Home Economics Senate GOP “Patients’ Choice Act of 2009” Not Even Close!

Senate GOP “Patients’ Choice Act of 2009” Not Even Close!


There is a myth about Neocon Republicans and health care. The myth is that they “care” about your “health.” They don’t.

In Congress, they have a large number, perhaps seven or eight M.D.s. Does anyone remember Hemingway’s term “spoiled priest?” We really have to ask ourselves, are these “spoiled doctors?” If you are a physician, why are you in politics? To cure amnesia among politicians who have forgotten that they serve the People? If you have the brains to help cure people, why would you spend time in Congress doing everything you can to prevent Americans from getting health care? Before you say…”Oh, they don’t. They wouldn’t do such a thing…” get the facts straight.

The Neocon Republicans not only voted against any kind of health care program, but they voted against negotiating for better pharmaceutical prices in Medicare part D, and voted against health care for poor children…not once..but twice! It was only when the Democrats came back into power in the 2006 elections that health care was extended to all poor children and even then only with a huge fight, coming exclusively from the ideological Right Wing…the Republicans. They could kill Iraqis. They could give free land to oil companies. They could give huge tax cuts to millionaires. But they couldn’t help the children of poor, working-class families. They could increase the killing power of the U.S., pushing the military budget to over half our current expenditures…every other dollar goes to the military…borrowed from China. But they were not willing to give health care to the children of families, who, like most Americans these days, cannot afford health care.

It’s ok now. The Democrats fixed it.

Now comes “Choice.” The favorite Neocon Republican word. As if the Canadians want the “choice” which over 90% of them do not, to be free of oppressive government-run health care. Bureaucrats run things in Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Italy, Greece, and other places like Taiwan. But doctors interact with patients, do surgery, prescribe pills, deliver babies, cure cancer and recommend better diets. Not one bureaucrat that we can find has ever done open-heart surgery or even an angioplasty on a patient in any of these countries. Nor has one stood in front of the operating table and blocked the surgeon from the patient.

Here’s the “Patients’ Choice Act of 2009” from the Neocon Republicans in the Senate. You don’t need to read it. Here’s what it says. Congress will discuss improving the situation with health insurance companies to persuade them to do, a., b., c., …you fill in the details. The details don’t matter. Because nothing…NOTHING…will change. The concept is flawed. Do you think that a guy who beat out at least a thousand other persons to get into med school, spent four years in hectic, highly complex study, spent another year or two in a boot-camp-on-steroids known as a residency doesn’t know that? They know it. They get money from these guys, the private insurers to run for office to be elected to see to it…to see to it, which they are doing now…that we do not get universal health care. A government option would immediately cost them huge money. This is all about huge money.

Simply because people are smart (and trust me, these potentially “spoiled” docs are not as smart as a lot of other people who are not doctors) does not mean that they are compassionate, honest, decent or moral. Nazis were really smart. They took on the job of killing 6 million people, a logistics nightmare for dumb people. They had doctors, too. Their doctors tortured people.The Nazis did that and almost beat the rest of the civilized world. They were smarter than we were, smart guys, and they would kill you in a fraction of a second and never look back. There are lots of smart people. One would think Genghis Khan was a bright fellow. But not too nice.

Here’s the program. They want to return to “certain core principles.” They want to go back to Kansas again, Todo. The trouble is that the Kansas to which they want to return doesn’t exist any longer. Everyone is in Kansas is one accident or one illness from penury. They want to start “protecting the doctor-patient relationship.” If you can’t afford health care or if treatment is denied by that health-insurance-company clerk, that “bureaucrat” who gets “between you and your doctor” (a couple of their favorite lines when talking down public health care) then the doctor-patient relationship does not exist.

The problem with most of the people in Congress today who worry about “bureaucrats” gumming up the system is that they were never in the military. Very few of these creeps in Congress today ever served in the military.They think the military is for poor kids, deliquents, drop outs and real patriots…whom they see as nutty. These Congressmen are not real patriots. The guys who serve are the patriots, the reservists who give up their normal lives to do what the government needs them to do. Don’t kid yourself. If these congressmen had done as citizens used to do, be drafted, enlist or be called in after college or professional school to serve their country…they would know.

