporate greed and especially all the Republican lies. It's harder to actually do the heavy lifting, oppose the "ends justify the means" crowd" and fight the good fight. That's what we need our politicians to do. We need them to stay focused, and to ignore the ignorant rants of the uninformed. We need them to follow the president's lead, stay strong, and pass real health care reform for the majority of Americans who support it.

PS - Please consider contacting your elected representatives often to remind them we support real health care reform with a strong and effective public option.

Michael Boh

Papamoka's Left Coast Contributor
from Our Rants & Raves Blog

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Blogger sue said...

I am optimistic too Michael. The lies from the right are spreading thru blogland in rapid fire! It's amazing the things I am reading, alot from older women who don't have the common sense to read for themselves, they listen to insane remarks coming from insane right-wingers and take it as gospel! How do you get thru to people like that? My husband is laid off, we have no insurance right now, I am proof of our desparate need for reform, especially for those who have lost their jobs and that is thousands of us! We need a plan where those out of work do not lose their coverage, and I don't mean Cobra! Who can afford 500 a month for that nonsense! Thanks for this post Michael!

8:08 PM  
Blogger B.J. said...


Honest to God, I am still reeling over the right-wing’s claim that a provision of healthcare reform could lead to “mandatory euthanasia” of the elderly (see my own post on: demwit dot blogspot dot com).

On the other hand, if the opposition has to resort to such evil tactics, I have great hope that they will be defeated.

So, thanks for the uplifting post. One thing’s for certain, Americans have to know that the system now in place ain’t working!

And, yes, you are right, it takes leaders dedicated to their mission to sacrifice political capital for the public good. In that, we are fortunate.

Sue, I’ll keep you and yours in my thoughts.


2:58 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I've gone in an edited out some controversial posts that just listed websites. If you don't have a comment to contribute other than your thoughts on the posts then please do not just leave questionable links. Discuss the issue.

Thank you,
Most Excellent and King like editor... Me

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the elimination of Medicare, loss of personal health care choices, and forced living wills and early death -

Had you read my link you would have sw that htese are not lies but actually in the bill. In words of course that needed translation.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

The link lead to a paid for site that has not read the legislation Lisa. They are making up lies and scare tactics that prays on the weekest among us. I deleted it for that reason. For the record, it was a Republican that inserted that tactic into the bill. Read it and learn the facts. OMG I can't belive you are that easy to deceive.

I don't have health care Lisa, I have Parkinsons, so says UMASS hospital and the head of Neurology Dr. Paula Ravin. There is no cure for it but only medication to help me through it. I do not have the insurance to pay for it so I go without. I'm screwed and left alone to deal with it. Within the next two to three years I won't be able to type a word. I will be in a nursing home. I'm scared but I'm not alone in this.

Should I die alone with this? I have a living will. I don't want my children to visit a vegetable for ten years. And that is my choice as a human being and not a Democrat or any other political affiliation. Ask any human being around you if they want machines to keep them alive forever and the answer is always no. That cost of not asking is what drives cost of health care up to no end.

I signed my Dad's DNR and I cried over it for days after talking to my entire family. It came down to my father and his wishes when he was clear of mind. He didn't want a machine keeping him alive.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

Thank you MB for inspiring me to write a post on this critical issue. Thank you for posting here my friend.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Frodo, saluting the opposition, permanently said...

Frodo is convinced that the Republican Party has earned its position as the "loyal opposition." In fact, the Republicans may be the best "loyal opposition" we have ever known. Let us hope that they retain that title for many years to come.

8:31 AM  
Blogger by Michael Boh said...

I am so sorry to hear that Matt. Like so many Americans you deserve better. I wish I could say something that would help, but I know you are doing everything you can to make the best of it. You come across as a fighter, even if it seems life is cheating you right now.

I only wish more "conservatives" could let go of their anger (and ignorance) and realize that most of the industrialized world reaches out to people in need (like in your situation) and helps them without going bankrupt. I just don't understand the Republican opposition today. To me, it seems like nickels and dimes. Penny wise and pound foolish.

They're willing to spend so much on so many corrupt adventures, but aren't willing to help their fellow Americans acquire health insurance - even if giving up something would help others. They call themselves "christian" and "pro-life," yet are so comfortable opposing what Jesus preached, and allowing so much pain and death. They are truly an enigma.

I've become very depressed lately because of recent critical issues (the Republicans ignored for so long) and their opposition. Their lack of empathy in a world where we're more dependent on each other than ever makes no sense to me.

They never complained about waste when it came to weaponry, war, Wall Street or retribution, yet recoil in horror when we try to protect and heal the innocent and the needy. It's a given that Jesus would find them confused and lost. To me, as just an ordinary man, their words of late, and opposition, is simply unkind, cold, inhumane, and selfish. There but for the grace of God go I.

What matters most at this difficult time is our souls, and you Matt seem to have a good one from what I've read. You deserve better, and will find it with the support of your family and friends - loved ones all I'm sure. You represent all Americans suffering right now. You deserve our help. Let's hope the Democrats can act in time to make your life a little longer and less painful. Rejecting fear and igorance, May God bless you my friend. Michael Boh

11:24 AM  

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