My turn: Fear, greed and health-care reform
Concern for national health is not new. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to aid the average American and was successful with passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. He was faced with a dilemma as he dealt with interests opposed to Social Security and expanded access to health care. In the middle of the Depression, the President was forced to compromise, and national health care was dropped from his agenda.
Since his administration, other presidents have attempted to legislate health care reform, most notably the Clintons. We will never know the amount of money spent to torpedo the reforms, most of the attacks dealing with fallacious issues about government control. How many congressmen/women have refused Social Security, alleging it is a socialist government plot?
Recent Republican posturing about the needed destruction, not modification, of the health-care reform legislation illustrates fear and greed regarding a national policy intended to benefit most Americans. Could the GOP have accepted the beneficial provisions and sought to amend those allegedly questionable articles? Republican opposition prevented this from happening. One of the most outspoken political tools is House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). He receives large amounts of campaign and other funding from Altra Group, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the American Financial Group, United Health Care and other health-industry businesses opposing reform. He and other members of Congress have not divulged to the American people the large amounts of campaign funding and other benefits given them to oppose national legislation.
Attempting to prove the alleged unpopularity and unconstitutionally of the above, members of Congress, political and legal punits argue about ěoriginal intent,î even though constitutional changes have been made by numerous amendments and court interpretations; these additions have not been declared null and void.
Opponents do not provide a list of entities that seek or sought the revocation of national health or specific provisions, declaring the health bill detrimental to their societal needs. Further, TV advertising against reform such as ěThelma in the kitchenî ads in 1993 and other minions misrepresenting the actual legislation have largely been silent. Why?
Has the GOP orchestrated a program intended to reverse the course of government? With the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the GOP can argue worsening budget deficit spending. Such pronouncements can and will be used to justify the demise of numerous governmental functions intended to regulate business and protect the consumer. As a result, agencies like the EPA will be emasculated for lack of funds. The next approach argues sufficient funds do not exist for the welfare of the people and the resultant improvements in society, including increasing employment. Please, do not forget congressional concern for the economy and people; it gave itself a $6,500-$7,000 pay raise.
If we do not act and tell the House our concerns, Republicans will revoke the existing legislation, denying us the following: an end to the $1 million cap on lifetime benefits; allowing families to cover their children until the age of 26 (especially important in this age of high unemployment); elimination of the ědonut holeî(where Americans pay the health industry full price for medication); an end to the pre-existing condition clause allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to anyone they deem too expensive to insure; improved preventive coverage; health care exchanges to help small businesses obtain tax credits to provide insurance for their employees ó and more.
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