Military personnel travel from one unit to another, from one division to another or from one theater of action to another. The doctors and dentists are all the same, then and now–high quality. Whether they were serving their term or were career people who loved the military life, they were good. Most doctors are pros, anyway. They are not seers, or the oracle at Delphi. Yes, under the government plan you will always keep your own doctor. But there are a lot of good doctors. You see, they actually test them to find out.

Want a magic bullet to improve the quality of care in the U.S.? Here’s one.

Import about 10,000 family practicioners and some specialists from India and Asia. Make them live in rural Kansas or other underserved areas. If they want out, good. They can get out, but not for ten years, or else it is right back to India and Asia. But we would have about fives times better health care in our rural areas than in the cities, because these “guys and gals” are good (My opinion has been completely reversed. These doctors are not only equal; in many cases, they are much, much better.)

The medical care in these areas would become the envy of every wealthy white surburban community in the country. Companies would likely begin to return to the cleaner, less costly rural areas with good medical care (and good communications.) Of course, in time, these doctors would eventually be able to move to Scarsdale and get rich just as every U.S. doctor these days dreams of doing. Cynical? You better believe it!

“The Patients’ Choice Act would give every American the opportunity to choose the health plan that best meets their individual needs.” What does that mean…what kind of gobbledeegook talk is that? “Meets their needs?” What are your needs? You need a doctor when you get sick. You need a surgeon if you need an operation. You need a specialist if you have a special problem. But most of all, you need to have all those things…WHEN YOU NEED THEM. With the Neocon Republicans’ plan you’ll have a lot of theory…like the theory that we can all get rich, pay no taxes, and not have our country go broke. That’s the kind of plan they offer. Think of who likes their plan. The health care companies love it. Guess why.

Here is the operating principle of the Republican plan. “Why does our health care system fail so many patients? The answer begins and ends with government intervention.” Why is that their operating principle? Because they want to make you believe that a government program will be like something out of a Dickens novel. Well it won’t. It is not true, by the way, for example of Medicare. They claim it is underfunded. It is. THEY underfunded it. But they didn’t underfund tax breaks for off-shore corporations which could actually pay for it. The Obama public health care plan option will be like France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries…always available, clean, good and safe. Everyone will have it and, just as in those countries…95% of the people will say that they would have NOTHING ELSE!

No, it is not government intervention, except from the Republicans. That’s right. Think about it. They vote with the big corporations and the wealthy. Their constituency is not the people they are supposed to represent in their districts or states. It is the big lobbying groups for hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and the AMA. The Neocon Republicans have been in power almost exclusively since 1980, except for Clinton whom they kept as bottled up as they possibly could, but he beat them twice, so they had to do something. They spent $200 million of your money to find out if he was having extra-marital sex while simultaneously giving us the best stretch of economic growth since the end of WWII. He was having an affair, and lied about it, as most men initially do. They impeached him for doing what Newt Gingrich was doing in his back office at the very time he was leading the impeachment!

No, the probem is not government intervention, the way they term it. The problem is that the Republicans treat the government as a piggy bank for their campaign supporters and lobbyist groups. Under the Republicans no reform was ever undertaken, no knew public health care initiatives. We have never been able to put a program into effect and those that were in effect, Medicare and Medicaid, both begun by Democrats, were cut to the bone. We need to get rid of exorbitant private health care company pricing, but it is also urgent that we get rid of Neocon Republicans who will cut any public programs that do not help their lobbyist friends. The first step is to support the President’s plan.

If the People do not stand up against this obvious pandering to the health care lobby and recognize that the enemy is the health insurance business, and the big corporate hospital groups, the pharmaceutical industry and the AMA, the Republicans will persuade enough people who are either ignorant, right-wing, fundamentalist, libertarian or just plain uncaring greedy fools to stop the President’s plan. That would be a tragedy for all Americans.

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